You will have many uses for text in your drawings, including titles of views, notes, and dimensions. Each of these may require a different height, orientation, and style of lettering. To control the text, you will need to learn three basic operations:
AutoCAD offers two types of text objects: single-line and multiline. Single-line text makes a distinct object of each line of text, whether the line is one letter or many words. This type of text is useful for titles of drawings, titles of views within a drawing, room labels, and schedules. Dimensions, tables, and longer notes are done with multiline text. AutoCAD treats a whole body of multiline text as one object, whether the text consists of one letter or many paragraphs.
The two types of text share the same text styles, but each has its own command for placing text in the drawing. When you modify text, you can use the same commands for either type of text, but the commands operate differently for multiline than for single-line text. Any text used in dimensioning—a process by which you indicate the sizes of various components in your drawing—is handled slightly differently from other text and will be covered in Chapter 11.
We will progress through this chapter by first looking at the process of setting up text styles. We will then start placing and modifying single-line text in the cabin drawing. Finally, we’ll look at the methods for creating and controlling multiline text as it is used for notes and tables. If you work in a non-AEC profession or trade, be assured that the features presented in this chapter will apply directly to your work. The basic principles of working with text in AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT “cross the curriculum” (an educational metaphor) and apply universally.
In AutoCAD, a text style consists of a combination of a style name, a text font, a height, a width factor, an oblique angle, and a few other, mostly static settings. You specify these text style properties with the help of a dialog box that opens when you start the Style command. You will begin by setting up two text styles—one for labeling the rooms in the floor plan and the other for putting titles on the two views. You will need a new layer for text.
Figure 10.1: The Cabin09c drawing with the Hatch-plan-floor and Hatch-plan-wall layers frozen
When you set up text styles for a drawing, you have to determine the height of the text letters. To make this determination, you first need to decide the scale at which the final drawing will be printed.
In traditional drafting, you can ignore the drawing scale and set the actual height of each kind of text. This is possible because, while the drawing is to a scale, the text doesn’t have to conform to that scale and is drawn full size.
In AutoCAD, a feature called layouts makes it possible to set the height of text in the same way—that is, at the height at which it will be printed. You will learn about using layouts in Chapter 13. In that chapter, you’ll place text on layouts; in this chapter, I’ll demonstrate how text is used without layouts. You’ll place text in the cabin drawing. The drawing is actual size, but the text has to be much larger than actual size because both the drawing and its text will be scaled down by the same factor in the process of printing the drawing.
A layout is a drawing environment that has been overlaid on the drawing of your project. The layout and the drawing are part of the same file.
In this drawing, we will use a final scale of 1⁄8" = 1'-0". This scale has a true ratio of 1:96 and a scale factor of 96. (See Table 9.1 in Chapter 9.) If you want text to be 1⁄8" high when you print the drawing at 1⁄8-inch scale, multiply 1⁄8" by the scale factor of 96 to get 12" for the text height. You can check that calculated text height by studying the floor plan for a moment and noting the sizes of the building components represented in the drawing. You can estimate that the room label text should be about half as high as the front step is deep, or 1 foot high.
Now that you have a good idea of the required text height, it’s time to define a new text style. Each new AutoCAD .dwg file comes with one predefined text style named Standard. You will add two more.
You can also start the Style command by choosing Format Text Style.
Figure 10.2: The Text Style dialog box, in which text styles are set up
By default, all new .dwg files have the Standard text style as the current text style.
A font is a collection of text characters and symbols that all share a characteristic style of design and proportion.
The current text style is similar to the current layer. All text created while a text style is current will follow the parameters or settings of that text style.
When you define a new text style, you first name the new style. This has the effect of making a copy of the current text style settings, giving them the new name, and making the new text style current. You then change the settings for this new style and save the changes by clicking Apply.
Defining a Second Text Style
Before you close the dialog box, define another text style.
Romans.shx and romand.shx are frequently used fonts in AutoCAD. Romans (formally named roman simplex) is usually applied to notes in the drawing. Romand (duplex) is a boldface version of romans and can be used for titles of views, titles of details, and dimensioning. Two more fonts in the roman font family—romanc and romant—are used for larger text.
If you press after typing the height, the new style is automatically applied, meaning it is saved and made the current text style. Don’t do this if you need to change other settings for the style.
