In my work, I must have an accurate count of special devices. I use the SelectSimilar command in AutoCAD to accomplish this quickly and efficiently. For example, say I need to verify the number of smoke detectors in my drawing. I have created a block representing the detectors called “SMOKE” that I have inserted at the appropriate locations on my floor plan.
I type SelectSimilar in the Command line, then I type SE for this command’s settings. In the SelectSimilar Settings box, I choose only the Name field and click OK. Next, I select one of the SMOKE blocks, and press Enter. In the Properties box, you will see “Block Reference (38)” at the top. The (38) represents the number of times the block is found in that drawing, and hence your device count. (Note: If you are in Model space, it does not include blocks in Paper Space, meaning it will not include your legend!)
Notes from Cadalyst tip reviewer R.K. McSwain: This is a great tip for doing quick quantity checks of certain object types, such as blocks. Just be sure to verify the Settings inside of the SelectSimilar command so you'll know what the command is actually selecting.