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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.
Each discipline of drafting has its own unique symbology and sometimes we need to incorporate the special symbols into our text. Let's look at where we can go to find these extra characters that we don't typically see on our keyboard. I'm going to click Open. I'm going to work on our road closure detail a little bit more. I want to go into the Chapter 11 folder located within our Exercise Files directory and I'm going to come down and select drawing number 7, the Road Closure Detail drawing. I will highlight him and we will click Open to bring him up on screen.
Now, I'm almost finished with this drawing. I just want to add a couple of symbols. I would like to add a center line symbol right at the end of this center line. Let me zoom in. The center line symbol is a standard symbol used in civil engineering drafting. Now, to add symbols to our drawing, I'm going to do that through the MTEXT command. So I'm going to come down to my draw toolbar and click the Multi-Line Text icon. Then I'm going to come up and I'm going to click my first corner and then I will come down and click my second corner.
I have just defined the size of my column of text. Since I'm going to be adding a symbol, I would like this text centered on the end of this line. Right now, I can see that my cursor is flashing on the left side so that means this text is going in left justified. I'm going to come up and click my Centered Justified icon to change my justification and now anything I type will be centered on that line. Now, all of the symbols that we can choose from an AutoCAD are located underneath this button. So before I add my center line symbol, I would like to demo some of the others.
So I'm going to type in a number first, we will type in 45, and I'm going to click the dropdown. And notice all the symbol choices that I have. Let's select Degrees. Notice, it now says 45 degrees. I have got a degree symbol. Let me backspace to take that away. Let me click the Symbol dropdown again and we will grab plus/minus. I'm really just adding a character is all I'm doing. Let me backspace to take that away. We'll look at one more. Let me click the dropdown.
If we look beneath this horizontal line, I can see several of the industry standard symbols used in civil, mechanical and architectural drafting. Let's try the Delta symbol. I will select this. Any of you could do surveying out there, we no longer have to create that little triangle by hand. We can now add it as a symbol. Alright, I'm going to backspace these characters. We will take them away because remember my goal was to add a center line symbol. So I'm going to come up and click the symbol dropdown and let's come down and click Center Line. When I select this, AutoCAD brings a center line symbol up on my screen.
And the first thing I thought when this came up was man, that's kind of ugly. I mean my current text style happens to be set to Arial, but this really doesn't look like an Arial font. Let me show you what's going on. I'm going to click after the symbol and hold, and I'm going to drag over it and release. Let me highlight that symbol. Notice, AutoCAD changed my font. That's because the Center Line symbol is not a native character in the Arial font. AutoCAD knew this, so it switched me to a different font such that I could have that character.
I show you this because depending on the font you assigned to your text style, all of these symbols may not necessarily be available. Now, since AutoCAD changed my font, I'm going to change it again. I personally don't care for the ISOCPEUR font. I'm going to click this dropdown and I'm going to select an AutoCAD font. I'm going to come down and I'm going to select the Simplex font. This font gets installed with AutoCAD. We can see the calipers next to it, represents an AutoCAD font. I will select this guy, and that looks a little bit more like what I would like to see in my drawing.
Let me click OK to dismiss the dialog. Now, I would like to add another symbol to my drawing. I would like to add a copyright symbol. Let me back up a little bit. We'll move over and we will create a copyright symbol right down here. Once again, I'm going to launch my MTEXT. Let me come over and click my Multi-Line Text icon. I will click a point to start my text column and then, I will move my cursor to the right to establish the width of my column and click again. Now, the copyright symbol is not a standard civil, mechanical or architectural symbol, so when I go to my Symbol dropdown, I am not going to see that in the list.
Where I will find the copyright symbol is all the way down at bottom under the Other option. Let me select Other and AutoCAD will bring up my Character Map and this will give me access to every character that is native to my font. In fact, every character that's native to any font installed on my machine. Let's leave it set to Arial. Now, the list of characters here is quite extensive. If I click and hold on the scroll, I can pull this guy up and down and we can see that there are several characters that I can choose from. The copyright symbol happens to be right here.
Now, notice that these images are quite small. Sometimes it can be hard to see what the symbol is. If you simply click one time on the symbol, AutoCAD will give you a nice zoomed-in view. If that happens to be the symbol you want, you can just double-click on it and AutoCAD will drop it down into the Characters to copy area. This is nothing more than a Windows clipboard function. So my symbol is in the Characters to copy area. Let me click Copy. I just copied that character in my clipboard and I'm going to close my Character Map.
Let me zoom in on my Text Editor. Since my cursor is active, I'm just going to right-click and select Paste to paste that symbol from my clipboard. Now, notice this, this is a bug in AutoCAD. We pasted the symbol, but for some reason, AutoCAD has changed my font and dropped my cursor down to the next line. Do not hit Backspace. If you hit Backspace, you will go up to the previous line, but for some reason, this odd font will stay. Instead, what I want you to do is click after your symbol and then everything is good.
I'm just going to add a space and we will type Copyright 2008. When I'm done adding my text, I will click OK to dismiss the editor. While AutoCAD will probably never have every symbol we could possibly need, they have gone a long way to provide us with many of the industry-standard symbols that we use on a regular basis.
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