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    By Martin Phelps

    This system variable controls the display of the attribute edit dialogue box, in previous versions of AutoCAD prior to 2014, the default value is set to “0” so the dialogue box was not displayed, therefore when inserting a block containing attributes into a drawing, changes to the attribute values are made at the command line.  This can be a time consuming process especially if the block contains a number verified attributes.  Which once the user inputs the data via the prompts at the command line, then the system then works through the list again to get the user to confirm the data is correct.

    Below is an example of the insertion of a block with two attributes “VALVE NUMBER” and “COMPONENT PART NUMBER”, if “ATTDIA“ is set to “0” the attribute prompt appears in the command line, because the attributes are “VERIFY” the prompt for each attribute is appears twice, verifying the data input.

    Changing the value of this system variable from “0” to “1” displays the dialogue box making the editing of attributes much easier, the user can quickly edit attributes by tabbing from field to field within the dialogue box, with no need to confirm the information since it is displayed on screen.

    In AutoCAD 2014 this variable’s default has been changed to “1”, which means that the “ATTRIBUTE DIALOGUE BOX” is automatically displayed when inserting a block with attributes. This is generally a better option.

    This however may give problems when using some lisp routines which inserts blocks with attributes, causing the routine to hang or malfunction since the routine will not work with this dialogue box and is expecting attribute data input via the command line.

    Ideally there should be a line of code somewhere at the start of the routine that automatically sets this variable’s value to “0” (zero) (turning the dialogue off), and also one near the end of the routine which sets it back to “1” (one) (turning it back on), allowing the user to take advantage of the ease of editing block attributes via the dialogue box.