Of the many fonts available in AutoCAD, you will use only a few for your drawings. Some are set up for foreign languages or mapping symbols. Others would appear out of place on architectural or technical drawings, but might be just right for an advertising brochure or a flier. Later in this chapter, you’ll have a chance to experiment with the available fonts.
Look back at Figure 10.2 for a moment, and note that the Standard text style has a height of 0'-0". When the current text style has a height set to 0, you are prompted to enter a height each time you begin to place single-line text in the drawing. The default height will be 3⁄16" (or 0.20 for decimal units and 2.5 for metric). Multiline text will use the default height of 3⁄16" unless you change it.
Now that you have two new text styles, you can start working with single-line text.
Your first task is to put titles in for the floor plan and front elevation, using the new Title text style.
The titles need to be centered approximately under each view. If you establish a vertical guideline through the middle of the drawing, you can use it to position the text.
You can also start the Dtext command by typing dt.
The justification point for the text functions like the insertion point for blocks.
The Osnap Cursor menu (Shift+right-click) contains all the Object Snap tools, access to the Osnap Settings dialog box to allow you to set running Osnaps, and a Point Filters menu.
Figure 10.3: The text cursor sits on the guidelines.
Figure 10.4: The first line of text is entered (a) and placed (b).
Figure 10.5: The drawing with the titles complete
You specified a location for the text in two steps: first, you set the justification point of each line of text to be centered horizontally; then you used the Intersection Osnap to position the justification point at the intersection of the two guidelines. I’ll discuss justification in more depth a little later in this chapter.
Next you will move to the interior of the cabin floor plan and place the room labels in their respective rooms.
Text for the room labels will use the Label text style, so you need to make that style current before you start placing text. You can accomplish this from within the Dtext command by using the Style option.
Figure 10.6: The text screen listing the defined text styles
Figure 10.7: The four room labels placed in the cabin
For this text, you used the default Left justification, and each line of text was positioned directly below the previous line at a spacing set by AutoCAD. In many cases, it is more efficient to type a list of words or phrases first and then move the text to its appropriate location. That’s what we are doing for this text.
We will eyeball the final position of this text because it doesn’t have to be exactly centered or lined up precisely with anything. It should just sit in the rooms in such a way that it is easily readable.
Figure 10.8: Moving the BATH text (a), and its new location (b)
When you move text in this way, you are actually using the Stretch command. Because text can’t be stretched, it just moves with the cursor.
Figure 10.9: The BEDROOM, LIVING ROOM, and KITCHEN text moved to their positions
As you have seen, you can easily move text around the drawing. Often, however, you will be unable to position it without it sitting on top of a line or other object. In the cabin, three of the room labels are crossing the roof line, and BATH is crossing a door swing. You need to erase parts of these lines around the text. To do this, you’ll use the Break command.
The Break command chops a line into two lines. When working with text that is sitting on a line, you will usually want a gap between the lines after the break. The Break command provides this option as well as others.
You can also start the Break command by choosing Modify Break or by typing br.
Figure 10.10: Lines are broken around the room labels.
A Closer Look at the Break Command
Use your own judgment to determine how far from the text a line has to be broken back. You have to strike a balance between making the text easy to read and keeping what the broken line represents clear. In the bathroom, you were directed to keep the text away from any fixtures because if any lines of the fixtures had to be broken to accommodate the text, this might have made it difficult for a viewer to recognize that those lines represent a shower or a toilet.
Here are some other options for the Break command:
AutoCAD provides a grid of dots, which you worked with in Chapter 3. The grid is a tool for visualizing the size of the drawing area and for drawing lines whose geometry conforms to the spacing of the dots. Many floor plans have a separate structural grid, created specifically for the project and made up of lines running vertically and horizontally through key structural parts of the building. At one end of each grid line, a circle or a hexagon is placed, and a letter or number is centered in the shape to identify it. This kind of grid is usually reserved for large, complex drawings, but we will put a small grid on the cabin floor plan to learn the basic method for laying one out.
Figure 10.11: The first grid lines
Figure 10.12: A guideline for drawing a grid line through one of the interior walls
Figure 10.13: Drawing the grid lines
If Midpoint Osnap were running, it would be difficult to pick the midpoint of the little guideline because Endpoint would have been running too. When you select Midpoint from the Object Snap toolbar, you cancel all running Osnaps for the next pick.
