Join Jeff Bartels for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating annotative dimensions and multileaders, part of AutoCAD 2009: Annotation.
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Creating properly sized dimensions and call-outs in model space has never been simple. You were always required to calculate the appropriate sizes to use based on your plot scale. Fortunately, we never have to do this again. By setting our Dimension Style and our Multileader Style to Annotative, AutoCAD will automatically size our dimensions and our call-outs. On my screen, I have got a mechanical example. This happens to be a metric drawing and it was created such that each unit equals one millimeter. Now, I'm at the point where I would like to add some dimensions to this drawing and I would like to take advantage of the Annotative property.
So I'm going to create an Annotative Dimension Style. To do that, I'm going to come up and click the Annotate tab on my ribbon and then I'll click the Dimension Styles icon. Now, I have already got a couple of dimension styles in the drawing. I'm going to create a new one by coming over and clicking New and I'm going to call my style Annotative Dimensions and we'll start with the ISO-25 settings. That way I don't have to start from scratch. Now, really there is no magic to creating an Annotative Dimension Style. All we have to do is put a check in this box. Let's click Continue. Generally speaking, all I have to do is set the size values on these tabs to equal the size that I would like my dimensions to appear on paper.
I am going to take a look at my text type. I'm happy with a two-and-a-half millimeter height for my text. Let me mention one thing about your text style. You may wonder if it's necessary to use an Annotative Text Style in your Annotative Dimensions. It's not. The fact that the Dimension Style is set to Annotative will control the size of your text. Let's take a quick look at the Symbols and Arrows tab. I'm happy with the size of two-and-a-half millimeters for my arrowheads. The only setting I want to change is on the Primary Units tab. I'm going to come down to Decimal Separator and click this flyout. Instead of using a Comma, I would like to use a Period to separate my whole units from my decimals.
Now that I'm finished, I'll come down and click OK, and I have just created an Annotative Dimension Style. Notice this little icon. This icon tells me that this dimension style is special. It's capable of automatically sizing itself to match my plot scale. Now, this style happens to be current. So I'm going to come down and click Close. Let's say I'm going to be plotting this drawing at half scale or one to two. To create my dimensions, all I have to do is come down and set my Annotation Scale to one to two and then I'm ready to go. I'm going to move up and click the Linear Dimension and we'll create one from the end point here to the end point here and we'll pull it out. I'm going to hit my spacebar to go right back into the command. We'll create one more. Let's zoom in a little bit. Notice the geometry in this area is quite small.
Let's say I was going to plot a detail of this area at twice its normal size or two to one. No problem. Let's change our Annotation Scale. I'll click the flyout, and we'll set this to two to one and then we'll create some more dimensions. So I'll click the flyout and select Aligned. I'll zoom in a little bit closer, and I'll create a dimension from the end point here to the end point here, and we'll pull it out. I'll hit the spacebar to go back into the command, I'll hit the end point here to the end point here, and we'll pull it out to the end point of this arrowhead.
Notice how my dimensions are automatically sized based on the Annotation Scale. I'm going to do Zoom Extents. Now, this drawing already has a layout created with some viewports. Let's take a look. To do that, I'm going to come down and click my Quick View Layouts tool, I'll select my Layout Preview, and then I'm going to click on Screen to dismiss the tool. On the left side of my layout, I have a viewport created that is displaying my geometry at a scale of one to two, or half scale. On the right side, I have another viewport that is viewing my geometry at a scale of two to one. Notice how my dimensions appear the same size in both viewports.
At this point, I would like to create some call-outs. Let's go back to model space. To go back, I'm going to right- click on my Quick View Layout tool and select Activate Model tab. Our Multileaders also can form to the Annotative property. To create Annotative Multileaders, I'm going to come up to the Multileaders panel in my ribbon and click the Multileader Style icon. I am going to create a new one, so I'll come down and click New, and I'm going to call this Annotative Leaders. Once again, there is no magic. All we have to do is put a check in the Annotative box, and then we'll click Continue. Just like a Dimension Style, what we want to do is set any size settings on these tabs to match the size we want our Multileaders to appear on paper.
Now, I would like my Multileaders to be similar to my dimensions. So I'm going to set my Arrowhead size to 2.5 millimeters, then I'll click on Leader Structure and I'm going to change the size of my landing distance. That's this line right here. I'm going to knock that down to 2.5 millimeters, and then finally we'll click the Content tab, and I'm going to make my Text Height two-and-a-half millimeters, and then I'll click OK. Notice we have just created an Annotative Multileader Style. It happens to be current. Let's come down and click Close.
I am going to zoom in and we'll create a leader that's sized for our two to one scale viewport. Let me check my Annotation Scale. That's already set properly. We'll come up and click the Multileader tool and I would like my tool to start at the end of this line, we'll put it out a little bit, and I'll click All Dimensions. Then I'm going to click and hold on my sliders so that I get some word wrap, typical, and I'll click Close. Let's create a leader for a half scale viewport. I'm going to zoom out and we'll pan over and zoom in on this side of the drawing. Once again, I'll change my Annotation Scale to Half Scale. We'll launch the Multileader tool and I'll create a Multileader from the center of this circle and we'll pull it out, then we'll type 6 HOLES EVENLY SPACED. I'll grab my slider and I'll give myself a little word wrap. When I'm finished, I'll come up and click the X to close the editor.
Let's jump back out and take a look at our layout. To do that, I'll right-click on the Quick View Layouts tool, and we'll select Activate Previous Layout, and notice that my call-outs appear the same size in both viewports. Now, I do have a little issue right here. Let's fix this. I am going to double-click in this viewport. We'll select the call-out, we'll grab this grip, and we'll just move it over a little bit. There we go. When I'm finished, I'll double-click outside the viewport to get back on my desktop. By setting our styles to be annotative, we never have to worry about sizing our dimensions or call-outs. All we have to do is choose an Annotation Scale and AutoCAD is more than happy to do the math for us.
- Understanding annotation settings
- Creating objects that size themselves to match plot scale
- Dividing multi-line text into columns
- Creating dynamic tables with Excel-like functionality
- Using "fields" to create automated labels
- Converting non-annotative objects to annotative