How to load and insert external blocks using AutoCAD 2020


As you know every year Autodesk release a new version of AutoCAD that contains updates. One of the updates this year is the way blocks are inserted.

Previous process:

Looking at the process to insert external blocks using AutoCAD 2019 you could insert blocks by selecting the Insert tool from the Home ribbon, Block Panel.

A dialogue block will appear that allows you to Browse for an external block that is located in an external library.

Thereafter click on the drawing area to place the block in the drawing.

New 2020 Process:

Autodesk has introduced a new Block Palette in which you now have one area in which you can access external blocks, recently inserted blocks and from the current drawing.

To access the new block palette, you will do the same as in previous versions whereby you go to the Home ribbon, Block panel, click on the Insert tool. In the dropdown click on any of the options: ‘Recent Blocks’ or ‘Blocks from Other Drawings’.

An alternative option is to access this new Block palette from the View ribbon. See below.

Once you see this pallet and you want to insert a block from an external library source you can click on the ‘Other Drawing’ tab. Then the Browse button and shown below:

Once you have found the block you have a chance to set some of the insertion settings. One setting that caught my eye was the ‘Repeat placement” which allows you to place the selected block multiple times.

Now you have two options to place the block in your drawing. The first option is to simply click the block found in the palette and then select an insertion point in your drawing:

The second way is to right mouse click the block inside the palette and then select the Insert option. Then pick the insertion point inside your drawing.


I think the use of a palette to insert blocks is a great new feature as the main advantage of having a palette is that the palette could always be active even though you swop between drawings or even open new drawings. This will allow you to simply keep the palette open and use it on any drawing when required without browsing to the library each time you need to insert a block in different drawings, for example.