Join Jeff Bartels for an in-depth discussion in this video Squeezing text into tight spaces, part of AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets.
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Sometimes we have more to say than what we have room for in our drawings. In cases like this we need some strategies for squeezing large amounts of text into tight spaces. In this lesson we're going to take a look at a few text squeezing strategies. On my screen I have an example of a mechanical drawing. Let's zoom in on the title block area. Now, currently all my text fits nicely within these rectangular shapes. Let's say I would like to change my drawing number information. I am going to double-click this. As you can see this is single line text and I'm going to change this to Concept 1.
I'll press Enter and then I'll hit Escape. Now I have a problem. My text doesn't fit within the title block. To fix it I'm going to select this text and then I'm going to drag my Quick Properties Tool over a little bit and I'm going to change the Justification of this text to Fit. When I do, watch the grips. Notice I now have a grip on either side. I'm going to click this first grip and currently my Ortho is turned on, which is great. I can drag this straight over. My running object snap is getting in the way, so I am going to press F3 to turn that off, and I'm going to drag this grip over to here.
I will then grab this grip and I will drag it over to here. When I am finished I will press Escape. Using the Fit Justification we can force our text to fit between two points without changing the text type. All right, let's make another change. It turns out my Client name is incorrect. So I'm going to double-click on this text. As you can see this is multiline text and I'm going to click right here and I'll add World Wide and then I will click on screen to close the Editor. Now I have got another problem. My text is nicely centered within the space.
However, it's starting to overlap my Client label. To fix this text, I will click to select it and then I'll come over to the Full Properties Palette and I'll come down to Line space factor. Line space factor represents the distance between the lines. Now, the default value of 1 represents single line spacing. I'm going to change this to .7 to tighten up the distance between the lines. Let's zoom in and I'm going to grab this center grip. Drag this text down slightly. When I am finished I will press Escape.
Let's do one more thing. It seems my client name is still incorrect. I am going to double click this again and I will click at the end of the name and I am going to add North American division. Now, that's a lot of text and I would like to keep this down to two lines if I could. To fix this text, I will drag to select it and then I will open the Format panel and I will adjust the Width factor of the characters. If I click these arrows, I can adjust the Width factor in point 1 increments or I can enter a specific Width factor over here.
I am going to ratchet this down to about .7 and then I will click on screen to close the Editor. It's inevitable that at some point you are going to have more text than you have room for in your drawing. Fortunately, AutoCAD gives us several tools that allow us to squeeze our text down to a useable size.
- Creating macro enabled tools
- Using Auto Complete
- Disabling tool mode settings on the fly
- Moving and copying entities using Windows shortcuts
- Using the Calculator palette
- Formatting text
- Creating parent/child dimension styles
- Making dimensions easier to read
- Making global edits to attribute data and layer names
- Exchanging one block symbol for another
- Inserting content using drag and drop
- Navigating layer list using the keyboard
- Importing layouts from template files
- Consolidating backup files