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Converting Text and Matching Properties
August 05, 2005

The CAD Times

An AutoCAD Newsletter for CAD Users

The CAD Times brings you the latest AutoCAD tips, tricks and articles that can help you become a more efficient CAD user.

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This month's tips and tricks...

AutoCAD Express Tools

Most of the Express Tools are definitely worth mentioning.

These “extra” commands have been a powerful addition to the AutoCAD arsenal. In fact many AutoCAD users find they can’t do without these bonus tools (remember, they were actually called Bonus Tools back in Release 14 and renamed to Express Tools in Release 2000?).

The Express Tools for AutoCAD 2000, 2002, 2004 and 2005 required a separate installation. Although AutoCAD 2004 and 2005 included the Express Tools on the installation CD, the option to install these tools was not apparent to everyone.

With the release of AutoCAD 2006, Autodesk has made it a little easier for some of us lost souls and now prompts for the set up of the Express Tools during the installation process.

Tip! Don’t forget to type EXPRESSMENU at the command prompt if you can’t see the Express Tools after you start AutoCAD.

A Favorite Express Tool

Many of the Express Tools are useful on a daily basis. Here’s one of our favorites:

Convert Text to Mtext

The benefit of using the Mtext command (multiline text) to input your notes is that it facilitates an easy method of creating properly annotated notes and tables all within one object. Gone are the days of single lined text and Dtext; unless, of course, that is what you prefer.

And the beauty of utilizing the “Convert Text to Mtext” Express Tool is that you can update older plans that contain multiple single lined text objects.

From the Express Tools menu:

Choose Text > Convert Text to MText

Tip! If you select multiple lines of text or Dtext entities at the same time, you can convert the whole batch into one Mtext object.

To help and be helped with the Express Tools, visit the AutoCAD Express Tools Newsgroup.

Match Properties

The MATCHPROP Command (Property Painter)

Now here’s a handy tool that many of you are probably familiar with by now. If not, you'll be glad you found this newsletter article.

Utilizing the MATCHPROP command enables you to select a source object and copy its properties to a destination object(s).

For example, let’s say some of your drawing notes are currently set to the font style ROMANS. You would like to change them to match another set of notes which have a font style of ARIAL. Using the MATCHPROP command, choose one of the ARIAL text objects as your source object and select all the ROMANS text objects as your destination objects. Clickity-click – and all your destination objects are updated to match the properties of your source object.

But what if you don’t want to copy all the properties of an object onto another? You can easily specify which properties you wish to copy or suppress by using the Settings option in the MATCHPROP command.

Select source object:
Select destination object(s) or [Settings]: S

All the property settings are checked on by default

Match Properties Settings Box

Simply uncheck the properties that you do not want to have copied from your source object.

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Until next month :)

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