With the release of AutoCAD 2008 comes powerful new functionality for scaling your annotations. While learning this new functionality myself and then training others how to use it, I discovered that the toughest thing about annotation scaling might be that it is TOO EASY! For years and years (even decades!) we have learned and applied all kinds of crazy processes in order to make our annotations plot correctly at varying scales. In this series on Annotation Scaling in AutoCAD 2008, I’ll lead you through the new, simpler process for creating accurately scaled annotations for your AutoCAD drawings.
Let’s begin with an overview of some of the user interface enhancements related to annotation scaling. The Dashboard includes a new Annotation Scaling panel. You can access the Dashboard by launching the DASHBOARD command or by selecting Tools>Palettes>Dashboard from the drop-down menu.
The Annotation Scaling panel is automatically displayed in the Dashboard when you use the 2D Drafting and Annotation workspace. Or you can manually turn it on by right-clicking over the Dashboard title bar and selecting Control Panels>Annotation Scaling.
Additional Annotation Scaling tools are available on the status bar. Different tools are displayed depending if the Model tab, a layout tab, or a layout viewport is selected.
As you begin using annotation scaling, you’ll find yourself relying heavily on the status bar tools. However, depending on your display resolution, you might discover that some of the tools are not fully displayed. For example, when my screen resolution is set to 1024x768, the two annotation tools to the right of the Annotation Scale are no longer visible.
There are several things you can do to ensure access to all of the annotation scaling tools:
- Increase your display resolution using the Windows Control Panel.
- Turn off unnecessary status bar controls using the Status Bar menu, which you can access from the menu arrow at the right end of the status bar.
- Turn on the Drawing Status Bar. This is a new option in the Status Bar menu.
When the Drawing Status Bar is turned on, the annotation scaling tools are displayed on a new status bar; one for each drawing. The benefit, besides having plenty of room for the annotation scaling tools, is that you can view and access the annotation controls on a per-drawing basis. The drawback is that it consumes more drawing real estate. If you don’t turn on the Drawing Status Bar, the annotation scaling tools on the AutoCAD Status bar apply to whichever drawing is current.
Well, that should give you a general idea of where to find the annotation scaling tools. But I’m sure you’re anxious to learn how to use these powerful tools! Stay tuned!