ATTOUT (Express Tool)

Exports block attribute values to an external file in tab-delimited ASCII format.


The ATTOUT tool allows block attribute data to be exported to a file for convenient review and modification. Modified attribute values can be imported into original drawing, using the ATTIN tool.

The selected block names and attributes are exported to the file that you specify. You can easily view attributes in a spreadsheet format and edit individual attribute values. Then you can enter the new values into the drawing file, using the ATTIN command

When you start the ATTOUT command, you are prompted for a file name and for the names of the blocks that you want to process. The attributes in the selected blocks will be written to the specified file.

File Format

The output file written by ATTOUT is a tab-delimited, ASCII file that is suitable for editing by most database and spreadsheet programs. Microsoft Excel works well for this task. Make sure to save your changes in a tab-delimited ASCII format; otherwise the ATTIN command will not be able to import data from the file.

The first row in the file contains column headers that identify the data to ATTIN. The first two columns are labeled HANDLE and BLOCKNAME. These columns are optional to ATTIN, but their presence allows the attribute data to be read from this file and inserted into the drawing automatically. If these columns are not present, you are prompted to supply this data when ATTIN is processing the file.

The remaining columns in the file are labeled with attribute tags as they appear in the drawing. Because database programs often require that column headers be unique, numbers are added to duplicate attribute tags to ensure that they are unique. For example, the header row in a file created by ATTOUT might look like this:


Each of the remaining rows in the file represent a single block reference and the values of each of its respective attributes.

Because there is a column for each attribute from all selected blocks, there will likely be attribute labels that do not apply to a specific block. These labels are indicated with the string "<>" in the cells that do not apply. Thus, in a file containing the preceding header row example, the row for a block that contains only the attribute MYTAG might look like this:

E1      MYBLOCK1   Data1  <>          <>

The "<>" indicates that this attribute does not apply to the current block and that a cell is an attribute that does apply, but that it is empty at this time.