Everything I know about AutoCAD 2008…

… I stole from Lynn Allen’s presentation at the Possibilities Tour

Today I went to Washington D.C. to check out the Possibilities Tour.  I’ll fill you in on the “Dirt” later… For now I wanted to show you one of the things I picked up during Lynn Allen’s AutoCAD Tips and Tricks session.  (I was so excited when I saw her standing at the front of the room to teach this class that I almost kissed the CAD Geeks I was sitting with.)

When you are locked in Civil World, you tend to get a few releases behind in what is new with AutoCAD.  So I am going to spend a few posts showing some of the things I think are especially great about AutoCAD 2008 (and some things we might have missed in 2004-2007, too).  I have a few goals: to get myself up to speed, to get you up to speed and to come up with some nifty ideas about how we can exploit these AutoCAD tools for our Civil 3D related tasks.

Thing I liked #1: Smarter Mtext

You have a big long word doc.  You paste it into MTEXT.  It looks like this:

Select the MTEXT and go into PROPERTIES.  Change the “Columns” options

Use your grips to resize your MTEXT box and get excited…. because it makes auto-columns!  This is very nice.  If you have ever wrestled with a whole sheet of notes and tried to guess where to make an mtext box cut-off you know why this caught my eye.

Next post in this series: Dynamically Linked AutoCAD Tables <-> Excel Spreadsheet (with ideas about how to tie this in with our TR-55 and Rational Calcs… hmmm)


  1. This Mtext feature reminds me of an old (like 14 years old!) external text editor we used in r12. I think it was called CHTXT.lsp. It let you select a whole mess of text and it would then open a DOS txt editor that let you do all sorts of wonderful things, including word wrap and create columns.

    Thanks for the updates Dana!

  2. Fred Mitchell says:

    I’ve heard about the viewport scaling for mtext in 2008, is there also plan readability?

  3. rgraham says:

    Ahhhh, but grasshpper-ess. You ‘ve already let the ‘cat out of the bag’ with one of your screenshots. for the very estute (or weary-eyed), there was a YES or NO option to set plan orientation. 😉