How to add attributes to an AutoCAD 2020 block and export them to a table – Part 1

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A question has come up on how to include custom information or attributes to an AutoCAD 2020 block. And then once placed, to export the information to a table. In this example I’ll create a simple object as a block representing a services manhole and then add an attribute to the block indicating the manhole position and number.


Create block.

The first step to create an AutoCAD block is to draw the geometry. I drew a simple rectangle and a circle to represent a symbol of a manhole in plan view.

1. draw block geometry

Now create the block. You can either create the block as an internal or external block. In this example I will use the internal block creation tool. The tool is found on the block panel on the Home tab.

2. Internal block creation

Once selected you’ll see the Block Definition dialogue box in which you need to complete three parts. First define a name as “Manhole”. Then select the Pick point button to define a Base Point and select the centre of the circle. Thereafter select the Select objects button and select both the objects that forms the symbol.

3. Create block

Once you have created the block we are now ready for added Attributes to the block.

Adding Attributes

Select the manhole block object and then either right click and select “Block Editor” or select the block editor icon.

4. Block Editor

I selected the Block Editor Icon and thereafter I need to just confirm editing the block. Select OK.

5. Block Edit confirmation

Once you have entered into the Block Editor area select the Attribute option.

6. Define Attributes

You’ll see the Define Attribute dialogue box appears. On the top left make sure the “Invisible” option is turned off. This is set to be able to see the Block/Node number once placed in your drawing.

Next add text for the Tag name. This is the name of this attribute. It should be one word with no spaces. The Prompt will be a line of text requesting the user to add a value when inserting. Add ‘0’ as a Default Value.

Also increase the Text height according to your drawing needs. Select OK.

7. Add Tag information

Now place the Attribute in die block drawing area and click Close. Save the Changes.

8. Place attribute

The Block Editor will close but the attribute that we added will not be attached to the exising placed block. So delete the block and insert it again.

9. Delete and reinsert

Once you place the block you will be prompted to add the Node number. Type 1 in the box and click OK.

10. Place block

Looking a the block you’ll notice the 1 is shown.

11. Result

Now add a couple of these block each time using succeeding Node numbers.

12. Add more blocks


In Part 1 we have created an Autocad block with one attribute and as we place the block we can enter new attribute values for each block placed. In Part 2 we will extract the information and place it in a table format.