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    By David Lewis

    In Part 1 of this process ‘Positioning Text for extraction’ we isolated the data before copying and pasting it into a new drawing, whilst maintaining its original position, as well as placing the text onto its respective point using the quick select tool so that the insertion point of the text was the same as the X and Y position of the point.

    Part 2: Extracting 3D Data from 2D Text

    In part 2 we will now look at how to extract the required information to obtain the X, Y and Z values needed to insert the 2D information back into the drawing as 3D.

    1. Navigate to the insert tab on the ribbon and select the data extraction tool ‘Extract Data’. See Fig 1:

    2. When the Data Extraction dialogue box pops up select create new data selection and press next. See Fig 2. You will then be asked to save the data extraction as a dxe file. Give the data extraction file a name and save it to your desired location. See Fig 3:

    3. Next you will then be presented with a further dialogue box where you can add additional files for extraction. In this instance we will be extracting from the current drawing only, so make sure there is a tick in the current drawing box and select next to continue. See Fig 4:

    4. The process then asks you to select which objects contained in the drawing you wish to extract. Having moved the text into the correct position we are only interested in the text, so untick everything except Text and then press Next to continue. See Fig 5:

    5. The process will then ask which properties of the object you wish to select for extraction. There is a long list of properties you can choose from, however we are only interested in a small number of them. To dilute the information down to what is relevant to this extraction, under Category filter on the right tick only Geometry and Text. See Fig 6.

      This reduces the number of options available in the Properties on the left. Make sure only Position X, Position Y and Value are ticked in the Properties as shown below then press next to continue. See Fig 7:

    6. The next dialogue box displays all the properties of the object chosen to extract. Notice there are 2 columns we did not select – ‘Count’ and ‘Name.’ See Fig 8.

      Untick the boxes Combine identical rows, Show count column and Show name column to remove them from the extraction so you are left with the position and value data only then select next to continue. See Fig 9:

    7. You will be asked whether you want to insert the extracted data as a table inside your drawing, or if the output should be to an external data file. Select external data file and select the 3 dots below to navigate to the location you wish to save your extracted data to.
      Here you will be able to choose which file format to save as. In this instance we will use the extension .csv. See Fig 10:

    8. After saving the extraction press next to continue then press Finish on the final dialog box to complete the extraction. See Fig 11:

    9. Finally navigate to the location you chose to save your extraction in Step 7 and open the .csv file created with Microsoft excel of equivalent and the file will display the extracted X, Y and Z position. See Fig 12:


    Now all the required data has been extracted from the 2D drawing and it is ready to be plotted back into AutoCAD in 3D. The ‘value’ column now represents the accurate Z position as described in the text in the 2D drawing. 

    Save the drawing and continue to Part 3 : Plotting Coordinate Data into AutoCAD.




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