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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.
Every room in the typical office project that we are working on will have a room number and the name of an employee who works in that room. We will design a block that displays these two key pieces of text inside two rectangles, so that the eye has a common visual element with which to associate this information. Before we define the attributes themselves, we will test how their values will look with single line text. In this lesson you will write some text using the attributes text style, and then fit it into a rectangle. Open the office two project file, and zoom in to this office that already contains some furniture.
Go up to the Annotation panel, and open the Text fly out. Select Single Line Text, and click some arbitrary point over here on the side of the desk. Press Enter to accept the default rotation angle of the text, and type in the word ROOM in capital letters, space, 100. Enter Enter to end the text command. Now I'd like to place a rectangle around this text. Let's measure how large it is.
Click the Measure tool on the Utilities panel. And then click a point over here somewhere. Turn on Ortho on the status bar. And as you move the cursor over here, you'll see the tooltip reads that it's about two feet. If we go up, we'll see that the height is about six inches or so. So let's create a rectangle that's two feet wide and six inches high. Press Esc to cancel out of the measure geometry command, and click the Rectangle tool here on the Draw panel. Click some arbitrary point down here.
And then specify the other end of the rectangle by inputting relative Cartesian coordinates on the keyboard. That is, type the @ symbol, to indicate relative coordinates, and then type two feet, comma six. To specify the x, comma y coordinate values. Press Enter. Next, I'd like to move the text inside the rectangle so it's centered. Select the text object.
Type pr to open the Properties palate. And change the justify option from left, to middle center. Press Esc to deselect. Then move, select the text, press Enter. And we want to move it from its justification point, which is known as the insert snap. So hold down the Shift key, right-click, and choose Insert from the Snap context menu.
Then click on the text, turn off Ortho. Turn on object snap, right-click, and choose Midpoint, to make sure that's on. And also, turn on object snap tracking on the status bar. Position the cursor over this midpoint, and move it horizontally, to acquire a tracking line.
Then position the cursor over this midpoint, and move it upward, to acquire a vertical tracking line. You keep moving it up, eventually you'll find the point where they intersect. It's at that moment that you should click, and complete the move command. So now the text is perfectly centered in the rectangle. Thinking this through, I'd like the attribute to just be the number. But I want the text object to always say ROOM, so that when we see this symbol, we know we are looking at a room number.
If I double-click on it, I can edit the text, and I can select the space and the 100. Press Delete and get rid of it. And then click outside, to end the editing operation. However, the text becomes centered again, and there's no space for the room number. So that's not what I want to do. Undo. What I really want to do is change the justify option on this text. Let's try that next.
Select the text. Change justify to middle left. But do you see what happens? The insertion point stays the same, and then the text moved over. So this isn't what I want either. Escape, and undo. Instead, there is a way to do this, without having to guess at the position of the text. Go to the Express tools tab. And select the Modify Text fly out.
And choose Justify. Select the text, press Enter, and choose ML, for middle left. That's all there is to it. The justification point was moved over, while the text remained in the same position. Double-click to edit the text. And then get rid of space 100, then click outside, then press Enter. Our room tag will have two rectangles, above and below, to represent not only the room number, but also the employee's last name. In this way, the symbol will display both the room number and the employee's last name.
Two key pieces of information relevant for every office. This will make managing room data easier an more efficient, by displaying two key pieces of information in one symbol. So let's go ahead, click on the Home tab, click the Copy command on the Modify panel, copy this rectangle, press Enter. Grab it from this end point, and snap it down here. Press Enter, to complete the command. So now we've completed the layout of this particular room tag block. By creating placeholder text, you are able to design the geometry surrounding two planned attribute definitions.
So that they will fit properly within the available space.
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