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Display Wipeouts Correctly when Inserting External Blocks
Tip# 4251 By Spence Watson On 03-Feb-2014
Rated By 0 users
Categories : Draw Order
Software type : AutoCAD 2014
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This is a good workaround if you encounter problems with wipeouts.

Spence Watson, a senior CAD operator, sent in this tip for getting wipeouts to display correctly in AutoCAD.

"If you have ever inserted external blocks from another file or a template file, you’ve probably dealt with the wipeouts coming over displayed on top, forcing you to redefine the block after. Perplexingly, the block will work just fine when used in the external file. This problem has to do with the way AutoCAD inserts external blocks compared to internal blocks. Unlike internal blocks, AutoCAD does not use display order when inserting external blocks. Instead, each entity of a block is inserted in the order that it was drawn. This means that most of the time, the wipeout is inserted last and ends up on top of the linework.

"I use the following method to be sure all of my blocks are drawn correctly:

  1. Blockedit the blocks in the template file.
  2. Move the linework a set distance to the right (say, 20 units).
  3. Copy the linework back to the left (20 units).
  4. Erase the linework to the right.

This will ensure that the wipeout was drawn last and will insert correctly in new drawing."

Notes from Cadalyst tip reviewer R.K. McSwain: Although I cannot recreate this issue in AutoCAD 2014, wipeouts and draworder have historically had issues, and this is a good workaround if you encounter problems. Way back in the day before draworder, this was the way to force display order, essentially using entity creation order to control display order. It's still a valid method, as described here.


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User comments
Comment by Maeding,James
Posted on 2014-02-03 13:22:28
You essentially doing the old wblock out, insert in, trick which has been a draworder workaround for years. Only thing is, wblock does not work in block editor, so we generally just cut and paste to original cords instead. Copying and moving back is ok too. Careful though, you are killing the association of the wipeout to any text so textmask will not delete the old mask. Text may not be the issue though. How about Autodesk make draworder actually work??
Comment by White,Ian
Posted on 2014-02-03 19:00:16
It is important when creating a block with a wipeout that you always make sure the creation order is correct. Never rely on setting DRAWORDER to be the same when a block is inserted. There are also other instances where the creation order is important. I have written utilities to convert blocks to MINSERTED anonymous blocks (yes, I know it can be broken, but it keeps the casual thieves out). Now, when the anonymous block is created, it arranges things in the original creation order. I use wipeouts on blocks for electrical and piping schematics as it saves me having to keep trimming lines. These are not just blocks with a wipeout, but also have many dynamic properties, and so the creation order is very important, particularly with wipeouts.
Comment by Damman,John
Posted on 2014-02-21 12:24:04
Be careful with actual wipeouts if pdf's are to be made. Wipeouts appear as solid black shapes that resemble redackting. I've found that mtext backgrounds work for pdf's. Mtext in block attributes are great, too, especially using block editors and edit in place.