Learn how to place text fields, leader notes, and numbered callouts in a drawing.
- [Instructor] Continue using a file for chapter two, working with text.dgn. And using view groups, select the place text model. The next text command that I want to discuss is the text field option for text elements. Fields in MicroStation are the same as in any other Windows application. You already use fields in Word and in AutoCAD when you add a pages number, automated date values, and other field values. In MicroStation, we have all of those common fields as well, but we also have CAD related fields that we can use.
For this example, I want to label the parking lot with the area value of the pavement. I will select the place text command and using the text editor dialog, I will right click to access the insert field command. Using the field type dialog, verify that the element properties is selected and pick OK. If I look at the prompt field, it is asking me to identify a source element for the field property. I will select the shape element for the parking lot. The field's editor dialog opens, displaying all of the properties available for a shape element.
Use the left side of this dialog to review the property values available, and use the right side of this dialog to tweak the appearance of the property value. A preview of the results is displayed at the bottom of the dialog. I want to display the area of the parking lot, so I will expand the geometry panel and select the area property. I don't want to use the default labels, so I will set that to false. And I don't need four decimal places for the accuracy, so I will change that to zero.
Now, I want to add a custom suffix of space, sf, for square feet. If the preview is acceptable, pick OK and place the text in the parking lot area. If I want to align this text with the angle of the parking lot, I can use a method along element to align with the parking lot edge. I can also use AccuDraw to align with the parking lot. Using the control key and a tentative button, I will snap to the edge of the parking lot.
This will rotate the text element, but the text is not right reading, so I will modify the active angle until I see the text at the correct angle. I will use the angle of 180 and place the field in the middle of the parking lot. Thinking back for this example, it might have been easier to just use the along element text method and then move the text element after placement, you decide. The benefit of using text fields over text elements is that if the parking lot graphics are modified, the area text field is updated automatically.
I will select the modify command and modify the left edge of the parking lot 10 feet longer. Notice the change in the field value when completed. Much more productive than just simple text. The next command I want to take a look at is the place note command. The place note command allows you to place a text element with a leader line. The note element is really a dimension, but you use it just like placed text. If you look at the tool settings dialog, you have a choice of placing a note or placing a call out.
I will select the place note first. I will leave the text rotation to horizontal and I don't want to have a text frame on the text element. Using the text editor dialog, I will key in the text remove trees. The prompt field is now asking me to define a start point. This is the arrowhead end of the leader line. I will point to this tree and drag the cursor and issue a left mouse click to locate the text in the drawing. If I ever need to move the text element, the leader line will follow automatically.
I will select the move command and move the text to a new location. If I need to move the arrowhead end of the line, I will need to use the modify command and select the arrowhead end of the line and move it to the new location. To add additional leaders to the same note, you can use the place note command without any text to add blank leaders to the note text. Using this method, the additional leaders added after the note has been placed are not associated with the existing text element, so they will not automatically modify when the text is moved.
You can use the modify command to modify the leaders after the text has been moved. You can place multiple leaders when placing a note element by using the control key during the place note command. I will select the place note command and add a multi-leader text element. Using the text editor dialog, I will key in the text remove trees and point to the first tree. Now, I will hold down the control key before locating the text in the drawing. This allows me to add additional leaders to point to a second tree.
I will use escape to stop this command. Now, if I move the multi-leader note element, both leaders will automatically follow. Next, let's place a call out in the drawing. Using the place note command, I have the option of placing a call out in the tool settings dialog. I will select that icon and I need to define what type of shape I want around the call out text value. I will change the text frame to circle and then using the text editor, I will key in the number one, and place this note in the drawing.
The appearance of these notes and call outs are controlled by text and dimension styles, which will be covered in a later chapter. To edit existing text elements, all you have to do is hit the escape key to access the selection command and hover on a text element until it is highlighted. Then, double click using the left mouse button to edit it in the text editor dialog. To accept the text edit, just issue a left mouse click anywhere in a blank area of the view window.
The next exercise will demonstrate how to use some additional commands available for text, such as spell checker, change case, and change text attributes.
- Placing, points, curves, and line streams
- Editing text
- Working with dimensions
- Element attributes
- Changing the display and scales of various linestyle types
- Working with groups
- Modifying and manipulating fences
- Using measure commands
- Working with cells