The Text Component Editor -- Contents (CAD Clinic: Civil 3D Tutorial)

1 May, 2007 By: Phillip Zimmerman

Find out what object property a layout component labels and how to format its value for display.

Last month's article focused on the first dialog box used in creating or modifying a label, the Label Style Composer dialog box. This month, we focus on the Text Component Editor -- Contents dialog box. This dialog box determines what object property a layout component labels and how to format its value for display. The dialog box has controls that change the format, text style, font, justification and color of a label element.

After reviewing the dialog box, we'll create some new label styles.

Text Component Editor -- Contents -- Properties
When selecting a property component's text value, an ellipsis displays at the right of the value cell. After clicking on the ellipsis, the Text Component Editor -- Contents dialog box displays. This dialog box has two tabs: Properties and Format.

The Text Component Editor -- Contents -- Properties Panel.

The Properties tab displays a panel with two parts. The right side of the panel displays the current format of the selected property. The left side sets the property and formatting options for the selected property. Hidden between the two sides is the transfer settings arrow (blue) at the top center of the panel that you use to transfer the values back and forth in the dialog box.

The Properties drop list is where you select an object property to add to a label's content. The number of Properties in the list depends on the type of object and label. For example, a parcel has three types of labels: area, line and curve and a profile has station, grade breaks, line and curve.

After selecting a property from this list, the bottom portion of the left side displays default formatting values for the label. In the image above, a Parcel Area has a base unit of acres, labeled to the precision of two decimal places, rounded to the next value normally (>5 in the third-place precision increments the second-place digit), a period separates the whole and precision number (can be a , [comma]), negative values are shown with a minus sign and the output is not suppressed. Each property potentially a different list of values you have to adjust.

Text Component Editor -- Contents -- Format Tab
The Format tab lets you change the text style, font, justification and color of a text label component. The override changes the color of the layer set in the General panel or in the Layout panel. This panel also lets you add symbols to the text of the label component.

Text Component Editor -- Contents -- Format Panel.

You should review past submissions to determine what formats you want to use. Collect samples for completed or submitted jobs, review their labels and make any necessary adjustments to their format before making your styles.

Create a New Label Style -- Pin and Parcel Area
To begin to create a new label style, select a label type heading, right-click and from the shortcut menu select New and the Label Style Composer -- Contents dialog box appears.

In the Composer dialog box, click on the Information tab to enter a name and add a short, but important description.

The Information tab and its values.

General Tab
The second step is setting the values for the General tab's panel where you start setting the values from top to bottom.

The General Settings tab and its values.

Label section. Here you set the text style, label visibility and layer for the label. The text style for all labels is set in the Edit Label Settings dialog box. You can set the style at the top of the Settings tree, the node of the object type and the label type heading.

Setting the text style in the Label Defaults dialog box at the drawing name level sets the text style for all label styles. Setting the text style in the label defaults dialog box at the object type level sets the text style for all label styles in that branch. Setting the text style in the label defaults dialog box at the label type level sets the text style for all labels of that type.

The default Label Settings levels.

The Text Style setting sets the style for all of the label's components. Even if you set the text style for the label's components, you can change the text style of any label's component by using the Format tab of the Text Component -- Content dialog box.

The visibility toggle displays or hides all of the labels in the drawing using this label style. This gives you visibility control beyond manipulating layers.

Behavior section. This section controls the alignment of the label. There are three options to this setting: Object (aligned to the rotation of the labeled object), view (forces the label to use the screen view for plan orientation in plan and all viewports) and World Coordinate System (orients the label to the WCS).

When setting the behavior to an object, there is an additional setting called Forced Insertion. This setting determines the location of a label on an object and has three values: None (the label is a original defined), Top (the label is always above the object labeled) and Bottom (the label is always below the object labeled).

Plan readability. The last section of the panel controls the plan readability of a label. The first setting, Plan readability, toggles if the label searches for plan (label reads left to right) or not. The second setting, Readability bias, sets the number or degrees of rotation a view needs before flipping the label. The last value is Flip Anchor with text. When set to True, it flips the anchor location of the label. When the toggle is False, the flipped label looks like a mirror of the original label.

Next Time
Next month, we'll continue creating the PIN and Parcel label and adjust it settings.

About the Author: Phillip Zimmerman

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