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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.
When we want to control the appearance of our text normally we think of changing our font. While AutoCAD will certainly allow us to change fonts, we can actually go one step further and create text styles. Now a text style is a name that is given to a collection of text settings. All text in our AutoCAD drawings is associated with a text style. I'm going to open a drawing I'm going to come up and click my Open icon and we are going to go into the Chapter 11 folder within our Exercise Files directory and we are going to open up 2 drawings this time. I'm going to click and highlight the Text Style Intro drawing and I'm going to hold my Shift key and I'm going to click the Title Block drawing.
We will select both of those and then I'm going to click my Open button to open them on screen. Remember that AutoCAD supports a multi-document environment so although I can't see the Title Block drawing, it is still open. Now up until this point, all text that we have been creating has been quite frankly very ugly. Let's try and correct that I'm going to go in and change my current text style. If I look up into my Style Control I can see that Standard is my current text style. Let me click the icon going into my Text Style dialog box. From here on the left side of the screen I can see a list of all of the styles I have defined in my drawing.
Currently I just have the Standard text style. Now all drawings will have Standard because we have to have some sort of style in order to create text. If we look below the Styles list, I can see a preview of the highlighted text style. Notice, yes, in fact the Standard style is the ugliest text on earth. Let's fix that. I'm going to move up to the top of the dialog and in this area I can assign a font to my style right now it's set to txt.shx. Notice that the font has a caliper next to it.
That caliper represents that the font is an AutoCAD font. Let me click the dropdown in the Font Name area and notice that I have several fonts that I can choose from. Some of these have a TT icon next to the name. The TT stands for True Type. That means it's a Windows font. Now the number of fonts that we see in this list is directly related to the number of fonts that you have installed on your machine. So the more fonts you have, the more fonts you are going to see in this list. I'm going to pulldown here and we are going to set our Standard text style to the Arial font.
Let me select Arial and as soon as I do, the preview looks great. Let me click Apply and then I'm going to click Close. Let's try and create some text now. I'm going to come up to my Draw pulldown I'm going to come to the bottom of the menu to Text and then in the flyout I'm going to select Single Line Text. Were I pick a point in screen for my text type I'm going to use a height of 3 and for my rotation angle I'm going to hit Enter and accept the default. Alright let's type something.
Notice this text looks much nicer than what we have seen previously. Alright, all I did was assigned a new font to my Standard text style. Let's create a new text style. I can do that by coming up and clicking the Text Style icon. If I want to create a new style I'm going to come over and click the New button. Now the name that we give for our Text Style should be descriptive of what the text is used for. For instance we could create a style for our callouts.
We can create a text style for our dimensions. We can create one for our title text. So generally speaking we always name it for what it's used for. I'm going to call these titles. This is going to be the style that I use for all of my titles. I will click OK. Now that I have created the name, I'm going to assign this a font. Now since this is title text it's going to be of a heavier weight than the standard Arial font. I'm going to click the dropdown and I'm going to select Arial Black. That is a very bold font. We can see that in the preview. Now in addition to selecting my font I can also set my size right here.
Now good practice is to leave the height set to 0. This way when I enter text using this style, AutoCAD will always ask me what height I would like to use. If I were to enter a height in this field, I'm hard coding a height on the style and every time I insert text using this text style it would always go in using the height that I assign. So to give myself a little bit of flexibility I'm going to leave this set to 0. Notice at the bottom of the dialog I've got an Effects area. This is where I can change some of the special effects for my style.
The dialog box does have a question mark. Once I click the button, I can bring the question mark down to the setting of my choice and click and AutoCAD will tell me everything I need to know about that setting. Let me hit Escape to clear the Help text. One setting I would like to show you is the Width Factor. This controls the width of your characters. Currently it's set to one which means the characters are going to go in as they were defined by the font. Let me highlight this number and I'm going to set it to 0.5. Notice my preview changed. The Width Factor is just another way that I can tweak my characters.
Let me set this back to 1. Alright, I'm going to click the Apply button because I'm done to creating my text style and I'm going to click Close to dismiss the dialog. If we look at the top of the screen in my Style Control I can see that my titles text style is now current. So any text that I create will conform to the titles text style. Let's create some text. I'm going to come up to my Draw pulldown, I'm going to come all the way to the bottom of the menu and then in the flyout I'm going to select Single Line Text.
I will go ahead and pick a point on the screen to start. Since this is title text I'm going to type it in a little bit larger. I'm going to put this in at a text height of 5 and I'll hit Enter and we'll hit Enter one more time. When I'm all done typing my text I will hit Enter twice to get out of the command. Now you maybe asking yourself, why are styles important? Couldn't I do the same type of thing just by adjusting fonts? Styles actually give us more flexibility. You see if I want to update the appearance of my text all I have to do is update my style and all my text will change.
Let me show you what I mean. I'm going to close this drawing. Now we can see our Title Block which is been open all along. Let me zoom in the lower right hand corner. This Title Block drawing looks quite a bit better than it did before because now my text is conforming to text styles. If I look up at my Style Control I can see that I have several styles created, one of which happens to be Titles. This style is controlling this heavy bold text. Let me click in Model space to clear the menu. So if I wanted to update the appearance of all of my bold text, all I have to do is revise my style.
Let's try that. I'm going to come up and click my Text Style button. Let's highlight the Titles text. Right now it happens to be set to Arial Black. I'm going to click the dropdown and will select another font. I'm going to try the Forte font. Let me click this and we can see the change in the preview. I will click Apply and we will click Close. If we want to see our new style all we have to do is Regen our screen. Let me come up and click my View pulldown, I'll select Regen and we can see that all of my text that was associated with the Titles text style has been updated.
Text styles control the appearance of all of the text in our drawing. As you can see by making a simple modification to a style we can automatically old text that is associated with that style.
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