AutoCAD 2010/2011/2012

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Spiritshifterus
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎07-30-2012
Message 1 of 18 (4,482 Views)
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Learning to create Blocks with Annotative Scale issues

4482 Views, 17 Replies
07-30-2012 09:17 AM

Greetings, all. I am rather new to AutoCAD 2010, and have observed issues with Annotative Scale. I have tried to avoid that function like the plague, but now I have some time to learn of it and its power.

 

I've been tasked with creating/updating Electrical Department symbol blocks. Right now, I am working on lighting fixture blocks, and I have this particularly odd scenario when i'm making the Block Attributes. My new block is for a 2 foot by 4' lighting fixture. When this block is to be inserted in Model Space, the size will always remain constant (2'x4'), but I need the Attributes (one for the Fixture Type, and one to denote the Circuit Number and Switch leg) to change sizes per the plan scale on Paper Space.

 

How, and in which space, should I construct my light fixture block & attributes? And, which parts of the block or attributes should be Annotative?

 

Also, the light fixture can be either oriented vertically or horizontally. Will I still be able to relocate the attribute using -EATTEDIT or -ATTEDIT?

 

Thank you for your help.

 

Chris J. Martin

*Expert Elite*
heinsite
Posts: 880
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
Message 2 of 18 (4,457 Views)

Re: Learning to create Blocks with Annotative Scale issues

07-30-2012 11:53 PM in reply to: Spiritshifterus

The objects that define the fixture itself should not be annotative, but the text style used for the attributes should be.  Then when you change scales the fixture will remain the same but the text will change size.  If you want to be able to insert the fixture at different angles you could add a rotation parameter/action to it in the block definition.  At that point it's your choice whether or not you want to include the attribute text with the rotation or not.

 

Dave

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Dave Hein, P.E.
Valued Contributor
Spiritshifterus
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎07-30-2012
Message 3 of 18 (4,445 Views)

Re: Learning to create Blocks with Annotative Scale issues

07-31-2012 12:50 PM in reply to: heinsite

Dear Dave,

 

Your suggestion is not working for me. If I create my entire block (1 rectangle and 2 attributes) as Annotative, the shape and the attributes scale up and down. But, if the entire block is not Annotative, then nothing scales up and down. I cannot get the Attributes to scale up and down separately from the rectangle (which must remain constant in Model Space at, in this case, 2 feet by 4 feet).

 

I was able to get the rotation to work, but I must still relocate the Attributes separately. Thank you for your help in this regard, but the scaling still troubles me.

 

Chris J. Martin

 

P.S.: If anyone can help me with this issue, please share.

*Expert Elite*
heinsite
Posts: 880
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
Message 4 of 18 (4,435 Views)

Re: Learning to create Blocks with Annotative Scale issues

07-31-2012 02:49 PM in reply to: Spiritshifterus

The block itself should not be checked as annotative but annotative text should be used for the attributes.

 

My example file works the way you described however.  Change the scale in Model space and insert a new instance of one of the blocks.  You'll notice that the outline of the fixture remains the same size but the attribute text items will change according to the scale.

 

Dave.

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Dave Hein, P.E.
Valued Contributor
Spiritshifterus
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎07-30-2012
Message 5 of 18 (4,405 Views)

Re: Learning to create Blocks with Annotative Scale issues

08-02-2012 10:32 AM in reply to: heinsite

Dear Dave,

 

I am very sorry, and I do thank you for trying to help, but I simply cannot get this Annotation Scale stuff to work. Looking at your Fixtures.DWG file has only confused me further, because I am unable to understand what you did. And what is worse, is that I cannot reproduce what you did. I get the impression that I must insert a brand new block element for every individual scale factor that I want the attributes to be displayed at.

 

Again, I apologize sir. I have made my blocks the old-fashioned way, without attributes. And I know enough to be able to add text to blocks in Block Editor where and when I need to, at the sizes I need.

*Expert Elite*
heinsite
Posts: 880
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
Message 6 of 18 (4,394 Views)

Re: Learning to create Blocks with Annotative Scale issues

08-02-2012 02:14 PM in reply to: Spiritshifterus

Take a deep breath and say Oooohhhmm.  :smileytongue:

 

This can be frustrating and confusing at first, but once the lights come on they'll stay on.  Hang in here, we'll talk you into it.

 

First, all I did was create a basic block using the RECTANG command.  I made it 2x4, *not* annotative.  Then, in the block editor I added two attributes using a text style that *is* annotative.  That's the key.  If you don't already have any annotative text styles you'll need to create one.  I think the one I used specifies that text will always be 0.125".

 

Now, in Model space are two icons on the lower left part of the screen that are really important.  These control visibility of annotative objects and how new annotative objects are added to the drawing.

 

anno icons.jpg

 

Not having these set correctly may be part of your struggles right now.  The icons are "ON" if the little light is lit yellow.  Both right now are off.  This is my default setting.  If the icon on the left is OFF the only annotative objects in the drawing that will show will be ones that match the current scale.  When it's ON all annotative objects will show... this can be a little bit of a mess/confusing to some.

