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    By Luke Howell
    Those of you more familiar with Civil 3D may have a greater understanding of Tool Palettes but they are one of the more underused tools in AutoCAD.

    This collection of tools has a vast range of diversity, more than just a block library.

    It houses Custom Items, Text and Line Styles, Drawing Frames and Templates, Dynamic Blocks, draughting tools and much more.
    So why is it so underused?

    No one knows it’s there! 
    In Civil 3D the Tool Palette icon is located on the Home Ribbon in First Panel.
    In AutoCAD it’s located on the View Ribbon, Third Panel.
    In both pieces of software, the Tool Palettes can be toggled on and off with ctrl+3.
    In AutoCAD it’s located on the View Ribbon, Third Panel.

    In both pieces of software, the Tool Palettes can be toggled on and off with ctrl+3.

    With the use of the Design Center (ctrl+2) and bespoke dynamic objects, the Tool Palette can be customised into a powerful drawing utility within AutoCAD. Multiple actions available from one location, plan creation can be optimised across multiple drawings.

    I have certainly found it increased my productivity on a project, but don’t just believe me, go and try it for yourself!

    Making the most of your Tool Palettes

    Firstly, open your Tool Palette (ctrl+3), and dock it to the side of your screen. Right Click at the top and display all Palettes.

    You are now presented with multiple tabs down the side. These contain various blocks and tables, and dynamic functions.

    Take a look through and see the diversity of what is provided straight out of the box.

    Couldn’t find what you were looking for or perhaps you want somewhere to keep custom made blocks and objects?
    Create your own Palette. Right Click on one of the TABs and create a New Palette.

    Here you can add blocks from other drawings, custom drawing frames and your own dynamic objects.

    If you open Design Center (ctrl+2) you can create new Palettes directly from the blocks contained within AutoCAD.

    Follow the Design Center file path:  Programme Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 2017\sample\en-us\DesignCenter 

    Find Kitchen.dwg and Right Click, Create Tool Palette, this will automatically place all the blocks contained in the file into your AutoCAD Tool Palette. Do the same For Landscaping.dwg

    Once these have been inserted to your workspace they are yours to edit, re-scale, re-redraw and add dynamic elements.

    This tool palette is now available to you in every drawing you open, but it doesn’t stop there!

    If you have a set of companywide blocks and standards, the tool palette can be exported and shared across the entire company. 

    Type ‘Customize’ in the command bar, find the Tool Palette you want to Export and Right Click. To Import, simple select import and the .xpg file you wish to bring in.

    See how much you can increase your work flow with the use of Tool Palettes.


    For further information on this article please contact your Account Manager or call our Sales Team on 01784 419922 or email sales@cadline.co.uk