Figure 10.14: The zoomed view for completing the grid lines (a), and the completed grid lines (b)
When erasing the guideline, select it with a regular selection window.
This completes the grid lines. To finish the grid, you need to add a circle with a letter or a number in it to the left or upper end of the lines. We’ll use letters across the top and numbers running down the side.
Figure 10.15: The circle on the grid line (a), and the KITCHEN text copied to the circle (b)
This may seem like a roundabout way to generate letters for the grid symbols, but this exercise is meant to show you how easy it is to use text from one part of the drawing for a completely different text purpose. It’s a handy technique, as long as you want to use a font that has been chosen for a previously defined text style. A faster way to do this is to use the Single Line Text command with the justification set to Middle, use Center Osnap to place the text cursor at the center of the circle, and then type A.
For each change, follow these steps in the Properties palette:
The KITCHEN text changes to the letter A, is centered in the grid circle, and moves to the Grid layer (see Figure 10.16).
Figure 10.16: The grid circle with the letter A
You used the Center Osnap on the KITCHEN text to position its justification point at the center of the circle. You then modified the justification point from the Left position (which is actually short for Lower Left) to the Middle position (short for Center Middle). The Middle position is the middle of the line of text, horizontally and vertically. So what we did had the effect of centering the text in the circle. Let’s look at Text Justification briefly.
Each line of single-line text is an object. It has a justification point, which is similar to the insertion points on blocks. When drawing, you can use the Insert Osnap to precisely locate the justification point of text (or the insertion point of blocks) and thereby control the text’s position on the drawing. When you use the Dtext command, the default justification point is the lower-left corner of the line of text. At the Dtext prompt (Specify start point of text or [Justify/Style]:), if you type j, you get the prompt Enter an option [Align/Fit/Center/Middle/Right/TL/TC/TR/ML/MC/MR/BL/BC/BR]:. These are your justification options.
Most of these options are represented in Figure 10.17. The dots are in three columns—left, center, and right—and four rows—top, middle, lower, and base. The names of the justification locations are based on these columns and rows. For example, you have TL for Top Left, MR for Middle Right, and so on. The third row down doesn’t use the name Lower. It simply goes by Left, Center, and Right. Left is the default justification position, so it’s not in the list of options. The Middle position will sometimes coincide with the Middle Center position, but not always. For example, if a line of text has descenders—lowercase letters that drop below the base line—the Middle position will drop below the Middle Center position. Finally, the lowest row, the Base row, sits just below the letters at the lowest point of any descenders.
Figure 10.17: The justification points on a line of text
Finishing the Grid
To finish the grid, you need to copy the grid circle with its text to each grid line and then change the text.
Figure 10.18: The grid circle and letter are copied to the top of all three vertical lines.
You can also start the Edit Text command by choosing Modify Object Text Edit or by double-clicking the text that you want to modify.
Figure 10.19: The completed grid
Figure 10.20: The Cabin10a drawing
Often it is easier to copy existing text and modify it than to create new text, and grips are a handy way to copy text. Using the Edit Text command (technically called Ddedit) is a quick way to modify the wording of short lines of text, those that consist of a word or a few letters. The Properties palette is useful for changing all aspects of a line of text.
For the next exercise with text, you get a chance to set up some more new text styles, place text precisely, and use the Ddedit command again to modify text content. This will all be done as you develop a title block for your drawing.
The first step in creating a title block and border for the cabin drawing is deciding on a sheet size for printing the final drawing. Because many people have access to an 8.5 11-inch format printer, we will use that sheet size. If you print the drawing at a scale of ⅛" = 1'-0", will it fit on the sheet?
To answer that question, you have to ask, How big an area will fit on an 8.5 11-inch sheet at ⅛" = 1'-0" scale? The answer is really quite simple: if every inch on the sheet represents 8', you multiply each dimension of the sheet in inches by 8' per inch. For this sheet, you multiply 8.5" 8' per inch to get 68'. And you multiply 11" 8' per inch to get 88'. So the 8.5 11-inch sheet represents a rectangle with dimensions of 68' 88' at a scale of 1" = 8'-0" (usually called eighth-inch scale). That should be plenty of room for your cabin drawing. This is the information that you need to start creating the title block.
