by Dennis Collin
AutoCAD has had text fields for many years. Fields are a way of automatically reading information automatically from either the operating system or the AutoCAD document itself. In the image below 2 fields have been defined to automatically show the plot scale and the plot date when the drawing is issued. If fields are not used this must be entered manually!
Fig. Title sheet with field attributes shown with a grey background
Common examples are using fields to obtain areas from hatch objects or polylines or coordinates from setting out points. Refer to some links below to previous articles on the subject.
To be able to extract data out to tables or Excel, then it is best practice to utilise AutoCAD attributes within a block and use the built in Data Extraction tool. In the image below fields have been added to the plotted scale and date plotted attribute. Not only will that show consistent information on the plot file, but the same data can be extracted out to a report at any time.
Fig. Fields can be defined when attributes are created or can be altered later!
To make an attribute relate to a field simply right click and choose the insert field option in the default value entry of the attribute definition command. The field type can then be selected and the format can be configured.
Fig. Defining a Plotted date field. This information will be obtained from the Operating System Clock
The scale field definition process is a little more involved as a Viewport object needs to be created prior to the title sheet and then linked to an object related field using the custom viewport scale format.
Once all the fields have been set and configured, make the title sheet block as normal. Change scales and issue plots, the fields will update after the file is saved or the command Regen is executed.
Blocks, attributes and fields along with many other more advanced AutoCAD concepts are covered on our Bespoke and follow on AutoCAD courses. For more details on a range of our courses these 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.