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AutoCAD is a computer-aided drafting and design program that is the industry standard for a wide variety of 2D and 3D work. AutoCAD 2008 features several improvements over previous versions, but the core functionality and workflows have remained consistent for years. Users who have any of the more recent editions of the software will find AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training to be a valuable resource. Instructor Jeff Bartels has taught and used AutoCAD for a decade, and in this course he focuses on the difficult to master concepts that matter most to professional AutoCAD users. Exercise files accompany the course.
Sometimes we have to go beyond single line notes and create paragraphs of text. At times like these it's nice to know that AutoCAD has a fully featured word processor capable of giving us professional looking results. Let's create some multi-line text. I'm going to open up a drawing. I'm going to click the Open icon. And we are going to go inside the Chapter 11 folder located within our Exercise Files directory. And I want to open up the number 4 drawing, the Road Closure Detail. Let's select this guy and click open to bring him up on our screen. Now this is the drawing I'm working on a Road Closure Detail and my single line text has served me well to create my little labels.
But at this point I would like to create a paragraph of text. Now good form says that I should create my text on its own layer. Notice I already have a layer created for my text. I also have a text style created for my text. To create a paragraph of text in AutoCAD, we are going to use the MText command. Now I can launch the MText command from my Draw toolbar. If I go all way to the bottom I can click on the Multi-Line Text icon. And when I do AutoCAD is asking me to specify first corner. You see since I'm creating a paragraph, I'm going to create a rectangle that's going to define the column of text I want to create.
So I'm going to click once and then I'm going to pull to the right a little bit and down and this rectangle will define my text column. Let me click again to finish, and AutoCAD brings up my MText Editor. Now if you are familiar with Microsoft Word at all you already know how to use several of these features because quite frankly they are the same. Let me move down into my Text field. I will click and we will type in some text. Notice I have word wrap now.
That's good enough. OK, one other thing I want you to notice is this text is actually being placed in context with my geometry. Notice if I roll my zoom wheel in and out where I see my text is where it's going to be when I close the editor. So it's in place text creation. Now at the top of my editor, I have got a ruler. Now this ruler can actually be turned off. If you do not see a ruler we can go up and click this icon right here.
If I click that, I can turn the ruler on and off. Notice at the end of the ruler I have double arrows. If I move my cursor on top of the arrows and click and hold I can drag back and forth with my mouse and I can adjust the width of my paragraph. Let me release. My ruler has tab stops very similar to Microsoft Word. If I click at the beginning of this sentence to set my cursor, I can hit my Tab key to jump to the various tab stops. Let me back space to take those away. Let's change the appearance of some of our text.
I'm going to click after this word and drag across it to highlight and then I'm going to release. Notice in the editor I have the standard Bold setting. If I click this, the text becomes bold. I have italics. I can click that. I can also underline the text if I wish. Or overline. Let me click these to turn him off. When the point comes where I finished creating my text I'm going to click the OK button to dismiss the editor. And that text is now in my drawing. I'm going to erase this guy since he was an example.
And what we will do is we will create a paragraph of text that would be associated with a road closure detail. Let me backup just a little bit. We'll pan over. Alright I'm going to re-launch the Multi-Line Text command. So I'm going to come over and click the Multi-Line Text icon. Now before I create the text notice I have got a little ABC at my cursor. If I zoom in a little bit we can see that guy better. The ABC represents the current text type. So this is showing me if I was to place this text or as I enter this text then that is the height it's going to be.
What if I wanted to change my height? Let me show you this. I'm going to pick a point on screen to start my rectangle and as I pull over to set the other corner look at my command line. Notice I have several sub-options. One of them is height. I'm in the middle of the MText command. I'm going to right-click. I will select Height, and I'm going to type in a height of 1.25. When I hit Enter notice the ABC is now bigger because once again it is a representation of the current text type. Let me create my column width and at any point I can pan and zoom while I'm in this command.
Don't worry about the height of your column. The text you enter will control the height. The most important thing is the width. So I'm going to click right down here to set my column and we will type our paragraph. OK I finished my paragraph. I purposely typed that all in lowercase. Notice I have obviously got some problems. I did that because I wanted to show you another feature of multi-line text. I can change the case of my text. I can convert it to upper or lowercase. In most civil engineering drawings all of our text is uppercase.
If I would like to convert this text to uppercase, all I have to do is select it. I can do that by clicking at the end of the sentence, holding and dragging to select the entire paragraph. I can also if you like keyboard shortcuts I can click inside the paragraph and I can press Ctrl+A. That will also select the entire paragraph. If I come right up here I have a button that represents lowercase and I have a one that represents uppercase. Let me click the Uppercase button and all of my text reverts to uppercase. Let me tweak my column width just a little bit so it looks nicer.
The editor also gives us the ability to change our justification. Notice I have got Left Justified. I can click this guy for Center Justified or Right Justified. Let's set him back to Left and we will click OK to dismiss the dialog. MText will definitely be your first choice for all of the notes and callouts you create in your drawing. Using MText is as close to a professional word processor as you can get while still being inside a CAD program.
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