Reader "bigamike" had a couple of questions about annotative text:
Q: Let's say I have a drawing (DWG 1) and I've used "Atext" in the model space and have viewports utilizing various scales in the paper space. Then the text automatically displays at the proper scale; any text not set as "Atext" or set with an indicator for scale of that particular viewport is not displayed. That's what I'm reading as the intended purpose.
A: You've got it partly right. Here's what happens to text:
* Normal non-annotative text is always displayed at any viewport scale, just as in AutoCAD 2007 and earlier. Its size changes as the viewport scale changes. (You can change existing non-annotative text to atext through the Styles toolbar or the Properties palette.)
* Annotative text is displayed when its scale matches the viewport's scale factor.
* Annotative text can have more than one scale factor assigned; it is displayed at more than one VP scale, but always looks the same size.
* A system variable (and a button on the new Infobar) lets you see all annotative text, no matter their assigned scale factors.
Q: If I have a drawing (DWG 2) in model space with "Atext" set with various scales. Then I Xref DWG 2 into the model space of DWG 3 and have various viewports of differing scales in the paperspace of DWG 3. Will the "Atext" work the same way xref'd as it does not xref'd?
A: Xrefs respect the settings of the viewport scale. If an xref contains several annotative objects at different scales, they are only displayed when the viewport scale matches. The scale of the xref insertion is ignored by atext.
For example, insert an xref at 1:1, and then set vp scale to 1:50. The 1:50 atext is displayed; the 1:20 atext is not; the non-annotative text is always displayed.
Q: I am looking forward to this release of AutoCAD. I work in the civil industry and sadly we don't use Civil3D. But aside from that, the Atext and multi-leader aspects of 2008 appear to be potentially very valuable additions. We've had drawings of highway intersections that overlap and are oriented in different directions and scales and these new tools should help us a lot in regards to those situations. The xref aspect really concerned me at first.
Another question. I'm assuming that you can save atext styles, and have them preset in DWT [template] files?
A: The Style dialog box has been modified, and now accommodates the annotative property. So, yes, Annotative styles can be stored in template files. In fact, the default DWT files for AutoCAD now include Standard and Annotative as two defaults.
Q: Oh wow!!!! I knew that was available in Civil3D but didn't know if it would get ported down to base AutoCAD. Whoo hoo. That will be much appreciated! Does this work with dimensions as well, or should I say does the annotative aspect of the text work with dimensions as well?
A: The annotative property applies to dimensions, multileaders, tolerances, hatch patterns, blocks, and attributes, and separately to linetype scales. In short, any object that's scale-dependent. Most commands and dialog boxes that relate to those entities have been modified to allow for annotation.
Another feature that may be useful to you is the under-reported Orientation property. It keeps text properly oriented when the view is rotated. Works with text, attributes, and blocks. For example, use the 3dOrbit command to rotate the viewpoint any way you want, and oriented text is displayed facing you; regular text will be off at some angle.
Blocks and attributes can be oriented independently, so the block could orient but the attribute text not, and vice versa. Or both together. That could lead to some interesting situation, when you consider that a block can be anything.
(I notice, however, that the oriented text looks coarser after righting itself to face you. Another point: orientation is not new to AutoCAD, because the LsNew command did it for many releases, before being pulled from AutoCAD 2007.)
There is an interesting effect when changing vp scales. The multi-scale atext changes its size, and then the smooth zoom occurs.
I think that atext will be like paper space: it will take users a while to figure it out.