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Attributes depend on blocks. You might think of an attribute as a tag attached to a block, where the tag contains information about the block. For example, you could have included an-attribute definition with the door drawing you created. If you had, then every time you subsequently inserted the door you would have been prompted for a value associated with that door. The value could be a number, a height or width value. a name, or any type of text information you want.

When you insert the block, you are prompted for an attribute value. Once you enter a value, it is stored as part of the block within the drawing database. This value can be displayed as text attached to the door, or it can be made invisible. The value can be changed at any time. You can even specify what the prompts say in asking you for the attribute value.

However, suppose you don’t have the attribute information when you design the door. As an alternative, you can add the attribute to a symbol that is later placed by the door when you know enough about the design to specify what type of door goes where. The standard door type symbol suits this purpose nicely because it is an object that can be set up and used as a block independent of the actual door block.

In the following exercises, you will create a door type symbol with attributes for the different values normally assigned to doors, namely size, thickness, fire rating, material, and construction.

Adding Attributes to Blocks

In this exercise, you will create a door type symbol, which is commonly used to describe the size, thickness, and other characteristics of any given door in an architectural drawing. The symbol is usually a circle, hexagon, or diamond, with a number in it. The number is usually cross-referenced to a schedule that lists all the door types and their characteristics.

While in this exercise you will be creating a new file containing attribute definitions, you can also include such definitions in blocks you create using the Make Block tool (the lock command) or in files you create using the Wblock command. Just create the attribute definitions, then include ‘them with the Block or Wblock selections.

1. Create a new file and call it S-door (for symbol-door). Since the symbol will fit in the default ~ts of the drawing, you don’t have to change the limits setting.

2. Draw a circle with a radius of 0.125 (0.3 for metric users) and with its center at coordinate 7,5.

3. Next, zoom in to the circle so it is about the same size as shown.

4. If the circle looks like an octagon, Choose View >- Regen. or type Re↵ to regenerate your drawing.

5. Choose Draw >- Block >- Define Attributes, or type At↵. The Attribute Definition dialog box appears .

6. Click the input box labeled Tag in the Attribute group. Enter d-type.

7. Press the Tab key or click the input box labeled Prompt, and enter Door type. Here, you enter the text for the prompt that will appear when you insert the block containing this attribute. Often the prompt is the same as the tag, but it can be anything you like. Unlike the tag, the prompt can include spaces.

8. Click the input box labeled Value. This-is where you enter a default value for the door type prompt. Enter a hyphen .

9. Click the Justification pull-down list, and then highlight Middle. This allows you to center the attribute on the circle’s center. You might notice several other options in the Text Options group. Since attributes appear as text, you can apply the same settings to them as you would to single-line text.

10. Double-click the input box next to the button labeled Height <, and then enter 0.125.(Metric users should enter 0.3.)This makes the attribute text 0.125 inches (0.3 cm)high.

11. Check the box labeled Verify in the Mode group. This option instructs Auto- CAD to verify any answers you give to the attribute prompts at insertion time.

12. Click the button labeled Pick Point < in the Insertion Point group. The dialog box closes momentarily to let you pick a location for the attribute.

13. Using the Center Osnap, pick the center of the circle:You need to place the cursor on the circle’s circumference, not in the circle’s center, to obtain the center using the ®Snap. The Attribute Definition dialog Box reappears.

14. Click OK. The attribute definition appears a↵ the enter of the circle.

You have just created your first attribute definition. The attribute definition displays its tag in all uppercase letters to help you identify it. When you later insert this file into another drawing, the tag turns into the value you assign to it when it is inserted. If you only want one attribute, you can stop here and save the file. The next section shows you how you can quickly add several more attributes to your drawing.

Changing Attribute Specifications

Next, you will add a few more attribute definitions, but instead of using the Attribute Definition dialog box, you will make an arrayed copy of the first attribute, and then edit the attribute definition copies. This method can save you time when you want to create several attribute definitions that have similar characteristics. By making copies and editing them, you’ll also get a chance to see firsthand how to make changes to an attribute definition.

