Polylines in AutoCAD can be a very effective tool when trying to label or highlight areas of a drawing. A polyline is a connected sequence of line segments created as a single object or line that can contain a width. You can create straight line segments, arc segments, or a combination of the two. What if you wanted to create an arrow using one polyline by simply changing the width of the polyline as you create the arrow? From the Home tab, Draw panel on the ribbon select Polyline as shown in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Polyline command on the Ribbon
Start the polyline command and select a start point. Enter W for the width option, then enter 0 (zero) as the starting width value. This variable retains the most recent polyline width. Next you will be prompted for an ending width which we will enter the value of 5 (five) as shown below in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Enter Start and End Width
Turn on ortho (F8) as you move your cursor and see how you can adjust the length of the arrow as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Stretch the polyline to form an Arrowhead
Hit Enter when you have your desired size and the polyline segment will end. To continue a new segment of the polyline (the tail of the arrow) type w for width and change that to 2. AutoCAD will continue the polyline at the new width as shown in Figure 2. Hit enter to end the segment and type A to change to an arc and complete your polyline as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Continue the Polyline changing the width to a constant 2
Let’s try one more. We will create a polyline making the starting width and ending width the same length with some width changes in the middle to depict an arrow. At the command prompt type polyline or select from the ribbon as shown in Figure 1. Start the polyline the same way, a beginning width of 0 and ending width of 5. After the arrowhead is created; continue the command by typing 2 for the starting width and 5 for the ending width (we want the same size as the second width) and drag the polyline to your desired length as shown in Figure 5. Hit Enter when you are complete.
Figure 5: Creating an Arrowhead with a trailing arrow
You can use this technique when labeling or defining areas of your drawing. The polyline command can give you a little more flexibility to label important items within your drawing that may not be displayed properly with just a leader and lineweight. Take a look at the following video to help describe the actions shown above.
Happy New Year to all!. I hope you all are having a good start to 2016.
Originally written weekend of November 6, 2016: See update at bottom of post for additional information.
I wanted to just write a post about the end of the year and Autodesk University 2015 and what it means to me to be a speaker.
Over the past weekend I was getting out my Christmas lights and checking to see if they actually work (we have all been there). I took a moment and thought of my October-November schedule for the past 5 years. Here is a snapshot of one weekend prior to attending Autodesk University 2015 and my night and weekend job as an AU Speaker.
I sit by a window in my living room with one light on and my laptop. I am at peace during this time and it helps me mentally relax and review my presentation and prepare for my day.
This is how the schedule went from a Friday to a Sunday prior to Autodesk University 2015.
Friday: 5 pm
Arrive home after working as a CAD Manager at Haley and Aldrich. Peer reviews, goal settings and meetings, mentally a bit tired but as a Manager you need to take time and be fair and help those that you are guiding along in their career.
5 – 7 pm
Have a nice dinner with my wife and catch up on the day.
7 – 9:30 pm
Go to the basement (my video spot) and practice and record my speech for AU. Record the presentation using Techsmith Camtasia to time it and test out green screen. When I present at work I always record my presentation priot to check the flow and see if there are any errors or items that I may need to add or remove.
9:30 – 11 pm
Shut down computer come upstairs and catch up on some TV.
Wait, I have an idea……make a video with music to promote my class. Still thinking why this happened but it was fun. Ah, and yes I went the heavy metal route.
Quit for the night and back to relaxing before turning in.
430 – 6 am
I woke up very early. Review my paper for AU2015. I decided to add another section to the table of contents. This is a section highlighting screencast videos I created while working on the content for the class.
6 – 7 am
Take a break, put away some Halloween stuff and relax.
7 – 8 am
Create my 9th screencast for AU2015 explaining my handout and how it can be used interactively linking the document with additional content. This one turned out well on the first take.
8 – 9 am
Check social media, YouTube, Twitter, G+, CADProTips
Post my promotional video to twitter and G+. My family saw it and laughed and my son in law told me it was a game changer!
930 – 12 pm
Break, family time.
12 – 2:30 pm
Practice for my class again, review the template section and the datasets that I will upload to Autodesk next week.
2 – 6 pm
Yard work, clean up and prepare for another Michigan winter, we have a lot of leaves to rake and cleanup prior to the arrival of snow.
6 – 7 pm
Draft up a final script for a screencast. I am going to create a video on a question and answer session for AU2015 and Sheet Sets.
7 – 8 pm
Check social media feeds, shut down PC for the night.
