AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac
Illustration by Richard Downs

Creating and editing tables


From:

AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac

with Jeff Bartels

Video: Creating and editing tables

One place where the Mac version of AutoCAD deviates greatly from the Windows version is in the creation of Table objects. You see, every table on the Mac starts with the same generic form, by reshaping and refining that form you can create a finished table. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to create and edit a simple table. On my screen I have a landscaping plan for a backyard pond. Along with the drawing I have a summary of quantities that includes all of the plantings required to construct this design. Our goal in this lesson is to recreate this table.

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Watch the Online Video Course AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac
2h 45m Beginner Oct 29, 2010

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AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac with Jeff Bartels covers the fundamental differences between the 2011 Mac OS X version of AutoCAD and the venerable PC edition, allowing designers to leverage existing AutoCAD skills and easily transition to the new environment. This course runs through both a typical 2D and 3D design workflow, covering its workspace, tools, customization options, and strategies users can apply working in a mixed Windows and Mac environment. Exercise files are included with the course.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting preferences
  • Customizing the interface
  • Opening and managing drawings
  • Constructing a 2D drawing
  • Creating and inserting block references
  • Building a library using the Content Manager
  • Making references to external files and images
  • Plotting drawings
  • Creating a model in 3D space
Subject:
CAD
Software:
AutoCAD AutoCAD for Mac
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Creating and editing tables

One place where the Mac version of AutoCAD deviates greatly from the Windows version is in the creation of Table objects. You see, every table on the Mac starts with the same generic form, by reshaping and refining that form you can create a finished table. In this lesson, we're going to learn how to create and edit a simple table. On my screen I have a landscaping plan for a backyard pond. Along with the drawing I have a summary of quantities that includes all of the plantings required to construct this design. Our goal in this lesson is to recreate this table.

So I'm going to pan the drawing down, let's zoom in and I'll drag this guy over to give ourselves some room. To create a table I am going to make sure that the Annotation tool set is current and then I'll come down and launch the Table command by clicking this icon. I will then pick a point on screen to start my table and then I'll drag down and to the right, to set the number of columns and rows. It looks like my original table requires three columns and in addition to the header I need seven more rows.

So it looks like the table that I have stretched out here is going to work just fine. I'm going to click to specify the second corner, and AutoCAD automatically drops me into the title cell where is can start typing. I'll type Planting List and I'll press Enter. Notice that the Text Editor visor is open that's because each cell in the table acts like a multi-line text object. Now, when I am working inside the table I can navigate from cell to cell by using my keyboard. Each time I press Return I'll drop down a cell.

If I pressed Shift+Return I can jump up one cell, pressing the Tab key will jump me to the right one cell and if I press Shift+Tab I can jump to the left one cell. I'm going to fill in all of the column headers. I'll type Symbol. Then I'll press tab to jump over. I'll type Species, Tab and QTY. When I am finished I'll move up and click Save. Let's talk about editing the geometry of the table.

If I select this AutoCAD displays several grips, I can use these to change the size of the rows and columns. If I hover over a grip AutoCAD will tell me exactly what that grip does. Notice that AutoCAD is also displaying a visor containing some Table tools; we'll talk more about these in just a second. I'm going to select this grip on the end and I'll drag this over to the left to change the width of my table. Let me mention that my running Object Snaps are currently turned off. If yours are on it might be good idea to turn them off because they tend to get in the way when you're stretching table geometry.

I am going to place this edge right here. Now this resized my columns equally. Maybe I'd like to resize a specific row or column. To do that I will single-click inside a cell and I then I can use these grips on the inside edges to make my changes. I am going to select this grip and I'll drag this over to the right and click. Notice the visor containing the Table tools is displayed again. I am going to press Escape to close this. And here's the rule of thumb, if you double-click inside a cell you get access to the Text tools.