Drawing the Border
The border of the drawing will be set in from the edge of the sheet.
Figure 10.21: Creating the rectangle (a), and zooming out to include the entire rectangle (b)
Once you activate a grip and the Stretch command begins, pressing the spacebar toggles through the other four commands in this order: Move, Rotate, Scale, Mirror.
Figure 10.22: Moving the rectangle with grips (a), and the results (b)
Figure 10.23: The drawing with its border
Constructing a Title Block
The title block is a box that contains general information about a drawing, such as the name of the project, the design company, and the date of the drawing. It will be set up in the lower-right corner of the border and will use the same special line—the polyline—that was used in the Rectangle command.
We first used the Rectangle command in Chapter 4 for drawing the doors. At that time, I mentioned that rectangles created with the Rectangle command are made up of a polyline whose four segments are grouped as one object. In step 10 of the previous section, you saw that these segments could have varying widths. The Polyline command, nicknamed the Pline command, allows you to draw continuous straight and curved line segments of varying widths, with all segments behaving as if they were one object.
When you explode a polyline using the Explode command, the segments lose any width they have and become independent lines. The ability of a polyline to have a width makes it useful in constructing title blocks. We’ll use the Pline command to draw the various lines that make up the title block, and then we’ll fill in the text.
You can also start the Polyline command by typing pl or by choosing Draw Polyline.
If you’re using LT, see the following “For LT Users” sidebar for a way to complete this step.
For LT Users
LT users should follow this step:
Now continue with step 4.
Figure 10.24: Drawing a polyline: setting the width (a), and completing the segment (b)
Figure 10.25: Building the title block: the left edge (a), the horizontal lines (b), and the last line trimmed (c)
The lines for the title block are almost done. Some of the plines may look wider than others. This almost certainly is caused by the monitor distorting the picture at the current view. By zooming in, you can assure yourself that everything is correct.
Figure 10.26: Zoomed in to the upper-left corner (a), and the corner corrected (b)
Figure 10.27: The completed lines of the title block after zooming out
Putting Text in the Title Block
The title block has five boxes that will each contain distinct pieces of information. The large one at the top will contain the name of the project. Below that will be the name of the company producing the drawing—your company. (If you don’t have a company name, make one up.) Below that on the left will be the initials of the person—you—who drew this drawing and, below that, the date. In the lower-right corner will be the sheet number, in case more than one sheet is required for this project. This follows a standard format. Most title block layouts contain this information and more, depending on the complexity of the job.
You need to put labels in some of the boxes to identify what information will be shown there. For this, you need to set up a new text style.
If you press after changing the height, the Apply button ghosts. Pressing at this point has the same effect as clicking the Apply button.
Figure 10.28: One line of text placed (a), and the text changed to the correct wording (b)
The closer you zoom in, the more precisely you will be able to fine-tune the location of the text. You then need to zoom out to check how it looks.
If you have running Osnaps and need to have them off for one pick, you can click the Snap To None Osnap button. This cancels all running Osnaps for the next pick. If you need running Osnaps turned off for several picks, click the Osnap button on the status bar. Click it again when you want the running Osnaps to become active.
Using the Ddedit command is a quick way to change the wording of text and correct spelling. You have to change one line at a time, but the command keeps running until you stop it.
The next area to work on is the lower-right box. This is where the sheet number is located, and it is usually displayed in such a way that the person reading the drawing can tell not only the page number of the current sheet, but also the number of sheets being used for the project. We will create a new text style for this box.
Figure 10.29: The text after being inserted (a), and after centering vertically (b)
Now it’s time for you to experiment. Use the techniques you just went through to fill in the text for the other four boxes. Feel free to try other fonts, but you will have to adjust the height for each text style so that the text fits in its box. Some guidelines for height follow.
Recommended Height of Text
You will have to set up a new style for each new font or height you choose unless you set up a style with a height of 0'-0". In that case, you will be prompted for the height each time you start to place text in the drawing. This is the recommended way to operate for the top two boxes because it will give consistency to the text even when heights vary. You might try several fonts and then come back to this technique at the end. I also recommend that you use a relatively simple font for the text in the Drawn By and Date boxes, something a little larger and possibly bolder than the labels in those boxes.