Backup all files to portable drive…….just in case.
6 – 8 am
Review my paper, script, AU materials.
The remainder of Sunday is to be spent with my family. I always need a Sunday to relax and clear my mind from work and take time out for myself and my family which both are very important to me. That’s a little insight into my life for the next few weeks prior to AU.
You still want to be a speaker at Autodesk University?
You have to be willing to put in the work and be ready for the questions, challenge and excitement this conference brings. That being said, I am so proud to represent my company and honored to be selected by Autodesk to be a speaker. Being a speaker at Autodesk University is one of the most rewarding experiences I have had in my life. I can’t really explain in words how fulfilling it is to have someone come up to you, after a class, and thank you for sharing your AutoCAD knowledge and expertise. I have always believed that we learn the most from each other and to share what I know with others brings a smile to my face.
You can click on the image below to sign up to be notified when proposals are due for AU2016.
Sign up here to be notified about speaking at Autodesk University 2016
I am very proud of this paper and the effort that went forth to create the presentation. I was very determined not to let anything stop me from my goal to present at Autodesk University
Update: I held back on this post which was originally written on the weekend of November 6, 2015. I had an accident at home which left my arms in bandages and unable to type and/or work on my computer. That was unexpected but I was prepared and ready to submit my paper. I am thankful Autodesk gave me a couple extra days to check things over prior to posting live to the website.
See you all next week! Sam
Some of you may be aware that I taught a class at Autodesk University on linetypes in 2012. I have always had fun with creating new linetypes and each year in March I look for more supplied with the out of the box version of AutoCAD. My class was not recorded so I decided to make some Screencasts about linetypes and how to create simple to complex in Autodesk AutoCAD.
In the first week of October Autodesk celebrated Customer First Week to coincide with National Customer Service Week. The week included Answer Day for Revit, several Help Webinars, and lots more. As part of being an Expert Elite member I was asked to help support the community and post, answer questions and provide Screencasts.
What I decided to do was add videos to some of the concepts and blogs that I have spoken about over the years. Most of my posts are a tip or trick and/or how to solve a problem in AutoCAD. I could not help myself and created a 4-part mini series on linetypes. My class was never recorded back in 2012 so take a look at the following Screencasts shown below and see what you can do with linetypes in AutoCAD.
The attached links are directly pasted into CADproTips and they will also be on the Autodesk Screencast website for you to download and learn directly from the tips. If you want to learn about creating linetypes enjoy and look for more videos from me at the Autodesk Screencast Site.
Complex Complex Linetypes with Fonts in AutoCAD – Part 1
Creating Complex Linetypes with Special Characters – Part 2
Complex Complex Linetypes with Wingdings in AutoCAD – Part 3
Complex Complex Linetypes with Shapes AutoCAD – Part 4
That’s all for now and again I look forward to seeing you all at Autodesk University 2015 in Las Vegas. My class is filling up quickly and we are going to kick off the conference with Sheet Sets and have a lot of fun! No Sheet!
This may be it until AU2015 since I need to focus on my presentation. See you all in Vegas!
Here we go again with our CAD Standards issues. We have a new intern who decided to draw up an access road detail (Figure 1) without consulting the CAD staff on standards. As a CAD Manager when I see all colors “white” and different colors for similar features (i.e. dimensions) it typically means there were some errors in layer control and some objects may even be on layer 0. The Layer Translator is one way to ensure these properties are corrected and quickly.
From Autodesk Help,” if you receive a drawing from a company that does not follow your company’s layer standards; you can convert the drawing’s layer names and properties to your company’s standards. You can map layers in the drawing you are currently working on to different layers in another drawing or standards file, and then convert the current layers using those mappings. If the drawings contain layers of the same name, the Layer Translator can automatically change the properties of the current layers to match those in the other layers.”
Figure 1: Access Road Detail
Let’s take a look and list the standard violations individually then we will use the layer translator to correct (i.e. translate). I have selected the geotextile line on the map and highlighted the 3 violations in Figure 2 below.
Figure 2: Detail Drawing Properties
- Incorrect Layer Name. (Our standard is to have a prefix of 2 letters).
- Color set to “white” and not to “Bylayer” (Bylayer is our standard).
- Linetype set independently of the layer. (Bylayer is our standard).
To solve this problem I opened up one of our company standard detail drawings and checked all the properties and verified it was completed correctly and more importantly to our standard. I then saved the file as an AutoCAD Standards file named MY_COMPANY_DETAIL.dws. as shown in Figure 3. We are saving this to a standards file so we can use again to check other details against our standard.
