Within AutoCAD there are always those ‘once in a while’ commands that we have a tendency to forget about.  When it’s time to use these elusive commands again you either spend the next several minutes, or hours in some cases, browsing the ‘HELP’ feature or you find yourself looking for that co-worker known to everyone as, ‘The Command Keeper’.  In this Blog Post we will go over Editing Attributes and come across a forgotten and elusive AutoCAD command.


So the question is, how do you edit an attribute within a block to get the Attribute Tag to save after editing?


There are two ways to complete this Process.


  • Explode the Block (See Example 1)
    • This is recommended if the Block DOES NOT HAVE custom text values in the Attributes.  As exploding the block will cause you to lose the values.
    • Can be done at the beginning of a project if you have a File naming style


  • Edit the Block using Block Editor (See Example 2)
    • This is recommended if the Block HAS custom text values in the Attributes.  The Block Editor will allow you to change an attribute while retaining the custom text values placed in other attributes.
    • Can be done later in the project if Block is 90% set and a File naming style is received later

Example 1 (Explode Block)

The first thing you want to do is double click on your Block to launch the ‘Enhanced Attribute Editor’. Take a screen shot so you can remember the order of the Attribute Tags, as we will have to select these Attributes in their original order to make the Block a block again after it is exploded.



  • Explode the Block (Type in command or select Explode icon)
    • Attribute Tags will show up 
    • DO NOT PURGE DRAWING


  • Rename the “DWG_NO” attribute to “DWG_NUMBER”


  • Type "BLOCK" in the command line to launch the Block Definition box. This is to set the exploded Block back into a Block
    • Name your Block or Select the previous Block Name from the drop down
    • Make sure ‘Convert to block’ is selected
    • Select Objects (to be included in block)


  • Hit the ‘Select Object’ icon
    • You will go to your Block DWG and your mouse icon will become a Pick Box


  • Remember that screen shot you took of the ‘Enhanced Attribute Editor’, now is the time to utilize it.


  • Select the Attribute Tags in the order in which they appeared in the ‘Enhanced Attribute Editor’. In this case we will select TITLE_L1, TITLE_L2, TITLE_L3 and so on…


  • Once you have selected all the Attribute Tags in the order in which they appeared in the ‘Enhanced Attribute Editor’, zoom out and Select the ENTIRE Block.  Right Click, click OK and then Redefine.  An ‘Edit Attributes’ box will pop-up, you can cancel out of that
    • Redefining a block, makes the block inherit the new settings
  • To check and make sure the changes have taken, double click on the Block 
    • This will prompt Enhanced Attribute Editor to launch and you will see the updated Attribute Tag(s)





Example 2 (Block Editor)

Below you will see the Block Attribute "DWG_NO" (This will be the attribute we are going to edit)



  • Right click on the attribute dialog and select ‘Block Editor’



  • Edit the Attribute Tag to "DWG_NUMBER", then close Block Editor and SAVE changes



  • So now we have made the edit to the Attribute Tag, Saved & closed the Block Editor.  If you double click on your Block now, you will see the Attribute Tag has NOT yet updated in the Enhanced Attribute Editor


  • Use AutoCAD command ATTSYNC (elusive/forgotten command), hit Select, select the attribute dialog that was changed and then select Yes
    • This step is vital to the process, without doing an attribute sync, the changes made to the attribute tag will NOT be set to current


  • To check and make sure the changes have taken, double click on the Block
    • This will prompt Enhanced Attribute Editor to launch and you will see the updated Attribute Tag(s)
    • An unsuccessful Attribute Edit will result in the Attribute Tag name keeping it’s original Tag, in this case (DWG_NO)