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Join Jeff Bartels as he covers the most important features of this industry-standard drafting and design application in AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training. This course begins with a tour of AutoCAD's interface and the tools used to create basic shapes. It then focuses on the methods used to modify and refine geometry while emphasizing accuracy and good habits to build a solid design foundation. The course covers using layers, line types, and colors to organize a drawing file and explains how to efficiently annotate a design and prepare it for final output. Throughout the title, Jeff shares industry techniques used in production and reinforces concepts using practical examples. Exercise files are included with the course.
When we want to control the appearance of the text, normally, we think about changing our font. While AutoCAD would certainly allow us to change fonts, we can actually go one step further and create a Text Style. A Text Style is a name that's given to a collection of text settings. On my screen, I have a drawing that represents a title block. Typically, when we think about title blocks, we think about text. I am going to zoom in on the bottom of this drawing, such that this text is a little bit easier to see, because I want to mention that the appearance of the text objects in this title block is being controlled by a couple different text styles.
For instance, I have created a style for this large title text and I have created another style for the smaller text labels. Let's create a new style so we can see how the process works. To create a text style, I am going to move up to the Annotation Panel and I will click this fly-out and right here I can see the name of the current Text Style, right now that is Standard. Now all AutoCAD drawing starts with a Standard Text Style because you have to have at least one style in order to create text. To create a new style, I will click the Text Style icon.
This brings up a dialog box that I can use to build my new style. Notice, that the Current style is listed right here. In this box on the left, I can see a listing of all of the Text Styles that are defined in this drawing. If I select a style from this list, I can see a preview of that style right down here. On the right-side of the dialog box, there are some buttons that I can use to manage my styles. As you can see I can Set a style Current. I can create a New text style or I can Delete an unused text style. Now I would like to create a new style, so I will click the New button, and then I will give my style a name.
I am going to call this General Notes. It's always a good idea to make the name of your style descriptive of what the text is used for. Let's click OK and now that my style has been created, I can use these settings in the middle of the dialog box to control the appearance of the style. I am going to start by selecting a font. To do that, I will click the Font Name fly-out and then I can click-and-hold down on this slider and I can drag up and down through the font list, and as I drag through here, notice that some of these fonts have a caliper next to the font name and some of these have a TT icon next to the name.
The caliper represents that this font was installed with AutoCAD and the TT stands for True Type, this is a Window's font. Now everybody's system is a little bit different, so you may see different font names in my list than you see in yours. I would like to select an AutoCAD font. I am going to scroll down here to find Simplex and I will select that font from the menu. Next, if I wish I can assign a Height to my Text Style. For right now I am going to set this to 0 and then I will press Tab to accept the value.
It's probably a good idea at this point to use zero for our text height when we make a style. This way, anytime I create text using the style, AutoCAD will ask me for a text height. Finally, do I want my Text Style to have any special effects? For instance, whenever I create text using this style, do I want the text to be Upside down or Backwards or Vertical? Maybe I would like to adjust the Width factor, this controls the width of the characters. If I change this value to 2, you can see it makes my characters twice as wide.
I am going to set this back to 1. Let's take a look at Oblique Angle. This controls the slant of our text. I have just set this to a 20 degree angle and you can see this gives the style somewhat of an italicized look. I am going to set the Angle back to 0, and since I am finished with my Style Settings and my General Notes style is Current, I am going to click Apply and Close. Let's back up a little bit and I would like to create a Single Line Text object. To do that I will click this fly-out and I will select Single Line.
I would like to start my text right here and I am going to use a text height of 0.15 and I will hit Enter, and then I will hit Enter to accept the rotation angle of 0. This is what the General Notes style looks like, Enter, Enter. It's important to note that since the General Notes Style is current, all text that I create from this point on is going to look like this. Now, if I would like to set a different Text Style current, I can do that by opening up the Annotation Panel and then I will click the Text Style fly-out and from here I can select from any of the other text styles in this drawing.
I am going to set Titles current and then I will create another Single Line Text object. I will start right here and then I will hit Enter to accept the default. This is what the Titles style looks like. Enter, Enter. Now I created this style a little bit ago, when I was working on this Title block. This style is being used to control the appearance of these large titles. Now you maybe wondering, why text styles are important? Well, text styles give us more freedom over the appearance of our text objects.
You see, if you modify the properties of a text style, all of the text that was created using that style will update. Let's try that. I am going to open up the Annotation Panel, then I'll come down and click the Text Style icon. Right now, the Titles style is current. Let's assign a different font to the style. To do that, I will open up the fly-out, and I would like to select a Times New Roman style and instead of clicking-and-dragging through the slider, I am just going to type the letter T and notice that AutoCAD will take me alphabetically to that point in the list.
We can see the new preview right down here. Let me drag this box up a little bit and I will click Apply and Close. And notice that all of the text that was created using the Titles style has updated on screen. Now if for some reason your text did not update, all you have to do is regen your drawing. Simply type RE and press Enter to update your text. Text Styles control the appearance of all of the text in our drawing. As you can see, by making a simple modification to a style, we can automatically update all text that was created using that style.
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