Enhanced TEXT command

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Enhanced TEXT command:


Most professional offices have specified standards for the application of text to drawings.  The most common are style and size.  Many offices have upper-case/lower-case and leading capitalization rules as well as rules for abbreviations, layout and leader style.  Although not a part of ACADUI the author recommends the normal use of Leading capital of Sentence style case othewr than for LABELS.  With modern machine produced fonts there is no longer a need for all UPPER CASE text.  In fact this reduces he comprehension levels of text and hides LABELS that would otherwise stand out.

Automatic creation of text styles and size settings:

ACADUI automatically defines a standard range of text styles when a new drawing is created and provides commands that automatically set the correct text size in relation to plot-scale.  Text layers can also be automatically managed if desired.  Before the appearance of MLEADERs ACADUI provided its own custom leader command that can have three types of beginning (head) and three types of ending (tail).  Multi-headed leaders are also available. This is sometimes still preferable to AutoCAD’s MLEADER command. Like text, leaders are automatically drawn to the correct scale.  Text rotation is also automatically managed by the way the leader is terminated.

Management of text Size and Style are fundamental to the ACADUI text command and are therefore always enabled.  If this assistance is not required then the generic AutoCAD TEXT command should be used.  The advanced leader feature integrated into the ACADUI Text command is also available separately as a Text-leader command.  MLEADER is activated by TA (Text AutoCAD).

Text Layers:

The standard ACADUI layer management features apply also to text and text-leaders.  In addition text is optionally identified as text by “T” in its linetype code and leaders identified as leaders by “L” in its linetype code.

Text may also optionally be linked to the object to which it refers, using the same object-code, simply by clicking on a relevant object.

Although ACADUI recommends the use of colors 8 or 9 for text and other reference objects ACADUI.   The color number 8 is identified in text layer colour field.

Text size:

ACADUI assumes that text styles are defined with zero height.  This allows full flexibility in adjusting the size of text without defining a new style.

Without the help of ACADUI the operator must calculate at what size to draw the text in the CAD model in order to achieve required text size when printed.  ACADUI optionally manages the calculation of text size automatically by reference to the required plot size and the current drawing dimscale. 

A change to plotted-size of text, or the plot-scale will result in an automatic update of the current text size.   ACADUI displays the current plot-scale in AutoCAD’s status line.

Text Style:

Many drawing offices require the use of standard text styles.  ACADUI’s text command offers five preferred styles that may be selected by toggling through the options provided.  These styles are generated automatically, when a new drawing is started.  CAD managers can easily change these definitions and their names in the file ACADUI-TEXT-STYLES.LSP found in the ACADUI lisp directory.   Additional styles may be added to the options presented by editing the definition of “#tprmpt” in #T.LSP.  ACADUI assumes that text styles are defined using zero height.

Text Colour:

ACADUI assumes that users will prefer to subdue the screen appearance of text and text leaders in comparison with the drawing objects to which they refer.   Text and text leaders are therefore, by default, coloured grey (color 8).  Text styles using the earlier AutoCAD vector fonts that depend color for correct plotting of text thickness should be avoided.   Thus if a vector-font is detected in the current text style then ACADUI automatically assigns a correct layer colour (instead of grey) to suit the nominated text size.  Leaders are unaffected.

Users may wish to nominate their own preferred default color for text and text leaders, but should first study the full pen-color/line-thickness recommendations offered by ACADUI.   Text layer colors for vector fonts are keyed to the ACADUI/ISO pen/color/thickness recommendations.  To change pen/color settings edit the file ACADUI-PEN-COLORS.LSP found in the ACADUI\LISP folder. 

Text –leaders:

The ACADUI text command incorporates an advanced leader feature that offers multiple head and tail types as well as multiple heads on one leader.  ACADUI leaders also manage the position, justification and rotation of the text in relation to the tail of the leader.  The leader layer and scale of leader features is managed in a similar way to text size.  Leaders may be related by layer to the objects to which they refer in the same manner as the text.   By default leaders are grey (colour 8) but may be changed to a user preference.

Each leader, no matter how complex, is a single polyline and is therefore easily edited and managed.  The provision of a leader as part of the text command is determined by which mouse button is used to give the Start point.  A left pick starts a leader, followed by the text.  A right pick produces text without a leader.

Operation of the ACADUI Text command:


Italics in the prompts below are to assist interpretation in this description.  They indicate current default values and options.  Italics are not available within AutoCAD prompts.

Main prompt:

$tyle ISOC, isos, aric, aris, cbps  Rot 45  Just BL  Leader ON  Head ARR  Tail CIRC 

Plot 2.5 x %plt 100 = Size 250  lYr WAL2T- 064P01  Object-code WAL

Start-point: <<ldr/dynamic>>/mtext>>>/<[settings]>NON:

Lines one and two display the current text settings.  Line three is the active prompt i.e. start a leader or dynamic or Mtext or press <enter> or [spacebar] to activate settings options.

Text settings prompt:

$tyle ISOC,,isos, aric, aris, cbps  Rot 45  Just BL  Leader ON  Head ARR  Tail CIRC 

Plot 2.5 x %plt 100 = Size 250  lYr WAL2T- 064P01  Object-code WAL

Press option key-letter/[<done>]

Lines one and two display the current text settings.  Line three is the active prompt i.e. pressing a key-letter activates one of the relevant options below.  As settings are changed the above prompt repeats but with the new values substituted or highlighted.   When done press [spacebar] or <enter> to return to the main prompt.

$tyle                 Five styles are shown.  The current setting is in CAPS.  Repeatedly pressing $ or 4 toggles between them.

Rot                   A number indicates the current text rotation.  Pressing R and then entering a number will change the current default rotation for Dynamic text and Mtext.  The leader terminator determines the rotation of text  following a leader.

Just                  Indicates current text justification.  Pressing J toggles between the standard text justification options.  The leader terminator determines the justification of text following a leader.

Leader              Press L to toggle between leader feature ON and OFF.

Head                Appears only if Text leader is ON.  Pressing H toggles head-type between ARR (arrow) DOT and NIL.

Tail                  Appears only if Text leader is ON.  Pressing T toggles tail-type between CIR (circle) DIA (diamond) and NIL.  Text placed inside the circle or diamond is centre justified.  The circle and diamond are sized to suit 3-4 characters.

Plot                  Indicates current text plot size.  Pressing P and then entering a number will change the plotted text size.

x %plt               Indicates current intended plot-scale of the drawing .  Pressing % or 5 then entering a number changes the current plot-scale and the current text size required to produce the new plotted text size.

= Size               Indicates the current text size.  Pressing S and then entering a number changes the current text size and the current Plot size resulting from the new text size and current plot-scale.

lYr                    Indicates the current resultant layer for new text.  Pressing Y will start the ACADUI get-layer name function allowing the user to control the layer name..

[<done>]           Returns to main prompt.

Main prompt – active options:

Start point:        displays starting options of ACADUI text command.

<<ldr                left pick will start a leader

dynamic>>       right pick will start dynamic text i.e. no leader

mtext>>>          shift+right pick will start AutoCAD Mtext command (no leader).

<[settings]>      [spacebar] or <enter> will activate text settings options