Three Ways to Put a Frame around Your Text in AutoCAD

28 Sep, 2015

If you’ve ever needed to put a frame around your AutoCAD text objects, then you’ll appreciate this quick tip from Autodesk Evangelist Lynn Allen who shows you three very different ways to accomplish that very goal — all with different advantages!

Video Transcript

Hello there, this is Lynn Allen. Thank you so much for joining me for another AutoCAD tip, courtesy of the fabulous Cadalyst magazine. I'm coming to you from Santiago, Chile, where it is really quite cold. So that would mean that it is chilly in Chile. Oh yeah, I said it. Let's move along.

Today I'm going to be sharing with you three different ways to put a boundary around your text — three different ways of going about it. That's something that we end up having to do from time to time.

The first way is probably the most logical. Maybe not the fastest or easiest, but by all means, there's nothing wrong with simply going into the Rectangle command and drawing a good old rectangle around your text. Of course, you can control the width, you can control the layer, so on and so forth. That's pretty basic. I'm going to undo that. Not very exciting. Makes it a little tougher for you to control the exact distance the rectangle is from the text. Am I right?

Okay, let's take a look at an Express Tool that may not be very obvious because the name of the Express Tool is TCircle, which makes you think that it's only going to allow you to put a circle around objects. But in reality, it will let you do other things as well. It allows you to do rectangles, and it allows you to do slots around objects. I'm going to go ahead and select this text over here.

You'll see that it asks you for an offset factor. I like that. That's a little bit easier than using the Rectangle command. So I have complete control of the size of that rectangle that's going to go around my text. Here you'll see — enclose text with circles, slots, or rectangles. I'm in for rectangles, and I want the same distance all the way around it. There you'll see that I very quickly, very easily now have a boundary around my text. That's number 2.

The last one is only for those of you who have AutoCAD 2016. It's got kind of an interesting way of going about it. I'm going to select this mtext over here. I'm going to go into Properties, and you'll see if I slide this down, there is a new option inside of AutoCAD 2016, only in Properties. Don't ask me how to get to it any other way.

It allows you to say — you can see it showing up already — it allows me to say "Yes." It will put a frame around my text, as it likes to call it there — rectangle around my text. Do I have any control over exactly the size of the rectangle, how far off it is from the text — absolutely not. I have no idea how to control that. But it is a fast, speedy way to put text — excuse me, to put a boundary box around your text. The trick there is you have to — you can't do it in the MText Editor, you can't do it as you are putting the text on the screen. You have to put the text on the screen and in your drawing file, and then go into Properties.

So that is three different ways to put a bounding box or a frame or a rectangle — whatever you want to call it — around your text. Pick the one that's easiest for you to work with and does the job for you. I will see you back here in two more weeks. Take care.

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Re: Three Ways to Put a Frame around Your Text in Auto...
by: rickwitt
December 21, 2016 - 12:46pm
#1 Agreed. Rectangles have their uses, but are clumsy. #2 The Express Tool is nice but the capsule, box or circle is not grouped with the text and cannot be moved together. #3 The Properties solution works, and "groups" the element and text together, BUT it only works with MTEXT, not TEXT.
Re: Three Ways to Put a Frame around Your Text in Auto...
by: Kirin
October 17, 2015 - 1:42pm
There are two more ways as long as I know of. One is using MLeader with a frame on, then I take out the leader. You can change the text justification if you like. When you revise the text, the frame automatically updates. One more way is making a frame block and make it into a dynamic block with stretch function. If you add non plot line(s) and/or insertion point as guideline to the dynamic block, it will make the block even better.
Re: Three Ways to Put a Frame around Your Text in Auto...
by: BAGlover
September 30, 2015 - 4:31pm
Lynn, You actually can control the distance between the frame and the text. 1. Select the text and open the Properties palette. 2. Turn the Background Mask on and set the Border Offset Factor to 3.0. 3. Then turn the Text Frame on in the Properties Palette. The distance between the text and the frame will be greater than the standard default. You can turn the Background Mask off at this point and the spacing will remain set. Future text boxes will be created at the default spacing, but can easily be changed via Match Properties. You forgot to mention the best reason for using the Text Frame option. The Text frame automatically changes size with the text if the note gets larger/smaller, or if the text font size changes. -Brian-
Re: Three Ways to Put a Frame around Your Text in Auto...
by: KarenSue
September 28, 2015 - 12:47pm
Lynn, you have way too much fun, girl!! Awesome tip to share! Thanks!
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Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor and Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD video tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

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