 

The icon on the right is a little more tricky.  When it's off and you change scales your annotative objects keep their original scales.  But if you turn it on and change scales all the objects ADD that new scale to their definition.  Unless you fully understand all this I'd recommend leaving this off.  There are times when turning it on will be really useful, but right now isn't that time yet.

 

So here's all I did.  Once the new  block was created it I inserted it with the model scale set to something like 1:10.  If I now change the scale to 1:20 the block will disappear.  It's not "mapped" to that scale.  But if I now insert it again with the 1:20 scale it'll show up again... but with the text a different size.  This will only appear differently in the model.  In a paper space viewport set to 1:20 the text will still be .125" high.  Same with a viewport set to 1:10... the text will be .125" high.  The 2x4 fixture however will look different in both because the scale is different.

 

Mess with these concepts a little bit.  The idea of annotative objects either appearing or not based on scale settings in the model and in viewports is key to your understanding of this idea.  But it's well worth your time!  Once you get this you won't ever need to compute scale factors or plot from the model anymore.  It makes life very easy!

 

Hang in there!

Dave.

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Dave Hein, P.E.
Valued Contributor
Spiritshifterus
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎07-30-2012
Message 7 of 18 (4,382 Views)

Re: Learning to create Blocks with Annotative Scale issues

08-03-2012 08:49 AM in reply to: heinsite

Dear Dave,

 

Believe it or not, I did get as far as your instructions describe, before I typed my "steamy" post yesterday.

 

This is the part that I cannot conquer. I have had situations where a light fixture has been displayed on one plan drawing sheet at a certain scale, and then I have needed the same fixture shown on a different plan drawing sheet at a different scale. On both plan drawing sheets, the data for the attributes was required to be displayed.

 

What we do at my firm, is that the model file is referenced onto the model space of the Plan Drawing Sheets. From your instructions and my resulting observations, It appears that the only way to get one block to show its attributes at the different scales is that the block must be inserted at the same location, one right on top of the other. The only difference being is that the Annotation Scale setting is different for each insertion.

 

How do I fix that? I have had nothing but trouble come to me in my career when I've had copies of identical elements lying on top of each other.

 

Thanks for your help so far.

 

Chris J. Martin

*Expert Elite*
heinsite
Posts: 880
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
Message 8 of 18 (4,376 Views)

Re: Learning to create Blocks with Annotative Scale issues

08-03-2012 10:38 AM in reply to: Spiritshifterus

Well,  that's really the beauty of annotative objects.  You don't have to insert multiple copies of things.  One will do.

 

Let's say we have two plan sheets.  Both need the fixture and the attribute text.  One will be plotted with a scale of 1:5 and one at 1:10.  Here's how it works:

 

Insert the fixture block in the model where you want it with the model sheet (CANNOSCALE) scale set at 1:5.  Select the block and look at its properties (or if you have more than one, select them all).  Now turn ON the small icon in the lower right... the one on the right that looks like the end of a 3-cornered scale... to Automatically ADD scales to annotative objects when the scale changes.  Set the scale in the Model now to 1:10.  Turn the auto-add feature off. 

 

Now your objects are annotatively scaled to 1:5 and 1:10.  In paper space if you create two viewports with these scales the text will show in both at a consistent size.   But the fixure will be smaller in one than in the other.  It will always scale to 2'x4'... or whatever size you made it.

 

One block.  Two (or more) different looks.  Try it.  If you need an example I'll upload one.

 

Dave.

------------------------------------------------------
Dave Hein, P.E.
*Expert Elite*
heinsite
Posts: 880
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
Message 9 of 18 (4,372 Views)

Re: Learning to create Blocks with Annotative Scale issues

08-03-2012 11:13 AM in reply to: heinsite

I distracted myself there for a second...

 

When I typed in the part about selecting all the blocks and looking at the properties it was with the idea of adding the extra scale (1:10).  But that won't work in this case because the block is not annotative, only the attribute text.  So we used the switch at the bottom of the screen instead.  But if your annotative object (either block or text) *was* annotative then the Properties dialog would show you the annotative scale it was mapped to and allow you to change it or add new ones.

 

That's where I was headed.  In this case just ignore that sentence.  It's too long after I posted to edit it out now.

:smileysurprised:

Dave.

------------------------------------------------------
Dave Hein, P.E.
*Expert Elite*
heinsite
Posts: 880
Registered: ‎03-15-2008
Message 10 of 18 (4,364 Views)

Re: Learning to create Blocks with Annotative Scale issues

08-03-2012 02:00 PM in reply to: heinsite

Attached is the example dwg that may help you start to understand how all this works, when objects will display and/or don't, and how to put it all together.  Be sure to look at the block definition (pardon my spelling!) and also the RomanS text style definition and the Architectural MLeader style definition.  Both are annotative. 

 

There are three scales in play here.  1:5, 1:8, and 1:10.  Change the scale in the model and watch what happens.  Note the scales of the vports in the layout.

 

Prop your feet up.  Have a beer.  You too will get this in no time flat!  :smileywink:

 

Dave

 

 

------------------------------------------------------
Dave Hein, P.E.

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