I am going to click outside to close this. If you single-click inside a cell you get access to the Table geometry and Formatting tools. Using this visor, I can Add or Remove columns or rows. I can Merge or Unmerge cells. I can match the Properties from one cell to another. I can also insert Blocks or Fields or Formulas. If I click this flyout I can expand the Visor and get some additional tools. I can use these icons to size my rows and columns equally, I can Manage cell contents, or I can remove all overrides and return everything to the default standard Table Style settings.

I am going to press Escape to close the Visor. Let's enter to the names of our plantings. I am going to double-click to access the Text editor then I'll type these in pressing Return after each one. When I'm finished I'll move up and click the Save button. Now I would like to make an adjustment to the width of this column. I'll do that by clicking once inside this cell. I'll select this grip and I'll drag it to the right far enough that the Japanese Maple text doesn't require a Carriage Return.

When I am finished I'll press Escape. Now let's take care of the text in the Quantity column. I'm going to double-click to access the Text Editor and I will enter these values quickly, pressing Return after each one. When I am finished I'll click Save. Notice that AutoCAD has recognized that these are numbers and it has automatically Right- Justified them in the column. Now I would like the contents of all of my cells to be Middle Center-Justified. To make that change I don't have to do it one cell at a time.

I am going to click up here and then I'll drag and create a crossing window selection that selects all of these cells and unfortunately there is no alignment option in the Table Visor, there is one over here in the Properties Inspector palette. I am going to click this icon to Middle Center-Justify the contents of all of these cells. When I am finished I'll press Escape. As long as I'm selecting multiple cells I'm going to click, hold and drag and I'll select both of these cells and then I'll come up to the Table tools and I'll select Merge>Merge By Row.

When I am finished I'll press Escape. Let's add the word total to this cell. To do that I'll double-click to access the Text Editor and I'll type Total and when I am finished I'll press Save. Now when you do adjust the Alignment, to do that all click once, I'll come over to the Properties Inspector palette and I'll Right-Justify the contents of the cell. When I am finished I'll press Escape. I would like to add up all of the values in this column. To do that I'll click once inside this cell, and then I'll come up to my Table tools.

I'll open the Formulas flyout and I'll select Sum. Now this is very similar to a program like Microsoft Excel, AutoCAD just needs to know the names of the cells that I'd like to add, I can give AutoCAD that information by using a selection window. I'm going to click right here and then I'll come down and click here and AutoCAD uses that window to grab these cell names. When I press Enter, I can see the total down here in the cell. Now notice that this number has a gray background. Don't worry - that background will not print; it only displays on screen and it represents that this value is the result of a calculation.

The nice thing about automating this number is if the values in this table change later, for instance we'll make this 25 and I'll click Save, you can see that the Total will update automatically. I am going to double click and I'll put this number back the way it was. Let's zoom out and we'll add our Block symbols to the Table. To do that, I'll click in my first cell and I'll come up to the Table tools and I'll click the Insert Block icon. I will then select the dogwood block.

I am going to set this block to AutoFit and I would like it to be aligned Middle Center-Justified in the cell. And when I click OK notice that the block is scaled to fit perfectly within the current cell size. Now I would like this to be a little bit larger, so I'm going to grab this grip and I'll pull it down to make this cell larger and the block scales up automatically. When I am finished I'll press Escape. Now I would like all of these rows to be sized equally. To do that, I'll click, hold and drag and I'll select all of the rows, then I'll come over and expand the Table Cell Visor and then I'll come over and select Size rows equally.

When I am finished I'll press Escape. Now I can insert the rest of the blocks. I'll click in this cell. I'll click Insert Block. We'll make this one blue juniper, AutoFit, Middle Center-Justified, OK. When I am finished inserting my Blocks I'll press Escape to close the table cell visor. As you can see, when creating a table using the Mac version of AutoCAD there's less upfront work on your part. Each table starts by picking two points on screen then you have the creative freedom to configure the table to suit your needs.

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