Figure 3: Save the standards file (.dws)
Next open up the detail drawing the intern created. Move over on the Ribbon > Manger Tab and this time select Layer Translator as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: Layer Translator on the Ribbon
The Layer Translator window will pop up. Select the load button and browse to the standards file MY_COMPANY_DETAIL.dws and load it up. Notice how your current open drawing layers are shown on the left (Translate From) and your company standard layers on the right (Translate To) as shown in Figure 5.
Figure 5: The Layer Translator
Next up we have to check our layer translate settings by selecting the settings button in the lower left portion of the window. The settings button will control what we want forced on to each layer. This is important as in some instances you may not want one of these items selected.
Continue by checking the properties you wish to have translated. My preference is to check the first 4 and leaving the transaction log and layer contents unchecked. In Figure 6 I have listed the descriptions of the options as shown in the AutoCAD help file.
Figure 6: Layer Translator Settings
List of Options described from AutoCAD Help:
Force Object Color to BYLAYER
Specifies whether or not every object translated takes on the color assigned to its layer.
- Force Object Linetype to BYLAYER
Specifies whether or not every object translated takes on the linetype assigned to its layer.
- Force Object Transparency to BYLAYER
Specifies whether or not every object translated takes on the transparency assigned to its layer.
- Translate Objects in Blocks
Specifies whether or not objects nested within blocks are translated.
- Write Transaction Log
Specifies whether or not a log file detailing the results of translation is created. If this option is selected, a log file is created in the same folder as the translated drawing. The log file is assigned the same name as the translated drawing, with a .log file name extension.
- Show Layer Contents When Selected
Specifies which layers to display in the drawing area.
We now are going to map our layers and begin the translation process. There are several steps we need to follow as shown in Figure 7 below.
- The translate from section. Take your time and look at the names and properties of the layer you are translating from and verify this is correct.
- The translate to or the target layer.
- Layer translator mappings. In this area you can see the setting that will be converted after the translation is complete.
- When you are done hit the translate button in the lower right of the window. If you make a mistake don’t worry you have the opportunity to save the mapping file and start over.
Figure 7: Layer Translator Mapping
Your original detail will be changed according to the translations you mapped. I left the background black in Figure 8 to visually show how the layers and colors change. Layers were purged and object settings were changed to match our standard.
This is just one more thing to take care of in AutoCAD while using the CAD Standards Manager. This tool is awesome for everyone, from the new user to the seasoned veteran; especially CAD Managers like Paul and myself. With a little up front work you can save yourself a lot of time and keep things consistent between design drawings.
HINT: As I mentioned in my last post at The CAD Setter Out, the CAD standards manager can help you check, correct, and maintain standards within your company. Learn and explore with this tool and see how you can change the way you work to become more productive each and every day you use AutoCAD. Notice how I preface the layer names for AU in the detail? Just a friendly reminder that registration for Autodesk University 2015 is open!
I love the month of October in Michigan. Soon it will be Halloween the Thanksgiving and soon it will look like the picture below in Michigan! This means it is time for me to prep and get ready for Autodesk University 2015!
I look forward to meeting new friends at Autodesk University 2015 and seeing some familiar faces as we all descend upon the city of Las Vegas in December.
Have a great work week and fun month of October. Enjoy what you do and remember to take time for yourself, your family and friends.
As a CAD Designer/Manager (the older guy in the office) I frequently get the request saying “Sam, can you convert this drawing I don’t have AutoCAD 2016?” My answer is simple, “Sure, I can do that”. Then I ask the user “Have you ever tried DWG TrueView?” They usually seemed puzzled as DWG Trueview has been labeled as a drawing viewer for .DWG files but what people do not realize that it also contains a built in drawing convert program.
Figure 1: DWG Trueview 2016 Splash screen
Approximately every three years AutoCAD changes the .dwg file format and older versions of the software are incompatible with the new versions. Table 1 shows the File format the the AutoCAD Release that is compatible with that format. I bet it’s safe to say we can expect a file format change in March of 2016.
A few years ago some of us remember Autodesk had a separate program named DWG True Convert. The purpose of that was to simply convert .dwg files between different formats. Since DWG Trueview 2010 Autodesk has included DWG Convert within DWG Trueview. With Autodesk DWG Trueview 2014,2015 and 2016 DWG Convert can be found on the quick access toolbar or on the Home tab of the Ribbon as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: DWG Convert on the Ribbon
Converting a file can be completed in 3 simple steps as shown in Figure 3.
