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    By Dennis Collin


    When working on drawings it is often necessary to be able to frame text with a rectangle, circle or similar. This can either be done manually or there is an Express tool that enables users to draw a rectangle, circle or slot object around different annotation objects.


    Whilst this is useful there are limitations in that if the text moves, the framing object may be left behind. Another way to frame the text is to use the frame text function with Multiline text objects. This will constrain the frame to the text and can be easily removed. However, it is only possible to have rectangular outlines whereas sometimes other shapes are required.


    This functionality can be easily achieved by using a Lisp routine and AutoCAD has several developers who provide all kinds of useful code, sometimes for free! Lee Mac’s site has a particular useful routine called Associative Text Box.

    Once loaded and executed with the command Tbox, the program enables the user to create an associative textbox surrounding a Text or MText object in the drawing. The size, position, orientation and rotation of the resulting textbox is automatically updated should the element be moved or changed.


    Various options are available to the user like the Enclose in Object Express tool. An offset factor which defines an offset as a function of the text height. The routine will also offer three different types of text box, circle, slot or rectangle.

    Should the frame need to be removed, use the Rtbox command. This will break the link between the annotation and its frame. If desired the frame can now be deleted independently from the text.

    The text framing utility can be downloaded from: http://www.lee-mac.com/assoctextbox.html

    Once saved in a suitable location the lisp routine can be accessed via the Appload function. I have posted how to access Lisp and other routines and how to add them to start-up here.