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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.
In this lesson you will insert furniture block and room tags into vacant offices. As you do so, you will be prompted to enter attribute values on the command line. Entering these values fulfills the purpose of attributes, which is to store this non graphical information. These values represent the so-called intelligence you are building into the drawing. In other words, not only do you have geometric representations of furniture, but you will also have relevant furniture data stored as well, recording the manufacturer, model number and price. Before we insert furniture blocks, let's set the furniture layer current. Do so by opening the layer drop down and clicking on the word furniture. Then use the Insert tool on the Block panel, and select the Desk Block. Make sure Specify On Screen is selected here for Insertion Point, but deselected for Scale and Rotation, because we'll use the default scale and angle values that are set in the dialog box.
Verify that explode in unchecked and click okay. Click a point here in this office to locate the desk and then notice on the command line it says price, with the suggested value of 1000. I'll type 1500 and press enter. It says verify attribute values, because the attribute definition had the verify mode selected. This time, however the default value has been changed to the value that is just typed, so all I have to do is press enter to verify that value.
Let's insert another block. This time select armchair, click Okay, and place it up here, right above the desk. Let's type a different price this time. Let's say the armchair is $800. Type 800, Enter, Enter. I'll press enter again to repeat the insert command, and select the chair block, Okay.
Click a point down here somewhere, to locate that chair, then let's type 650 for the price of this chair. Enter, and Enter again to verify that value. I could insert another chair over here, but it may be quicker just to copy the existing block, and its attribute values are copied with it. I'll use Ortho so I can copy this over horizontally, and I'll click a point over here somewhere. Press Enter to end the command.
Now, it will be easier to manipulate these objects as I want to copy them into the adjacent offices, if we group these blocks together. So, click the group tool, and then select the four blocks, and press Enter. Then use the Copy command, then copy this group. Turn off Ortho. Then go ahead and copy it into each office.
Then go back and select this group, click its singular grip, press the Spacebar twice to cycle to the rotate command. Move the mouse so that you rotate more or less parallel to the wall and then click the grip and stretch it over so its closer to the wall. Press Escape, and repeat that process, in each office. Press the Spacebar twice, to cycle to rotate, and then just click the grip and stretch it over.
Again, And 1 more time over here. This time, however, I think I will rotate it a bit differently, because this office is larger. Press escape to deselect. Now, this office could have another chair, perhaps. I'll toggle off Group Selection and then copy one of these chairs over to the side, and then move them so that the spacing more or less looks equal. I'll toggle Group Selection back on and then click the desk. (audio playing) So this new chair isn't part of the existing group. I can add to the group very easily by clicking this button. Group edit.
Click the "Add Objects" option, and select the chair and press Enter. Now, all of those pieces of furniture belong to that group. Press Escape. Our next task is to insert the room tag in each room. I'll zoom out and go over here to this top left office. Let's change the current layer to tags. Insert, the room tag, and click okay. Click a point in the office to locate the tag.
And then on the command line it says room number 100. I'll press Enter to accept that default value, and I'll type, in capital letters, SMITH as the employee's last name, and Enter. So the values that I just entered on the command line appear here as attribute values. Let's try that again. I enter for insert, press enter to repeat the last black which is ruin tag, click, type 101, enter, and then we'll type Johnson as the last name. Enter.
Now let's change a system variable called "ATTDIA." It stands for attribute dialog box. Let's change that to a value of one, which means this feature is on. Now insert the same block in the next room. The difference is, instead of being prompted for the attributes on the command line, you're prompted in a duologue box interface. So this might be more convenient for you. It's really a matter of personal preference.
So the next room will be 102. I'll just change that value. Press Tab to go to the next text box and type Williams. Okay, go down here and continue the process for the last two rooms. This will be room 103. I'll press the right arrow to go to the end of the selected field back space 103 tab.
This will be Jones, okay. And once more Enter, Enter, click, Right arrow, Backspace 4, Tab, and Brown. Okay. In this lesson you populated a vacant office with room tags and office furniture. In the process you have built an intelligent drawing that not only displays the correct geometry, but also acts as a data base of relevant visible and invisible data.
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