What Are Nested Items in AutoCAD?

Nested items in AutoCAD are a powerful feature that allows you to organize and structure your drawings in a hierarchical manner. By nesting items, you can create complex designs with ease and maintain a clear visual hierarchy.

What are nested items?

Nested items refer to the objects or entities that are contained within another object. In AutoCAD, you can nest various entities such as blocks, layers, groups, or even other nested items within a parent object. This hierarchical structure helps in organizing your drawing and simplifies the editing process.

Benefits of using nested items:

  • Improved organization: Nesting items allows you to keep related entities together, making it easier to locate and manage them.
  • Enhanced clarity: By structuring your drawing hierarchically, you can clearly visualize the relationships between different elements.
  • Simplified editing: When you make changes to a parent item, all its nested items inherit those changes automatically. This saves time and effort when modifying complex designs.

Nesting blocks in AutoCAD:

One of the most common uses of nested items in AutoCAD is nesting blocks within other blocks. This technique is particularly useful when creating repetitive elements or when you want to reuse existing designs.

To nest a block within another block, follow these steps:

  1. Create the block that will act as the parent block.
  2. In the Block Editor (BEDIT command), insert the child block(s) into the parent block.
  3. Position and align the child blocks as desired.
  4. Save and close the Block Editor.

Once you’ve created a nested block, you can easily insert it into your drawing multiple times. Any changes made to the parent block will automatically be reflected in all instances of the nested block.

Nesting layers in AutoCAD:

In addition to blocks, you can also nest layers within other layers. This feature is useful when you want to organize your drawing by grouping related objects together.

To nest a layer within another layer, follow these steps:

  1. Create the parent layer.
  2. In the Layer Properties Manager, create the child layer(s).
  3. Assign the desired properties (color, linetype, etc.) to each child layer.
  4. Set the parent layer as the current layer.

When you draw objects on a nested layer, they inherit the properties of both the parent and child layers. This allows for greater control and flexibility when managing complex drawings.


Nested items in AutoCAD provide a powerful tool for organizing and structuring your drawings. By leveraging this feature, you can improve clarity, simplify editing tasks, and enhance overall productivity.

Whether it’s nesting blocks or layers, understanding how to effectively use nested items will undoubtedly streamline your design workflow. So go ahead and take advantage of this versatile feature in AutoCAD!