1. Add your file (you can add more than one) to the DWG convert window.
2. Select the format you would like the files to be converted to.
3. Hit the convert button.
Figure 3: Convert your drawing file.
Like magic! Your files have been converted to the new format. Remember, it’s always good practice to backup your files prior to doing any converting.
Registration for Autodesk University 2015 begins in 10 days! I hope to see some old friends and meet some new ones this year at #AU2015!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend and look for another post from me next month.
As CAD designers, drafters and managers we all use blocks with attributes. In some cases we have to filter through the attributes to find the one we need to edit. Have you ever become tired of scrolling through those dialog boxes to find the attribute you need changed? Figure 1 below shows a title block containing attributes along with the standard dialog box for editing.
All I need to change is the AU2014 to AU2015. There is a quicker way to do this by using the ATTIPEDIT command.
Figure 1: Title block with attributes.
Simply type ATTIPEDIT at the command prompt and select the attribute as shown above (AU2014).
You will now be able to edit the text as if it was a single entity. If you select a single-line attribute (as shown in Figure 2), AutoCAD displays the In-Place Text Editor without the Text Formatting toolbar and the ruler.
Figure 2: Select the Attribute you wish to change.
If you select a multiple-line attribute, AutoCAD displays the In-Place Text Editor with the Text Formatting toolbar and the ruler. Depending on the setting of the ATTIPE system variable, the Text Formatting toolbar displayed is either the abbreviated version shown, or the full version.
BONUS TIP: Instead of typing the ATTIPEDIT command try holding down the Ctrl Key as shown in Figure 3 and selecting your attribute. A great shortcut with no typing involved just a click of the keyboard.
Figure 3: The CTRL Key Combination
It’s August and that means we are getting closer to registration for Autodesk University 2015. You can get a sneak peak at some of the classes by clicking on the image below.
If you are looking to learn more about the Sheet Set Manager (SSM) in AutoCAD then join me for No Sheet on Day 1. We will cover the very comprehensive topic of Sheet Sets in AutoCAD and learn how to leverage the power of this tool. My handout will be complete with examples and a dataset for you to take back to the office and customize to your needs.
I Hope you all are having a happy and healthy summer….until next month
Here we go again!!! You just received a file from the client and over 10 utility lines (and other features) were converted from another source and you also notice some interesting line type names. In order to adhere to our standards we need to change those lines to match our company standard linetypes.
My good friend Paul Munford www.cadsetterout.com was kind enough to let me guest write for his blog on the topic of using the CAD standards manager to convert text styles. Check out his website and my posting at http://cadsetterout.com/autocad-tutorials/autocad-standards-manager/
I will continue with this topic on CADproTips moving to those rogue linetypes we receive from survey and/or client files. We are going to use the same technique as the text styles but this time standardizing our linetypes the easy way. Figure 1 shows several linetypes from an outside source that we would like to convert to our standard.
Figure 1: Linetypes from an outside source
Let’s take a closer look at the file and see what needs to be changed. We have 7 linetypes shown in Figure 2 that need to be converted to our standard. Keep in mind when I say my standard I use linetypes that our current to a standard I created, your company may have a slightly different result. Figure 2 shows an example of the linetype styles that we need to change. We could go and correct the lines individually but why not use the CAD Standards checker to do that for us automatically? Close out of your drawing (the client/outside source file) and start a new drawing where we will add our standard linetypes.
Figure 2: The Linetype Violations
One of the first things we need to do (if we have not already) is take one of our company existing drawings and load up the linetypes we need to use for those layers. Review the client/outside drawing file, take a look at the linetype and it’s properties this will help you determine a suitable replacement. For this example I created a blank drawing file and loaded up the linetypes that I I felt would be suitable replacements as shown in Figure 3. Then save the file to MY_LINETYPES.DWS
Figure 3: My Standard Linetypes
Now that we have a standards file to compare to and we are aware of the linetypes we need to fix let’s move over to the Manager tab on the Ribbon. We need to load up and configure our CAD Standards checker. On the CAD Standards panel select configure as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4: CAD Standard s Panel
The configure standards window will open then select the + image and add our MY_LINETPES.DWS file under the standards window as shown below and in Figure 5.
