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'Space Invaders' in AutoCAD 2014

(Well not quite but hopefully a useful snippet of knowledge in any case!)

Here's a question for you. Do you work with busy drawings, where your text is very difficult to read? Are your annotations obscured by dense hatching thoughtfully exploded by your colleagues? If the answer is yes you may find this command proves useful. No this is not an an April Fool joke! Firstly ensure that you have the Express Tools installed (this can be enabled during the setup process) If Express tools are not installed go into control panel and change your installed AutoCAD components.

This particular command  is not well documented and so it is not very well known by many AutoCAD users. With the obvious reference to the old arcade game "Space invaders" the command  TSPACEINVADERS is easy to remember. This Express Tools function finds ovelapping entities that "invade" the area of drawing text objects - i.e. the drawing geometry that clashes with the text. Like dense contours or hatch obscuring spot level text or room names. Or perhaps highlighting circuit numbers in complex electrical drawings.

After running the command, select the desired objects (Acad will filter out elements that are not text), the command makes a selection of those text entities that are touching other geometry. Then you can move these text elements or add  a mask to them - by using the express tools command TEXTMASK with the 'previous' option to add a background mask that will improve readability of the text when printing.

If your colleagues are exploding hatches in your AutoCAD drawings, you might wish to call one of our sales team and get them on a training course. This will both ease the pain of tedious drawing editing and improve their drawing productivity! For many years now hatching is much more editable and there should be no reason to ever explode hatch.


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