by Dennis Collin
AutoCAD, although mainly a drafting tool, it can however extract data for scheduling purposes which can then be read into programs like MS Excel.
Fig. Simple site plan with markers showing setting out coordinates
Consider a simple site plan with a few house plots where the coordinates of the units are required for setting out purposes. This information can easily be shown in a drawing with the use of an attributed block using fields. However, the information may also need to be exported to a spreadsheet or database.
By accessing the data extraction command, information such as point numbers and coordinates can be extracted to both an AutoCAD table and to an Excel file. The whole process is very straightforward using a simple extraction wizard interface. Data can be extracted from a whole range of objects, either from a single drawing or several drawings within a specified folder.
When running an extraction, the query can be saved and reused for future sessions. Whether running a new, or editing an existing data extraction, session elements can be selected via a clickable list.
Once the choice of object has been made, selected data fields can be further filtered, rearranged and formatted to suit the final output.
Depending upon selected options, the data can be placed in a table object within an AutoCAD drawing or read in Excel.
The AutoCAD table object is linked to the elements within the drawing and will flag a notification and offer to update the table if any changes are made to the Excel link.
If the notification bubble is missed, then the table can also be updated via a right click menu.
The data extraction tool described is only available in the full version of AutoCAD, not the LT version. AutoCAD LT’s ability to schedule data is more limited requiring a different, more complex process.
Blocks, attributes, fields dimensions, symbol libraries and templates are just some of the topics that are covered on an AutoCAD Intermediate course. For more details on both scheduled and custom AutoCAD courses please visit https://training.cadline.co.uk/ or talk to one of the team on 01784 419922 or via the site’s live chat facility.