Monday, May 12, 2008

Multileader Styles

AutoCAD 2008 gave us Multileaders. I have previously posted on them here and spoke about their general use, multi leadered leaders. Now lets take a look and see how to set up a Multileader style.

Let’s start by creating a new Multileader Style. A Multileader style works just like any other style in AutoCAD. In fact, it has many of the same settings as the dimension styles do. Open up the Multileader style manager. Click the NEW button on the right. It starts you off by copying one of your current styles from the drawing file.

There is a default style called STANDARD. I recommend that you create your own default style that is called anything else except standard. This is true for all styles, if you can help it. The reason is that everyone using AutoCAD has a style called standard because it comes that way. If anyone copies your Multileader (or text, or dimension, or etc.) from your file and places it in theirs, it will take on the style attributes called standard that are in their file. Their STANDARD style might not be set the same way yours is! But if you give it a unique name, it is less likely to take on the wrong attributes.

I will call this one ml-001. No reason, only that it isn’t standard. When you give your new Multileader style a name, you have the option of making it annotative or not (meaning that it will be scaled by the annotative scaling feature.) Don’t worry, you can change this later if you wish.

The style Manager has three different tabs; Leader Format, Leader Structure, and Content.

Leader

This is where you set the type, color, linetype, arrowhead, and break size.Most of these items are pretty easy to understand, so I won’t go over every setting option. But here are what I feel are the most important:

  • Type:Straight, spline or none.The straight setting creates a “straight” lined leader.The spline creates a curved lined leader.
  • Color, Linetype, Linewight: use these to set the color, linetype, and lineweight for the leader.
  • Arrowhead Symbol/Size: This works just like the dimension style setting for arrowhead. Choose one or choose a to use a block you created. That is what your arrowhead will be and what size it will be.
  • Leader Break Size: Controls the settings used when adding a dimension break to a multileader.

Leader Structure

This tab is where you can set the constraints, structure and scale of the multileader:

  • Constraints-Maximum Leader Points: Specifies a maximum number of points for the leader line.
  • First Segment Angle: Specifies the angle of the first point in the leader line.
  • Second Segment Angle: Specifies the angle of the second point in the multileader landing line.
  • Landing Settings: Controls the landing settings of the multileader.
  • Automatically Include Landing: Attaches a horizontal landing line to the multileader content.
  • Set Landing Distance: Determines the fixed distance for the multileader landing line.
  • Scale: Controls the scaling of the multileader.
  • Annotative: Specifies that the multileader is annotative.

When the multileader is not annotative, the following options are available.

  • Scale Multileaders to Layout: Determines a scaling factor for the multileader based on the scaling in the model space and paper space viewports.
  • Specify Scale: Specifies the scale for the multileader.

Content

This tab contains the controls for the content of the multileader style.

  • Multileader type: You can choose from Mtext, Block, or None.

Here are the options associated with the Mtext type Multileader:

  • Default text: this text will be inserted in to the leader by default. You can always change it.
  • Text Angle: Always right reading, As Inserted, or Keep Horizontal.
  • Style, Color, Height: set the text style, color and height.
  • Always Left Justify: well, check this box and your multileader text will always be left justified.
  • Frame Text: Check this box and your text will have a frame around it.
  • Leader Conection – Left Attachement: if your text is on the left, then this setting tells AutoCAD where to place the landing, center, top, bottom, etc.
  • Leader Connection-Right Attachement: same as above, but when on the right.
  • Landing Gap: the gap between the landing and the text.

Here are the options if BLOCK is set for the multileader type:

  • Source Block: choose form several premade blocks, or create your own.
  • Attachment: sets how the block will be attached to the leader.
  • Color: set the color

Most of these settings are obvious and are easily figured out. Some might be a little tricky. Just set these the way you want them and save the style.

Happy CADDING.
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