Try these fonts:
In the top two boxes, you can center the text vertically and horizontally if you draw a line diagonally across the box, choose Middle as a justification for the text, and use Midpoint Osnap to snap to the diagonal line when you start the text. For the Drawn By and Date boxes, centering the text horizontally is not advisable because the label text already in the boxes takes up too much space. However, you can use the diagonal line to center it and then move the text to the right until it makes a good fit. Using Polar Tracking will keep the new text vertically centered.
Be careful in your use of running Osnaps as you position text. If you are eyeballing the final location, it is best to have no running Osnaps. On the other hand, if you are precisely locating justification points by snapping to lines and other objects, you might try having the following Osnaps running: Endpoint, Intersection, Perpendicular, and Insertion, with Midpoint optional.
When you finish, your title block should look something like Figure 10.30. In this sample, romant.shx font was used for a style that was set to zero height and then applied to the top two boxes at the recommended heights. The romand.shx font was used for the Drawn By and Date boxes, also at the recommended height.
Figure 10.30: The completed title block
If you are going to design your own company title block, be ready to spend a little time setting it up and deciding which fonts will give the look that best reflects the image you want to project. You can then use this title block on all your subsequent projects.
Zoom to Extents, and then zoom out a little to view the entire drawing. Save this drawing as Cabin10b (see Figure 10.31).
Figure 10.31: The latest version of the cabin drawing
A Look at AutoCAD’s Title Blocks
Now that you’ve created a title block and a border, let’s take a brief look at the title blocks and borders that AutoCAD provides in its template files and see how you can use these files to set up a new drawing. To follow the steps, set up AutoCAD so that it does not display a Start Up dialog box when you create a new drawing. Choose Tools Options to open the Options dialog box. Make the System tab active. In the General Options area, be sure the Start Up drop-down list has Do Not Show A Start Up Dialog displayed. If it doesn’t, open the list and select that option. Click Apply and then click OK.
Figure 10.32: A new drawing made from the ANSI A (portrait) template
When you open a new drawing by selecting a template file, AutoCAD uses the template file as the basis of your new drawing. It copies the information in the template file onto the new drawing file and names the new drawing Drawing 1, Drawing 2, and so on. You can convert any drawing into a template file. Simply choose File Save As, and in the Files Of Type drop-down list at the bottom of the Save Drawing As dialog box, select AutoCAD Drawing Template (*.dwt). The new file will have the .dwt extension. It can be stored in AutoCAD’s Template folder or any folder you choose. When you click Save, the Template Description dialog box opens, giving you the option of writing a description of the new template file and choosing whether the template will use metric or English units (see Figure 10.33).
Figure 10.33: The Template Description dialog box
The final part of this chapter introduces you to multiline text, which you will also work with as you learn about dimensions in the next chapter, and tables.
Multiline text (often referred to as Mtext) is a more complex form of text than single-line text. It can be used the same way single-line text has been used in this chapter, and it can do more. If you have several lines of text, or if you need certain words within a line of text to appear differently than the adjacent words, multiline text is the best thing to use.
A paragraph of multiline text is a single entity. The text wraps around, and you can easily modify the length of a line after you place the text in the drawing. Within the multiline text entity, all text can be edited and behaves as if it were in a word processor. You can give a special word or letter of the text its own text style or color. Everything you learned about defining a new text style applies to multiline text, because both kinds of text use the same text styles. Just as polylines become lines when exploded, multiline text is reduced to single-line text when exploded.
Use the Explode command to turn multi-line text into single-line text, to unblock objects in a block reference, and to convert a polyline into regular lines. Click the Explode button on the Modify toolbar to start the command.
Dimensions use multiline text, and any text that is imported into an AutoCAD drawing from a word-processing document or text editor will become multiline text in the drawing. In this section, you will learn how to place a paragraph of multiline text in the cabin drawing and then modify it. In Chapter 11, you will work with dimension text and text with leader lines, both of which use multiline text.
We will start by adding a note in the lower-left corner of the drawing, using the Multiline Text command.
You can also start the Multiline Text command by typing t or by choosing Draw Text Multiline Text.
