The Basic Elements of AutoCAD 3 (Part 1): Text and Dimension Styles

 

Including texts and dimensions in your design or project file is vital in engineering drawing. They communicate important information to people and also help you clarify your design intent.  

In this article, you will read about the importance of text and dimensions, how you can create them, and how you can customize them by changing their styles to make your engineering drawing unique to yourself. 

Text 

The purpose of adding text to your drawings is to communicate your intent through your designs rather than having to frame long paragraphs in a separate document. 

Whenever you create a drawing, it essential for you to also produce annotations so that your ideas are clear to people who are viewing your designs.  

When you navigate to the home tab after opening your AutoCAD desktop application, you can see the TEXT tool represented by a large "A" with "Text" written at the bottom. This tool allows you to create a single-line text or a multi-line text anywhere in the model space. 

Single-Line Text 

If you are creating a plan view from the first floor's level, what you can do is create a single-line text below that says "PLAN VIEW – FIRST FLOOR LEVEL". 

In doing so, you avoid any miscommunication when your design is circulated among other people involved in the project. Additionally, you can even add callouts to specific elements.

Here's a step-by-step guide to add single-line text:

  • Upon selecting the single-line text, you will be prompted to specify a starting point.
  • You can either manually enter the coordinates or click anywhere in the model space. Then, the application will prompt you to specify the text height.
  • Finally, you will be prompted by the application to specify the rotation angle for your text. This determines the angle at which your text will appear relative you the horizontal.

Unlike the geometry tools, which can be ended using either the ESCAPE key or the ENTER key on your keyboard, the TEXT tool requires you to only enter the ENTER key. Else, the text will not be created in the model space. 

Multi-Line Text 

The creation of a multi-line text is similar to that of a single-line text. 

  • Specify a point.
  • Enter text height.
  • Specify the rotation angle.

After pressing enter, you will notice that each line of text is not converted into a separate object like in the single-line text. Here, all the lines of text are a single object or element in the model space.   

Multi-line text is particularly useful when you want to add annotations or notes within your design in the model space. 

Text Styles 

Text styles allow you to control, modify, and personalize your text design. Follow the step-by-step guide below to explore this feature:

  • To change the text style, navigate to the ANNOTATE tab on the application toolbar in AutoCAD, and click on STANDARD. Here, you will find the option of managing text styles.
  • A TEXT STYLE window opens up when you click on "Manage text styles". This option will let you customize your text's font, font style, height, width factor, oblique angle, and much more.
  • You can either create a new text style or modify the default text style. This feature lets you quickly switch between various types without having to navigate through the entire interface.

Once you have made the changes in the TEXT STYLE window, click on "Apply" to save the changes. Then, you can change your previous texts to the new styles by simply clicking on the text box and changing the style in the ANNOTATE tab, if required. 

Dimension 

Dimensions are used to indicate the measurements of each of your design components. When making computer-aided designs with AutoCAD, you can add dimensions either from the HOME or the ANNOTATE tab. 

To mark your dimensions, access the DIMENSION tool from either of the tabs mentioned above and select any two points on the objects in your model space. The dimensions will be in the units you have set in your project. 

Dimension Styles 

Just like text styles, you can even set up various dimension styles. Here's how:

  • Head on over to the ANNOTATE tab. In the DIMENSIONS section, click on the first drop-down menu and select "Manage Dimension Styles".
  • You will see a new window called "Dimension Style Manager". Here, you can modify your existing style or create new styles.
  • For example, if you choose to create a new style by clicking on "New", you can enter a new style name. After this, a new dimension style window opens.
  • You have a host of new options that enable you to change the text style, text color, fill color, text height, fraction height scale, text placement, text alignment, and more.

As you make the changes, you can even see a preview of these changes on the upper right-hand side of the window before you click "Ok" to save them.  

In addition to dimension text, you can even control the arrow sizes by navigating to the "Symbols and Arrows" tab in the same window. Here, you can customize arrowheads, arrow size, center marks, dimension break, arc length symbol, radius jog dimension, and linear jog dimensions.

You can even change how the dimension lines appear, modify the tolerance levels, and more.

Conclusion 

In this article on the basics of computer-aided design with AutoCAD, you have read comprehensively about text and dimensions. The next article will highlight more aspects of dimension styles and other tools in the ANNOTATE tab of Autodesk AutoCAD.  

If you want to explore CAD and other related aspects, then Skill-Lync is the right platform for you. Skill-Lync offers a wide variety of industry-relevant courses for students who want to deep dive into the world of design engineering.

To learn more about these courses, visit Skill-Lync's courses page. 

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