DesignCenter Window


Browses, finds, and previews content, and inserts content, which includes blocks, hatches, and external references (xrefs).


Use the buttons in the toolbar at the top of DesignCenter for display and access options.

When you click the Folders tab or the Open Drawings tab, the following two panes are displayed from which you can manage drawing content:

  • Content area (right pane)
  • Tree view (left pane)

List of Options

The following options are displayed.

Content Area (DesignCenter)

Displays the content of the "container" currently selected in the tree view. A container is a network, computer, disk, folder, file, or web address (URL) containing information accessible by DesignCenter. Depending on the container selected in tree view, the content area typically displays the following:

  • Folders containing drawings or other files
  • Drawings
  • Named objects contained in drawings (named objects include blocks, xrefs, layouts, layers, dimension styles, table styles, multileader styles, and text styles)
  • Images or icons representing blocks or hatch patterns
  • Web-based content
  • Custom content developed by third-party applications

From the content area, you can insert blocks or hatch patterns or attach external references in a drawing by dragging, by double-clicking, or by right-clicking and choosing Insert Block, Attach Xref, or Copy. You can drag or right-click to add other content to drawings, such as layers, dimension styles, and layouts. You can drag blocks and hatches from DesignCenter to tool palettes.


You can access relevant content area and tree view options on a shortcut menu by right-clicking in the tree view or the content area.


Displays the Load dialog box (a standard file selection dialog box). Use Load to navigate to files on local and network drives or on the Web, and then to select content to load in the content area.


Returns to the most recent location in the history list.


Returns to the next later location in the history list.


Displays the contents of the container one level above the current container.

Stop (DC Online tab)

Stops the current transfer.

Reload (DC Online tab)

Reloads the current page.


Displays the Search dialog box, where you can specify search criteria to locate drawings, blocks, and nongraphical objects within drawings.

Search also displays custom content saved on your desktop (not available in AutoCAD LT.


Displays the contents of the Favorites folder in the content area. The Favorites folder contains shortcuts to items you access often. You can add items to Favorites either by right-clicking the content area or right-clicking an item in the tree view, and then clicking Add to Favorites. To delete an item from Favorites, use the Organize Favorites option on the shortcut menu and then use the Refresh option on the shortcut menu.

NoteThe DesignCenter folder is automatically added to Favorites. This folder contains drawings with discipline-specific blocks that you can insert in drawings.

Returns DesignCenter to your home folder. On installation, the home folder is set to ...SampleDesignCenter. Change the home folder using the shortcut menu in the tree view.

Tree View Toggle

Displays and hides the tree view. Hide the tree view if you need more space in your drawing area. When the tree view is hidden, you can use the content area to navigate to containers and to load content.

The Tree View Toggle button is not available while you're using the History list in the tree view.


Displays and hides a preview of the selected item in a pane below the content area. If there is no preview image saved with the selected item, the Preview area is empty.


Displays and hides a text description of the selected item in a pane below the content area. If a preview image is also displayed, the description is displayed below it. If there is no description saved with the selected item, the Description area is empty.


Provides different display formats for the content that is loaded in the content area. You can select a view from the Views list or click the Views button repeatedly to cycle through the display formats. The default view varies for the type of content currently loaded in the content area.

Large Icon

Displays the names of the loaded content in large icon format.

Small Icon

Displays the names of the loaded content in small icon format.

List View

Displays the names of the loaded content in a list.

Detail View

Displays additional information about the loaded content. You can sort the items by name, size, type, and other properties, depending on the type of content that is loaded in the content area.

Refresh (Shortcut Menu Only)

Refreshes the display in the content area to reflect any changes you have made. Right-click the content area background and click Refresh on the shortcut menu.

Autodesk Seek Design Content

Opens a web browser and displays the Autodesk Seek (SEEK) home page. Product design information available on Autodesk Seek depends on what content providers, both corporate partners and individual contributors, publish to Autodesk Seek (SHAREWITHSEEK). Such content could include 3D models, 2D drawings, specifications, brochures, or descriptions of products or components.

Tree View (DesignCenter)

Displays the hierarchy of files and folders on your computer and network drives, a list of open drawings, and a history of the last locations you accessed. Select an item in the tree view to display its contents in the content area.

NoteIn the sampledesigncenter folder are drawings containing discipline-specific blocks that you can insert in drawings. These drawings are called symbol library drawings.

Use the buttons in the toolbar at the top of DesignCenter to access tree view options.


Displays the hierarchy of files and folders on your computer and network drives, including My Computer and Network Neighborhood.

You can use ADCNAVIGATE to navigate to a specific file name, directory location, or network path in the DesignCenter tree view.

Open Drawings

Displays all drawings open in the current work session, including drawings that are minimized.


Displays a list of the files that you opened most recently in DesignCenter. With the history displayed, right-click a file to display information about the file or to delete the file from the History list.

DC Online

Accesses the DesignCenter Online web page. When you establish a web connection, two panes are viewed on the Welcome page. The left side displays folders containing symbol libraries, manufacturer sites, and additional content libraries. When a symbol is selected, it is displayed on the right side and can be downloaded into your drawing.

NoteThe DesignCenter Online (DC Online tab) is disabled by default. You can enable it from the CAD Manager Control utility.