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In this workshop, AutoCAD expert and author Scott Onstott teaches you how to build intelligence into drawing objects so that the symbols used in your drawings carry meaning beyond simple geometric representations. Learn how to embed manufacturer, model, and pricing data into commonly used blocks; create invisible attributes that embed data in geometry without it appearing in the drawing area; and use field codes to display information from the AutoCAD database inside text objects. Plus, discover how to format, edit, and extract attribute data for use in external spreadsheets and/or for display within tables in AutoCAD drawings.
Fields can be inserted anywhere you have text. They allow you to display different types of information which are part of the drawings non-graphical database. In this lesson you will create fields to display the floor area of each room in the sample office drawing. Go ahead and open the Office 8 project file. And then open the Layer properties manager. Turn on all the layers, and then turn off the header layer. So that you can see the area line in each door opening.
Set Layer tags current. And close the Layer properties manager. I'd like to design a field that appears right underneath the room tag displaying the area of each room. To do so, open the Text flyout and select Single Line Text. Click a point underneath the room tag. And press Enter to accept the default rotation. Instead of actually typing text, I'm going to right-click and choose Insert Field from this shortcut menu. This is a listing of all the different types of fields that you can use. There's lots of different types of information.
Such as Plot Date, Save Date, and so on. But I'm interested in object data. So I'll click Object, and then click this button to select the object. Click right here, to select this closed polyline. And its list of properties is listed here. Area happens to be at the top of the list, so it's selected by default. You can set the precision right here. Let's say we're happy with 0.0 precision, so that our value looks like this. Now right now, this is showing us the area of this room in square inches. I'm interested in knowing the number of square feet, so I'll click the Additional Format button and enter a conversion factor.
Thinking this through, there are 12 inches in a foot. So 1 square foot is equal to 12 times 12 inches, or 144 square inches. If we want to convert from square inches to square feet, we need to divide by this factor. So the conversion factor should read, 1/144. This means 1 divided by 144, and it gives us a value of 81.3 square feet.
I'll click OK, and OK again. We see the value appear here in the field. But it just says 81.3. Let's type a space, because we are, after all, inside the Text command. Don't forget. Go ahead and type sq.ft. For square feet, and then press Enter, Enter to end the Text command. (NOISE) The field has a gray background around it. And this is merely to identify it as a field to you visually on screen, but this background will not plot.
Let's just go ahead and move this over to visually center it underneath the tag. Let's create another field over here. Again, Text, click a point, Enter, right-click, Insert Field, click this button and this time select. This object, which is a region, in this case. It says Region. But it also has an area property.
The precision stays the same. But we do need to go back under Additional Format, and type in 1 over 144. Okay? Okay again, space, square feet, Enter, Enter. I'll just move this over, right about like that. And we might save some time if we simply copy this text object. From this corner to this corner. And while I'm at it, I'll go ahead and add it here and down here. But I have to remember that I need to update these three. I don't want to leave it like that, because these reference this particular object.
Let's go ahead and double-click to edit the text. Double-click on the field to edit it. Click here and select this object. Additional Format, 1 over 144, OK and OK. Click outside, and then click on this one. Again, select the right object. Change the format conversion factor.
And complete them all. This should be a larger square footage. It is a larger office. It's 120 square feet, that's about right. Perhaps this one needs to be moved over because it has an extra digit.
Finally, we can zoom out and turn off the Area layer. The field codes remain. In this lesson, you created text objects and filled them with fields, displaying the area property of the closed objects found in each room.
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