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The DXF Editor is the graphical plotting program used in conjunction with RASPLOT to produce standardized NFIP Flood Insurance Study profile tables. In RASPLOT, data is converted from the database files to automatically generate water-surface profiles in the FEMA-approved format, which includes the water-surface profiles, table labels, legend, road crossings, bridges, and culverts. While the program generates most of the needed items for a profile table, there are several details that need to be modified and changed manually. A user will need to know how to use the tools featured in the DXF Editor in order to make these changes.

What is a Block?

A block is a series of drawing objects (lines, polylines, hatchings, and/or text) that are grouped together into an object with one assigned insertion point. As blocks can reference a series of diverse drawing items to a single point, they serve as a useful tool for generating fully customizable, duplicate graphical items that require multiple insertions in a drawing. In FIS profiles, some examples of useful blocks are stream bed hatchings, text labels, or line arrowheads.

The block menu is located in the top main menu of the DXF editor screen. When selected, the submenu options are "Make Block" and "Insert Block." To make a block is analogous to creating a rubber stamp. To insert the block is like using this rubber stamp at desired locations.

How to Create a Block

This creates custom blocks for future insertion into a drawing.

  1. Open your drawing in the DXF editor.
  2. Zoom in on the object you would like to make into a block. New objects can be created using the Draw Tools.
  3. Select "Make Block" from the Block menu.
  4. You will be prompted to insert the name of your block in the command line prompt at the bottom of the screen. Type in the name of your block and press the Enter key. For this example, we will call this block "GROUND."
  5. You will be prompted to define an "insertion point." This "insertion point" refers to the single point to which you would like the objects in your custom block to be assigned to. This is a relative point, so it is wise to choose a logical point that would allow the block to be easily inserted later. For example, we are creating a block with the stream bed symbol in this example. A logical point to choose would be nearest to the intersection of the symbol and the stream bed line, so your block can be easily inserted at the stream bed line at other locations.
  6. Select the point by using the mouse and clicking once. Precise points can be selected using the Snap option.
  7. You will immediately be prompted to select entities. Using your mouse, select the item(s) by clicking them until all the entities you would like to block are selected. Right-click or press the Enter key to complete.
  8. Your selection items will immediately disappear after completing the block. To restore your selection items, select "Undo" under the Edit menu once.
  9. Your original drawing items will be restored and the block should be successfully created and ready to be inserted.

How to Insert a Block

  1. Select "Insert Block" from the Block menu.
  2. A popup box will appear detailing available block information. There are several pre-defined blocks available in the DXF editor that will be defined in a later bulletin. For this example, select the block "GROUND" created previously for insertion from the "BlockName" dropdown menu. Press the "OK" button.
  3. You will immediately see the block in your drawing, oriented to the pointer at the same "insertion point" it was created with. The block can be moved around with the mouse as you choose a destination insertion point in your drawing.
  4. Select the insertion point by clicking the mouse at the desired location once. In this example, the stream bed line is selected as the desired destination point using the Snap option.
  5. You will be prompted to select the scale for the inserted block. (Note: be careful not to click mouse at this juncture unless you are deliberately scaling your object by sight.) Type "1" to keep original scale factor and press Enter to set the scale.
  6. You will be prompted to enter the rotation for the block. If you would like to rotate your object, drag the mouse to rotate visually. To keep the original rotation, type "0" in the command line box, and press Enter to set the rotation.
  7. Your block is successfully inserted. You may use the Modify tools menu at this point to further modify the block location, rotation, and other attributes.

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Last Modified: Wednesday, 27-Jun-2007 11:57:20 EDT