Figure 10.34: Making a Multiline Text window
When finished, click OK. The text is placed in the drawing (see Figure 10.35a). The window you specified was used only to define the line length. Its height does not control how far down the text will come; that is determined by how much text you enter.
You can expand the Multiline Text Editor typing area to the right and down to accommodate more lines of text and greater line length.
Figure 10.35: Mtext in the drawing (a), and modified to be smaller (b)
In the rightmost drop-down list on the Text Formatting toolbar, change the Text Height from 1' to 9" and click OK. The text is redrawn smaller and now makes a better fit within the space available (see Figure 10.35b).
Figure 10.36: The results of a font modification
SansSerif is a TrueType font supported by Windows. When used in AutoCAD drawings, it can be italic or boldface. To see how to change individual words within the text, we will underline and boldface the Uniform Building Code text.
Figure 10.37: The Mtext with individual words modified
You can also italicize individual words and give them a different color or height from the rest of the Mtext by using the other tools on the Text Formatting toolbar. I encourage you to experiment with all these tools to become familiar with them.
You can easily alter the length of a line to make the Mtext fit more conveniently on the drawing. Let’s say you’ve decided to put your company logo to the left of the title block. You need to squeeze the text into a narrower space. You have some extra room at the bottom, so you should be able to do it.
Figure 10.38: Modifying the Mtext line length with grips (a), and the results (b)
The ruler at the top of the Mtext Editor window has two sliding indicators for setting indentions. The top indicator is for the first line, in case it is a title. The bottom indicator is for the rest of the text. We set that one in a little to make the note numbers stand out.
Figure 10.39: Adjusting the paragraph slider on the ruler (a), and the results (b)
Figure 10.40: The full drawing
There are several other features of multiline text that I can only touch on in this book. I encourage you to experiment with any features that you might find useful to your work.
Adjusting the Mtext Editor Size
If you zoom in too close to see all of one body of Mtext on your screen, the Mtext Editor will make the text smaller so it can be viewed. Conversely, if you zoom out so much that the text can’t be read, as in Figure 10.40 (shown previously), the Mtext Editor will scale up the text to a readable size (see Figure 10.41).
Figure 10.41: The Mtext Editor with the text enlarged to a readable size
Mtext has justification points similar to those of single-line text, and they behave the same way. The default justification point for Mtext, however, is the upper-left corner of the body of text, and the available options are for nine points distributed around the perimeter of the body of text and at the center (see Figure 10.42).
Figure 10.42: Justification points for Mtext
When you need to modify the justification of Mtext, open the Mtext Editor, place the cursor in the Editing window, and right-click to display a shortcut menu that contains several commands for modifying Mtext, including Justification. I’ll describe the other items on this menu in the upcoming “Tools for Modifying Multiline Text” sidebar.
With Mtext, you can add special characters—the degree symbol, the diameter symbol, and so on—that are not included in most font character packages. You will have a chance to do this in the next chapter.
If you want to play around with the Mtext in the cabin drawing, make a copy of it and place it outside the drawing. Double-click it and see what you can learn about the Multiline Text Editor, the Text Formatting toolbar, and the Mtext shortcut menu. Features of the last two are summarized in the following sidebar.
Tools for Modifying Multiline Text
Here’s a brief summary of the various features of the Text Formatting toolbar and the Mtext shortcut menu:
The Text Formatting Toolbar
The features of the Text Formatting toolbar are:
Style Drop-Down ListContains a list of all existing text styles in the drawing file.
Font Drop-Down ListSets the font for the selected text or sets the font for subsequently entered text.
Height Drop-Down Text BoxSets the height for selected text or sets the height for subsequently entered text.
Bold, Italic, and Underline ButtonsChanges selected text or sets up for subsequently entered text.
Undo ButtonUndoes the last editing action.
Redo ButtonRedoes the last undo.
Fraction ButtonConverts selected text into any of three styles of stacked fractions. Use one of three symbols to specify the fraction bar: horizontal (/), slanted (#), and none (^).
Text Color Drop-Down ListChanges the color of a selected portion of text or sets a color for subsequently entered text.
OK ButtonExecutes what has been done in the Mtext Editor and returns you to your drawing.
