John G. Jordan shares some advice for managing blocks that are distributed through AutoCAD tool palettes.
“In my opinion, tool palettes are the greatest feature AutoCAD has ever added. They allow you to share with everyone, and help to make standards enforcement a painless no-brainer. That is because tool palettes allow you to insert a block with all the properties that follow the standards, and you can have a complex block exploded on insertion for even greater productivity.
“However, one of the most important points in using tool palettes that I seldom see noted is that the block and the block path cannot change. So if you want to add a block, it is important that you put it in a directory or drawing that will always be available, such as a standards directory. Otherwise, when you pick that block from project A to use in project B, you will get an error message of 'Block not found.' This is because project A has been archived to another drive, or the path to the drawings has been changed.
“An extra bonus of the tool palette is that it allows you to copy a tool that has a command function (such as line), then change the command to your custom LISP command. This enables you to do a limitless number of things with the tool palette button.”
Notes from Cadalyst tip reviewer Brian Benton: The tipster is absolutely correct: Changing the name or location of the block will break the tool palette. The blocks in your library need to reside in a central location that does not change. If blocks are added to or removed from a palette, and multiple users have loaded the tool palette, their versions of the palette will not update. The tool palettes across a network will have to be updated manually to get the new block information.