Learn how to use the enter data field text element for text elements where the text content is unknown. These empty text elements can be populated later as needed.
- [Female Instructor] The next exercise will demonstrate how to use additional commands for text, such as enter data fields and drawing coordinates. Continue using the file for chapter two workingwithtext.dgn. Using view groups, select the place text model. The copy increment text command allows you to copy an existing text element and increment its value by any increment value defined. You can key in both positive or negative values. I will select the copy increment text command and using the tools settings dialogue, I will set the increment value to one.
Then I will select the MH1 text element and copy it to the additional manholes along the road center line. The number character inside the text element will automatically increment as defined. If you've ever tried to use the auto number express tool in autoCAD, I'm sure you appreciate the simplicity of this command. Next, let's take a look at the enter data field element in MicroStation. The enter data field element is unique in MicroStation since it allows you to place blank text in the drawing before the content is known.
The enter data field is recognizable by the appearance of an underscore character, by itself, or below the text characters and by a rectangle box when working with the enter data field commands. This element type allows you to place a piece of text that defines all the attributes or properties of the text element including the font size, level, color, weight, without the actual text content. Enter data fields are ideal for data that needs to be placed on the drawing but has yet to be determined through the design such as equipment numbers, room numbers, title block information, and text in standard symbols.
I want to label the streetlights in this parking lot with the streetlight numbers. You'll notice that all but one of the streetlights already have the streetlight number located next to them. I don't want to copy one of those because I want to show you how to create the enter data field element. I do want to match the existing enter data field element attributes. To do this, I will select the smart match command and select one of the existing enter data field elements to match everything about it.
Now I will select the place text command and key in three underscore characters since I know that the streetlight numbers consist of three character values. Next I will place this text next to the streetlight. Again, I will use accudraw to align this new next element to the parking lot shape. Using control plus tentative, I will snap to the parking lot shape and key in RE to rotate the text to align with the shape element. If the enter data field element is above your cursor, the orientation is probably set to 180 degrees.
Repeat the control plus tentative and snap to the opposite edge of the parking lot shape. Key in RE to align the text to the shape element. Now that the cursor is above the enter data field, I can place the text element in the drawing. Now when we receive the streetlight numbers for the project, we can come back and fill in the values for these enter data fields. To do that, I need to use the command fill in enter data fields. There are two fill in enter data field commands, one for a single text element and another for multiple text elements.
I will demonstrate using the fill in single enter data field command. Using the text panel, in the task navigation dialogue, select the command fill in single enter data field. This opens the old style text editor dialogue to allow me to automatically key in the enter data field values. I am prompted to identify an element. I will select the enter data field by selecting just above the underscore characters. The element will highlight with the box so that I can key in the streetlight number of 001 and left click anywhere if you want to accept it.
To fill in the second enter data field, I can just select above the next underscore characters and key in the next value of 002. I will keep selecting the enter data field elements until all of them are completely filled in. The text editor dialogue does tend to stay open when using the enter data field commands so you may have to close it manually. Even hitting escape doesn't seem to want to close this dialogue in this version. Just like with the text element text nodes, enter data fields will also plot unless defined otherwise.
Using the view attributes dialogue I can turn off the display of enter data fields prior to creating any plots. But remember, if you don't see the enter data field elements in your drawing, when you're ready to start filling them in be sure to come back to view attributes and turn on the enter data field display. The most common use of enter data fields is in the title block information. I will zoom into the lower right corner of the title block. Notice the underscore characters under the title block text.
If I want to edit this enter data field without using the data field commands, I can double click on it just like editing a normal text element. However, if you look at this text in the text editor dialogue, you'll see that it highlights as a single element rather than individual characters. No problem, just double click on this enter data field in the text editor to open the enter data field editor. Here I can key in the project name civil example and change the number of characters as needed and also change the justification.
I will pick okay to close the dialogue. Now, I need to issue a left click anywhere in view one to accept this change. The reason the title block text is generally placed as enter data fields is more because of history than any other reason. In previous versions of MicroStation if we wanted to edit text in a cell, that text had to be in an enter data field format. In the newer versions of MicroStation we can now edit text in a cell without it being an enter data field.
As you can see in the remaining portions of my title block text, I have just placed normal text because it's easier to edit and work with than enter data fields. Some organizations have transitioned their enter data fields to normal text or to a text field that we discussed earlier. I'm sure a lot of you will probably find many enter data fields in your organization's standard title blocks. Now you know how to place, populate, and edit enter data fields in MicroStation.
I have to admit, I hope someday they disappear completely as there are much easier ways of doing this now. The next exercise will demonstrate how to place coordinate labels in a drawing.
- 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