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Automate annotation in AutoCAD 2008

A new feature of AutoCAD 2008 is the ability to automate the sizing of annotation, such as text and dimensions, in viewports with varying scales. In this tutorial, you practice using this feature.
The following objects can be annotative, meaning that they can size automatically:

  • Text (single-line text)
  • Mtext (multi-line text)
  • Dimensions
  • Multileaders (which are new for AutoCAD 2008)
  • Tolerances (in frames)
  • Hatches
  • Blocks
  • Block attributes

Note that objects that use styles -- text, dimensions, and multileaders -- require an annotative style.
Follow these steps:

Click a layout tab, or the layout button on the status bar.Choose View > Viewports and insert the viewports that you want. If at all possible, it's best to decide which scales you will use, before adding annotative objects.

  • Select a viewport and set its scale in the Standard Scale item of the Properties palette. Do the same for each other viewport. Here I have two viewports: the left is 3/8" = 1'0" (1:32) and the right is 1/2" = 1'0" (1:24).
  • Return to the Model tab.
  • Choose Dimension > Dimension Style. Choose the dimension style you want to work with and click Modify. Or, click New, and create a new dimension style. Either way, on the Fit tab, check the Annotative check box. Click OK. Notice that your style now has the annotative icon next to it. Click Set Current and then click Close.
  • At this point, you should think a bit about which dimensions you'll want in which viewport, but you can make changes later.
  • Choose Dimension > Linear Dimension. If this is the first annotative object you've created in the drawing, you'll see this dialog box, reminding you to set the scale. Click the drop-down list and choose a scale for one of the viewports that will show this dimension. I chose 3/8" = 1'0" because this dimension will go in the left viewport which is at that scale. Click OK.
  • Place the dimension. Note that the annotation scale on the right side of the status bar shows the scale that you chose. If you place other dimensions, they will also be at the same scale.
  • To place a dimension that will be visible at a different scale, such as for our right-hand viewport, choose the scale from the Annotation Scale list on the status bar.

For a dimension that will appear in more than one viewport, place it at any of the scales, then select it, right-click it, and choose Annotative Object Scale > Add/Delete Scales. In the Annotation Object Scale dialog box, click Add. Choose the new scale and click OK. Click OK again to return to your drawing. Use the same procedure to remove or change annotation scales for objects.


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