AutoCAD 2008 really is a nice piece of work. They made some nice refinements in the Mtext routine and gave us the ability to add columns, then gave us some flexibility with the Dashboard so we can customize it with our own commands. In the Power Tool I pass along an answer to one of the emails I received about adding some color to an area of a floorplan, then while I was working on the title blocks for one of my customers, I came across a feature in the Block Attribute Manager (Battman) that I wanted to remind you about.
Version conversion note: I don't usually do product promotions in these pages, but I think it's important to get the word out about Autodesk's TrueConvert product. With so many versions out there at this point, this utility is a "must have" for all offices.
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Blessings to one and all,
Since its introduction in the waning days of DOS, the Multiline Text object has grown to be quite the dominant feature on the AutoCAD landscape. In AutoCAD 2008, we have an extensive array of features that enable us to customize an Mtext object to have multiple columns. When dynamic columns are configured, the Columns button will then appear with a yellow lightning icon on it (rather than the red slash). Here are a few insights to get your curiosity up.
Auto Height - Adjust the width and height of the columns using the horizontal and vertical controls, and AutoCAD maintains the same height in the leading columns.
Manual Height - Independently adjust the width and height of the columns using the horizontal and vertical controls. AutoCAD adds columns as necessary.
Tip: To create a second column when using Dynamic Columns, position your cursor where you want the break, then press ALT+Enter.
Specify the number of columns - You can adjust the width and height of the columns as well as the separation between columns and the height goes where it will.
Note: Any Mtext - using either Dynamic or Static columns - can be edited with the associated grips.
When you need to hatch an area like you used to when you were in Design school (remember those Zip-A-Tone / Pantone stickyback sheets?), you can accomplish the same result using the Hatch command with the option of sending the hatch to the back.
That should do it!
Last year (October 2006) I addressed using the Block Attribute Manager (Battman for fun) to edit the attributes of a block definition.
While editing the title blocks of one of my customers just recently, I used the Block Attribute Manager for a different purpose: The ordering of the attributes in the Enhanced Attribute Editor.
When you have an attributed block, in this case an attributed title block, when you double-click on that block, the Enhanced Attribute Editor opens. If you have several attributes, there's a possibility the order of the attributes may not be in a logical order. To order the attributes in a block definition, use BATTMAN.
Although the Dashboard was introduced in A2007, you couldn't customize it, so last month (see July 2007) I covered how to add panels to the AutoCAD 2008 dashboard. I also promised that I would cover how to make custom panels this month. To that end, here's a quick lesson in creating a custom panel for the AutoCAD 2008 Dashboard. Once you have that panel, you can populate it with any command you want.
More Horse Sense - A horse has a wide range of vision. A horse can see completely around its entire body except for small blind spots directly in front of its face, underneath its head, and directly behind itself. This is why it's very important not to walk up right behind a horse - you are in its blind spot and if you startle it you may get kicked.
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Note from Michael: I want to thank all of my customers for continuing to retain my training services (some for over two decades!) and let you know your donations do not go to me personally, but to the ongoing maintenance of the CADTutor ship as a whole and to support the yeoman efforts of my friend and CADTutor captain, David Watson, to whom I am grateful for this monthly opportunity to share a few AutoCAD insights.