AutoCAD/Exploding Blocks


I receive a layout drawing of a commercial building from one
Architect firm. The drawing comprise of 7 blocks for the whole
layout. 6 blocks easily exploded and convert to a single layer
identifying it as Architect requirement. But the last block
cannot be exploded - check with list command, it is as shown below:-

         BLOCK REFERENCE  Layer: "0"
         Space: Model space
         Handle = db41f
      Block Name: "Block 1"
         at point, X=27542.1105  Y=56308.0005  Z=   0.0000
  X scale factor:    1.0000
  Y scale factor:    1.0000
  rotation angle: 90d0'0.0"
  Z scale factor:    1.0000
        InsUnits: Millimeters
 Unit conversion:    1.0000
 Scale uniformly: No
 Allow exploding: No

I tried to redefine the block #previously have been very successful with other drawing# but unable to do so.
Can you help me with this problem ? Thank you in advance.


ANSWER: Hi Ronny,

I am not sure what version of AutoCAD you are running, but if it is 2008 or higher the following approach may help you:

1. Select the block, and right-click and choose Block Editor in the pop-up menu.

2. Once in the Block Editor, change the Allow exploding value in the properties palette to yes.

3. Close Block Editor and save your changes.

4. You should now be able to explode the block.

As long as the block is uniformly scaled, this method should work.

Let me know if this approach worked.

Scott Wilcox

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Thanks. The approach works like a dream. I have a few more queries.
I am using E115.0.0. Autocad 2011. English Version 2.1
with OS Window 7 (Enterprise).
Queries as listed below:

1. textmask :-

  After using textmask,a PDF file is then created,
  the textmask area becomes a black rectangle
  (unable to see the text) when zoom in to preview.
  How to make text visible, but mask the background
  object when view in PDF format?

2. Navigation Toolbar :-

  During editing/working on a new/existing drawing,
  the Navigation Toolbar disappear or turn a dark grey
  color - the icon no longer active. This will be back
  in action after 10 or more minutes

3. minimize/restore/close button missing :-
  During editing/working on a new/existing drawing.
  minimize/restore/close button at the top right corner
  of drawing window disappear. Need to switch from
  model space to paper space (Model to Layout 1) and
  back for the buttons to reappear.

4. Unable to create new layers :-
  When creating new layer in Layer Properties Manager,
  a new layer Layer 1' appear - for user to rename to
  an aporpriate layer name but it does not appear, even
  after trying a couple more times. and When the drawing
  is purge. the Layer 1, Layer 2 etc #depends how many
  times new layer is created# will be purge.

Can you help me with this problems ? Thank you in advance.


Hi Ronny, great questions! Let me see if I can help you with at least some of them.

1. Textmask is a bit antiquated, since the advent of background masking, particularly with certain versions of Adobe CAD to PDF printer drivers.  It seems to be particularly problematic when rotating the layout. if all you use the testmask command is for text, I suggest you use mtext and background masking. see some more info here:

My advice is to look at background masking for mtext, and removing textmasks altogether.

2. I don't typically use the navigation bar, but it is controlled by the drawing variable NAVBARDISPLAY.  1 means on (displayed), and 0 means off (not displayed).  Type at the command prompt to set.

3. Minimize/close/restore may be hidden.  double-click on the blue bar to the left of the help area to maximize.

4. Not sure about your layer issues.  Maybe you can change your layer manager back to 'classic' mode by setting LAYERDLGMODE to 0. That may prevent the issues with layer creation.

I hope I helped you with at least some of these, feel free to let me know or clarify any of my responses.



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Scott Wilcox


I have been using AutoCAD since R11, and can answer questions regarding general AutoCAD, menus, toolbars, fonts, linetypes, plotting, CUI, Some Civil 3D


23 years AutoCAD user (R11- R2015), AUGI Director



Instructor @ Alberta School of Drafting

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