Now that you have seen how to bring Map data into your drawing using Map>Tools>Import (see this post for detailed instructions), you might ask “How can I made a label that ‘reads’ the object data fields?”. Special text that reads the object data (and many other properties if you’d like) is called an “annotation”. It is similar to a Civil 3D label because it is semi-dynamic and reads some information from the object itself, but it is really just a beefed up attributed block.
In this example, we will label a road with its name. This particular batch of GIS data has a field called “STREET”. Yours might be called something different. Be sure to read the metadata or talk to the person who created the dataset if you are unsure which one to use.
Read how to do this after the jump.
Once you have your GIS data imported, go to Annotation>Define Annotation Template
Create a New Annotation template. Give it a name, press OK until you get to the Block Editor interface.
The Block Editor interface opens. The only thing that makes this interface different from a normal block editor is this TINY toolbar.
Press the Edit Annotation Text button.
Press Enter in the command line to bring up…
…the annotative text dialog. This looks like the attributed block dialog. Name your TAG, then use the expression button to build the intelligence of your label.
In the expression chooser, note that you can choose regular AutoCAD properties as part of your label as well- such as layer, color, length, X,Y,Z, etc.
Expand under object data and choose the correct table.
The scroll down to find the field you’d like to use in the label.
Change things like text style, height, etc. Note that you can do advanced techniques like using expressions to determine height, rotation, justification and more.
The command line will ask you where to place this annotation. Remember, in the block editor 0,0 is the block insertion point.
You can build additional information in here, like mtext, dtext, lines, wipeouts, etc. if you’d like. Press the save button when you are done. Note that the block editor shows your tag here.
Click OK as many times as necessary to approve your annotation template, then choose Map>Annotation>Insert Annotation.
It wil bring up the templates you have made… Click Insert and choose your objects.
The labels come in! Note that you can further mess around with the annotation template to achieve your desired orientation, text height, style and more. Look under Help and in the Map tutorials for information on how to update annotation text if the object data changes and some other ideas on taking this to the next level.
So that is one way to use your annotation template. In my next post I will show you how to apply annotation as part of a theme- which is how I did it in my AU Class.