The Mtext Shortcut Menu
The features of the Mtext shortcut menu are:
Undo, Redo, Cut, Copy, and PasteThese commands are self-explanatory and appear on most AutoCAD shortcut menus.
Insert FieldOpens the Field dialog box, which you use to insert a field into the selected text. If you select text containing a field, this menu item changes to three menu items: Edit Field, Update Field, and Convert Field To Text.
Indents And TabsOpens the Indents And Tabs dialog box. It has settings for indenting the first line and subsequent paragraphs of Mtext (similar to what the sliders do on the ruler above the Mtext Editor window) and tab stop positions.
JustificationOpens a flyout menu that contains the nine justification points for Mtext, illustrated earlier in Figure 10.42. Use this to change the justification of selected text or to set up justification for new text.
Find And ReplaceOpens the Replace dialog box, in which you search for a word or a series of words (text string) and replace them with text that you specify.
Select AllHighlights all the selected text.
Change CaseChanges the case of all highlighted text to uppercase or lowercase.
AutoCAPSWhen checked, capitalizes all text.
Remove FormattingRemoves formatting, such as bold, underline, and so on, from highlighted text.
Combine ParagraphsJoins highlighted individual paragraphs into one paragraph.
SymbolImports symbols (such as diameter, degree, and so on) that are not available in the font you are using.
Import TextUsed to import a word-processing or text file into an AutoCAD drawing. The maximum size allowed is 16KB, so the smallest Word document possible is too large; you can, however, use files in Text Only or RTF formats. Clicking the Import Text button opens the Select File dialog box that displays only files having the .txt and .rtf extensions. You can bring in text files with other extensions if you enter the full filename with its extension and if they are not larger than 16KB. Text comes in as Mtext and uses the current text style, height setting, and layer. The imported file may not retain complex code fields for such things as tabs, multiple margin indents, and so on.
Background MaskOpens the Background Mask dialog box in which you specify color for and activate a background mask to go behind the selected Mtext object.
HelpOpens a help page on Multiline text.
Character SetOpens a menu of several languages. When applicable, the codes of the selected language will be applied to selected text.
All professions that use AutoCAD use tables to consolidate and display data in organized formats. Architectural construction documents usually include at least three basic tables: door, window, and room finish schedules. These are usually drawn in table form and display the various construction and material specifications for each door or window type or for each room. To illustrate the tools AutoCAD offers for creating tables, we’ll construct a simple door schedule for the cabin.
You create tables in AutoCAD by first creating a table style and then creating a table using that style—it’s a process similar to that of defining a text style and then inserting text in a drawing using that style.
Table styles are more complex than text styles. They include parameters for width and height of rows and columns and, among other things, at least one text style.
Figure 10.43: The Table Style dialog box
Figure 10.44: The Create New Table Style dialog box
Figure 10.45: The New Table Style dialog box
We’ll leave the Border properties at their default settings. These control the visibility of the horizontal and vertical lines of the table, their lineweight, and color. Your individual professions may have their own standards for these parameters.
Figure 10.46: The Table Style dialog box with Door Schedule as the current table style
Now let’s look at the geometry of the new table.
The height of the rows has been set by the parameters in the Door Schedule table style. We now need to determine the width of the columns and figure out how many columns and rows we need for the door schedule. This is done as we insert a new table. Remember that Door Schedule is the current table style.
Figure 10.47: The Insert Table dialog box
Figure 10.48: Dragging the new table across the drawing (a) and the results (b)
Figure 10.49: The table with its title and column heads (a), and the table completely filled in (b)
Figure 10.50: The table after being selected (a), the table with column width adjusted (b), and the table after final adjustment (c)
This concludes the chapter on text. In the next chapter, we look at the dimensioning features of AutoCAD. You create and manage dimensions using techniques similar to the ones you learned to work with text and tables.
Trades and other professions outside the area of architecture and construction will use text with AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT in exactly the same way as demonstrated in this chapter.
For more practice using single-line text, follow these steps:
For more practice using Mtext, follow these steps:
This is a design for a small vaction cabin. It contains approximately 380 square feet of living space and includes one bedrooms and one bath. It can be adopted to provide shelter in all climates and can be modified to allow constuction that uses local building materials. Please sund all inquiries to the manufacturer.