Figure 5: Configure the CAD Standards Manager
Move to the Plug-ins tab as shown on Figure 6. We need to only check this file for linetypes therefore we are going to uncheck all of these leaving only the linetypes button checked. I am not concerned about the other objects at this time. Hit OK. You have now setup your standards file to check your linetypes.
Figure 6: Plug-ins Tab
We are now ready to run our Check. Select the Check button on the Ribbon.
After selecting check the Check Standards dialog box will appear as shown in Figure 7. You now will have 4 or 5 steps to complete while going through each line.
- The problem will be listed in the opening window.
- The replacement linetypes from our standards file.
- Preview of the changes. I like this window as it displays a snapshot of what you are changing.
- Hit Fix and you will be moved to the next problem. Continue until complete.
- This step is for managers that want to ignore a problem. Maybe there was a special line or client requested file that you need to keep within the drawing. If someone else runs the checker they will see that it was ignore by you.
Figure 7: Fix the Problems
When you are finished you will get a nice dialog box as shown in Figure 8 that tells you the problems found and fixed and or ignored. Hit Close.
Figure 8: Check Complete
This concludes another segment related to the CAD Standards tools provided in AutoCAD. As I mentioned in my previous posts I typically remove the standards file by going into the configure button and removing from the settings. You can do that or set the standards violation system variable to 0 to suppress the warning if the standards file is missing.
As a CAD Manager I load and unload standards files to check work from my team. This is a great way to provide feedback and to catch those little things that can be missed during the busy design phase of a project. The CAD standards manager can help you check, correct, and maintain standards within your company.
Don’t forget to look up Paul www.cadsetterout.com as well, you soon learn and know how much you appreciate people like him to help you with those solutions that we all encounter day in and day out.
Check back soon as I will add a video on how to complete this task.
My plug for Autodesk University continues as I preface my layers with AU.
Learn – Connect and Explore with your peers at Autodesk University 2015, Early registration begins in August and you can also purchase early passes today!
Until next month….Sam
Have you ever received a drawing from a surveyor or another outside source and it contains geographical information? Or maybe you received an address from a project manager and you just need to create a quick layout for a field visit to the site. You can use the AutoCAD online map function to check your location and/or add objects that are currently not on your map. One drawback is the map is a temporary graphic which is dynamically supplied by the online map service. Which means you will have to be logged into A360 to view the map. Since the release of AutoCAD 2015 you do now have the ability to clip the image and/or viewport and paste into the file as a clipped image and this will give you the ability to print the image.
Let’s take a look how to do this in AutoCAD. On the insert tab location panel of the Ribbon Set Location by hitting from map as shown in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Set Location
Since I am a big Detroit Tigers Fan we are going to search for Comerica Park, Detroit Michigan (Home of the Tigers) as shown in Figure 2. If you do not see this map image then you are not connected to Autodesk A360. In the address area type the location you would like to find. Type in Comerica Park Detroit Michigan as shown or your desired location.
Figure 2: Comerica Park – Detroit, Michigan
AutoCAD will now come back with the results and our location has been found. Drop the marker will place the location in the blue 1 as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: Drop the marker in AutoCAD
Next we move to the final step which is extremely important as we need to set the coordinate system for our map and or project. For this location we will use the Michigan East Coordinate System. If you do not know the coordinate system you can use the standard UTM coordinate system which can be found in the list below.
Figure 4: Select your coordinate system
Hit next and you will be prompted for a location, hit return twice once for the location and next for the rotation angle. These will both be determined by your coordinate system. My map of Comerica Park is displayed as a georeferenced image within your drawing.
Figure 5: Image displayed in AutoCAD
On the Geolocation tab of the Ribbon you now have several options for your map. You can edit the location which in some cases may be necessary if you have an incorrect coordinate system. Reorient the maker and Remove the Location are options as well. At times I will remove the location after I complete a project and I no longer need the map for reference. If you are signed in to Autodesk 360, you can change the resolution of map images, modify their extent, adjust their opacity, or update them to the latest version available on the online maps service.
One last thing I would like to cover is since AutoCAD 2015 you can now capture the area and put a static image into your drawing. Note: This option is available only if the current view is plan view of the WCS and will be shown prior to the AutoCAD 2015 release.
You can capture the area by selecting the Capture area button shown above. You will be asked to select two points to specify the rectangular area. The map is captured to a map image and placed over the online map. The second option is to capture the viewport which will capture viewport button. This will capture the current viewport area and place on a static image on the screen.
