How to Rename an AutoCAD Block

Last week I was working on a floor plan drafting project. The project called for me to measure and draft the floor plans of a penthouse apartment on 5th Avenue in New York City. I also had to include the power points on the plan.

Power points, if you’re not familiar with them, are simply the electric outlets, switches and similar.

It is AEC industry practice, when documenting power points on a floor plan, to use symbols to denote the different types of power points. Therefore, there is a symbol for a wall switch, a symbol for a wall outlet, and so on.

Power symbols on floor plan.

Power symbols on floor plan.


The Situation

While drafting up this floor plan, I created a block for one of the power point symbols, and inserted it numerous times into the drawing. As I continued drafting, I continued creating more blocks of different power points. I eventually realized that the names of the blocks would have been much more orderly if there was continuity to the way I named them. As it stood, the block names I chose were more-or-less random.

By the time I realized the randomness of my block names I had already inserted many blocks into my drawing. At that point I could have left the drawing as is, I could have made new blocks with an orderly naming system and reinserted them, or I could have renamed the existing blocks with the AutoCAD REN command. I of course chose the last option!!

The Solution

The REN command was super useful, super easy, and it is my tip of the day. The command can be used for more than just renaming blocks too. I’ll leave the complete exploration of the command up to you. Just be aware of it, and here is a screen shot of the context menu that appears after you type in REN and hit enter:

The AutoCAD REN command dialogue box.

The AutoCAD REN command dialogue box.



That’s it for today. Happy cadding!!


About Brian M. Curran

I'm Brian M. Curran and I run a drafting services business in NYC. My aim is to create quality drawings, and to be entrusted with important projects. For some project on-site videos, please visit my Google profile.
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10 Responses to How to Rename an AutoCAD Block

  1. Joshua says:

    Very useful tip Brian. when in situations like yours it saves a lot of time and effort if you know these little tips and tricks…
    Alternatively you can also use a script, use -RENAME to use non-dialog box version to rename blocks.

  2. Tim Burrows says:

    This is a very useful tip! It is very useful and powerful tool. I use it all the time.

    I tend to use it for a different reason which is to rename layers!

    For example, if you bind an externally referenced drawing named STP123.dwg to a host drawing, the block definitions have names like STP123$0$BLOCK1, STP123$0$BLOCK2, STP123$0$BLOCK3, STP123$0$BLOCK4, and
    STP123$0$BLOCK5. If you want them to have the names BLOCK1 and so on, type STP123$0$* in the Old Name field and * in the Rename To field.

    its a very useful tool for many different reasons!

  3. Nay Htut says:

    This is a very useful tip! It is very useful and powerful tool. I use it all the time.

    Thank You Very Much

  4. Abhishek says:

    Very useful solution….

    Thanks a Lot.

  5. JEBIN says:

    Very Useful.

  6. David Imm says:


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