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The Power of Find and Replace
Tip# 4196 By Tawfik Shehata On 23-Sep-2013
Rated By 2 users
Categories : Find Text
Software type : AutoCAD 2014
Rename File To : No Files to download.
Find blocks containing a certain attribute.

Tawfik Shehata shares how to locate specific attributed blocks in your AutoCAD drawing.

"The Find and Replace command in AutoCAD can do more than just finding and replacing text. If your drawing contains blocks with attributes — for example, a 'Door' block containing some attributes (Width, Material, etc.) — and at some point you need to select the Door blocks with only 'Timber' as the Material, then you can do the following:

  1. Type Find to start the Find and Replace command.
  2. In response to the Find What: prompt, type Timber.
  3. Tick the List Results checkbox.
  4. Click Find, and a results list with everything in the drawing containing the word Timber will be displayed.
  5. Highlight all the Door blocks from the list using the usual click + Ctrl/Shift.
  6. Click on the middle button of the three buttons on the right-hand side of this list, and it will create a selection set of all the Door blocks containing the Timber attribute value.

"Also, if you want to locate some of the text containing Timber across the drawing, then repeat steps 1 through 4, then check the results list for the text you want; if you double-click on it, AutoCAD will zoom in to it in the drawing.

"If you couldn't find the text you are after, even though you are sure it exists in the drawing, then click on the arrow at the bottom-left corner of the dialog box to check the Search Options (e.g., Match Case). Also remember that, as with many commands, you can use the Find Where option at the top right corner if you don’t want to search through the entire drawing."

Notes from Cadalyst tip reviewer Brian Benton: The Find command is very useful in many ways. If you are having issues finding what you are looking for, or if AutoCAD is returning too many possible answers, click on the More Options arrow in the Find and Replace window (bottom-left corner). You can match case (or not), find whole words, use wildcards, search blocks (or not), and more. Keep in mind that if you are searching for text that is displayed in a field, Find cannot search those text objects — it thinks the text is blank.


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User comments
Comment by Alt,Kelly
Posted on 2013-09-23 13:21:17
The find command is a great tool! Keep in mind though, if you are using the find command multiple times on a large file, 30Mb+ you could crash your drawing. If you are using a version of AutoCAD from 2009-2013, there was a memory leak that was finally fixed in AutoCAD 2014. If you do not deal in larger file sizes you should be fine.