Figure 6: Map area options
You will now be able to print the image and keep in your current drawing file. Remember saving back to AutoCAD 2014 or below will just give you the proxy outline and no image. You do not have to be logged into AutoCAD A360 to view the static image. This is an improvement in AutoCAD to have the ability to add images which are georeferenced into your drawing.
The following video has been uploaded to demonstrate how to use the online map function in AutoCAD
Over the past year, I have had several questions come up on how to make the original size of the layer combo control bar a little longer. There is more to it than just making it longer on the Ribbon. Many people place this bar on the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) as shown in Figure 1. If you do not know how to add this to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) simply perform a right-click on the layer combo control on the Home Tab – Layers Panel on the Ribbon and select add to Quick Access Toolbar. Once added you will see the bar as shown below.
Figure 1: Layer Combo Control on QAT
Now that we have the Layer Combo Control bar in the QAT we want change the default width to see those long layer names that are current.
Let’s go into the CUI and make a quick edit. Type CUI at the command prompt.
- Uncheck the Quick Access toolbar to pull down the menu
- Select Layer Combo Control.
- Change the value from the default value of 208 to 320 (I am using AutoCAD 2016).
- Hit apply and OK to get out and watch how your Layer Combo has changed.
Figure 2: Layer Combo Control in CUI
The final result should look something like Figure 3 as shown below. I made a long layer name as shown. Keep in mind since AutoCAD 2014 when you pull down the layer combo box the width will expand to your longest layer name. I do not recommend long layer names, keep consistent with industry standards and use 4 letters to abbreviate long strings. The type of monitor you have can affect this setting as well, change the number to best suit your setup and remember you can always put it back to default by entering 208 in the minimum width column.
Figure 3: The final version
How cool is that!
On a final note, I am proud to accept an invitation to become a member of the Expert Elite Program at Autodesk. All of the tips, tricks, and items posted are derived from personal experience through work, collaborating with my peers, and blogs I have followed over the years. I have always been very busy with my work and tried to find new ways to decrease my picks and clicks to become more efficient with AutoCAD. I share what I know and always have a great feeling when I help someone solve a problem with CAD. It helps me grow as a CAD designer and respected individual in the community.
Look me up at Autodesk University 2014 and on the knowledge network at Screencast as I will be providing updates on my proposals to teach again as well as some of my favorite tips and tricks I have collected over the years. I hope to meet new friends and see some old ones in December 2015 at Autodesk University.
Until next month…..Sam
Video tutorial added to this section for a visual description on how to make the combo control bar longer.
I am sure we have all had to calculate an area of a pond, footprint, or some other irregular shape in AutoCAD. What about those times when we need to convert to acres, simple – right? We just get out our calculator or use the onscreen calculator and do the math. Let’s let AutoCAD do that for us. We are now going to locate or create a closed object or polyline in a drawing and place a leader with mtext on an object and use a field to label the area (in acres) of the object. Let’s first drawing an irregular shape on our drawing. Next type the mleader command and place a leader pointing to the object as shown in Figure 1
Figure 1: Object – Mtext – Label
Notice how we do not have anything after the “=” sign for the area. Right click and highlight (red box) where you want the number to be in your mtext and select insert field as shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2: Right click-Insert Field
You now need to change the field category to Objects (1) and then hit the Object type button (2) and you will be sent back to out to the AutoCAD screen to select the object.
Figure 3: Select the Object
Select the outer bold line (boundary) in your drawing. The field selection window will pop up. Select Area then Decimal. But wait, we want acres and this is in standard units 1-1 which would be square feet. We are assuming that the coordinate system is setup to decimal units or 1-1. Therefore the value displayed in the field will be in square feet and not acres. We just need to additional format to the field. Checking the coordinate system is very important for any type of calculation. Make sure you are in the correct coordinate system and your drawing units are correct.
Figure 4: Field selections
Select the additional format button as shown above in Figure 4 above and another dialog box will pop up and you can add some custom formatting. We need to convert the value to Acres and we also would like to add a suffix as shown in Figure 5 .
- Step 1 you are going to divide the value by 43,560 which is how many square feet are in an acre.
- Step 2 you will add a Suffix, in this case we are adding the word ACRES.
Figure 5: Additional Format
You now have linked a field with additional format to an object in AutoCAD. If you revise the boundary the field will automatically update with the new area shown in Acres. If you break the link between the object and the field, simply right click and reselect the object following the steps above. Your final output should look just like Figure 6 below. Don’t forget to change the precision to your desired output, you can change this in the additional format window as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 6: Area Calculation Shown