This procedure will explain how to create a coordinate label block that updates as you move or copy it.

  1. Launch AutoCAD (2006 or higher).
  2. Issue the BEDIT (block edit) command.
  3. Enter the desired name, like COORDBLOCK and chose OK.
  4. Draw the desired point identifying geometry, such as a circle at 0,0 with a radius of 0.25.
  5. Issue the ATTDEF command.
  6. Turn on the Preset toggle in the upper left, this makes for faster inserts as AutoCAD won’t prompt for the attribute values (which is automatic anyway).
  7. Enter NORTHING for the tag and prompt fields.
  8. To the right of the Value field, click the ‘Insert Field’ button.
  9. In the Field Names list on the left, click ‘BlockPlaceholder’, this is a special area only available during block building.
  10. In the middle column, choose the ‘Position’ property.
  11. In the right column, format your output as desired.  In this example turn off the X & Z fields and ‘Current Units’ is the recommended value.  While you can lock the precision to a fixed number of places, it’s not easy to modify a field based attribute later.
  12. Choose OK after completing the field formatting.
  13. Change ‘Text Options’ as desired.  For this example we are only changing the height to 1.0.
  14. Most likely you will want to turn off the ‘Lock Position’ toggle so you can move the attribute after the insert.
  15. Choose OK to complete the first attribute.  When prompted for the insertion point, pick a location or enter coordinates such as 1.0,1.2 for this example.
  16. Repeat at step 5 for the EASTING & ELEVATION field attributes, the only other difference being that the ‘Align below previous’ toggle should be turned on to make positioning easier.
  17. Issue the BCLOSE command or choose the ‘Close Block Editor’ button at the top.
  18. Choose Yes to save the changes.

At this point the COORDBLOCK is defined and ready to insert.  As you insert them into the drawing the coordinates are filled in automatically.  After moving an insert issue the REGEN command to update the values.

To make the block available for inserting into other drawings, it will need to be WBLOCKED to a separate DWG file.

  1. Issue the WBLOCK command.
  2. Choose the Block button and select COORDBLOCK in the list.
  3. Click the […] in lower right to specify a filename.
  4. Changing the Insert Units to ‘Unitless’ is recommended.

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