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In AutoCAD 2011 New Features, instructor Jeff Bartels highlights productivity and creativity enhancing additions to the AutoCAD toolset. This course covers improved functions for selecting and creating geometry, updated modification tools for hatches and polylines, simplified parametric constraint tools, and the new dynamic surface modeling techniques for creating complex shapes. Exercise files accompany the course.
We can apply parametric constraints to our text in AutoCAD 2011. This means we can create dynamic labels that follow our geometry if our design changes. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to create parametrically constrained text objects. On my screen I have a civil engineering example. This is a drawing of a cul-de- sac in a proposed subdivision. Let's zoom in a little bit. This green line work represents the location of the proposed sanitary sewer design. These blocks at the endpoints represent the location of the sanitary manholes.
As you can see, I have already added several labels to this geometry. Let's zoom in on one of these. If I select this, we can see it's a simple single line text object. My label contains a couple of carets that represent the direction of flow inside the pipe. I also have my pipe length, my diameter, the composition of my pipe, and my pipe slope. Now, it never fails. Once you have finished labeling your entire drawing, your design changes. For instance, I am going to back up a little bit.
Let's select this line and we will select this manhole. I will click the grip at the endpoint and I will place it to the endpoint of this lot line. When I am finished, I will hit Escape. Notice my label stayed put. In the old days I would now have to move this label down and try and rotate it and realign it to this geometry. In AutoCAD 2011, I can create a parametric relationship between this label and this line. To do that, I am going to go to the Parametric tab and we will start by creating a coincident constraint.
I will select my line. Make sure and select towards the middle so that you get the midpoint constraint. Then I will select my text. Now, before I click this, take a look at the constraint location. That's the insertion point of this text. When I created this label, I used a bottom-center insertion point. As soon as I click the text object, it locks that point to the midpoint of this line. Now we will move up and we will create a parallel constraint. Once again, I will select my line and then I will select my text. And that's it.
This label is now locked to this line. Let's make another design change. I will select my geometry and the manhole. I will select the grip and we will place it to the endpoint of this line. As fast as my design changes, my labels change as well. One thing that isn't changing is this length. I am going to have to update that manually. Since my Dynamic Input toggle is turned on, if I select this line and hover over the grid, I can see this line is approximately 134 feet long.
So let's hit Escape. I will double-click my text and I will change this to 134. I will hit Enter. Then we will hit Escape to exit the text editor. Just think of how many times you align text labels to your geometry. If you can apply your labels using geometric constraints, any time your design changes, your labels will automatically go along for the ride.
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