1. Click Array on the Modify toolbar, or type Ar↵ .

2. At the Select objects: prompt, click the attribute definition you just created, and then press ↵.

3. At the Enter the type of array [Rectangular/Polar] (R>: prompt, type R↵.

4. At the Enter number of rows: prompt, enter 7↵.

5. At the Enter number of columns: prompt, press↵.

6.. At the Enter distance between Rows: prompt, enter-.18↵ (-o.432↵ for metric users). This is about 1.5 times the height of the attribute definition. Be sure to include the minus sign. The minus sign causes the array to be drawn downward.

7. Issue a Zoom Extents or use the Zoom Real time tool to view all the attributes.

Now you are ready to modify the copies of the attribute definitions.

1. Press the Esc key twice to clear any selections or commands, then click the attribute definition just below the original to select it.

2. Right-click, then select Properties from the popup menu. You can also select Properties from the Standard toolbar.

3. Make sure the Categorized tab is selected, then scroll down the list of properties until you see the Invisible option.

4. Double-click the 0 setting to the right of the Invisible option. The setting changes to Yes.

5. Scroll back up the Iist ot properties and locate the Tag option

6. Highlight the Tag value to the right, then type D-SIZE↵. The attribute changes to reflect the change in the tag value.

7. Highlight the Prompt value and type Door size ↵.

8. In the Value field, type 3′-0”↵. Metric users should type 90↵.

9. Press the Esc key to clear the selection of the attribute you’ve been editing, then click the next attribute do~!, so you can display-its properties in the Properties dialog box.

10. Continue to edit this arid’ he rest of the attribute definition properties using the attributes settings listed in Table . To do this repeat steps 4 through 9. for each attribute definition, replacing the Tag, Prompt, and Default Value with those shown in Table. Also, make sure all but the original attributes have the Invisible option turned on.

11. When you’ve finished editing the attribute definition properties, close the Properties dialog box.

12. After you have modified all the attributes, use the Draw> Block> Base option to change the base point of this drawing to the center of the circle. Use the Center Osnap to get the exact center.

13. Now you have finished creating your door type symbol with attributes. Save the S-door file.

When you later insert a file or block containing attributes, the attribute prompts will appear in the order that their associated definitions were created. If the order of the prompts at insertion time is important, you can control it by editing the attribute definitions so their creation order corresponds to the desired prompt order.

Inserting Blocks Containing Attributes

In the last section, you created a door type symbol at the desired. size for the actual plotted symbol. This means that whenever you insert that symbol, you have to specify an x and y scale factor appropriate to the scale of your drawing. This allows you to use the same symbol in any drawing. regardless of its scale. (You could have several door type symbols, one for each scale you anticipate using, but this would be inefficient. )

1. Open the Pl an file you created in earlier exercises. Or you can use the floapTan.dwg file from the companion CD-ROM. Metric users can use the file named 06b-plan-metric. dwg.

2. Choose View >- Named View to restore the view named First.

3. Be sure the Ceiling and Fir-Pat layers are off. Normally in a floor plan, the door headers are not visible, and they will interfere with the placement of the door reference symbol.

4. Click the Insert Block tool or type I ↵ open the Insert dialog box.

5. In the Insert dialog box, dick the Browse button.

6. Locate the S-door file in the file list and double-click it.

7. In the Scale button group, make sure the Uniform Scale check box is selected, then enter 96 in the X input box, Metric users should enter 100 in the X input box. You created the S-door file at the actual plotted size so you’ll need. to scale it up by the drawing scale factor to make it the appropriate size for this drawing.

8. Click OK.

9. Insert the symbol in the doorway of the lower-left unit, near coordinate 41′-3″,72′-4″. Metric users should use coordinate 1256,2202. When you’ve clicked the location, the Edit Attributes dialog box appears.

10. In the Door Type input box, enter A.J. Note that this ‘prompt is the prompt you created. Note also that the default value is the hyphen you specified.

11. In the Door Number input box, change the hyphen to 106.Continue to change the values for each input box, as shown in Table.

12. Now you’ve finished and the symbol appears. The only attribute you can see 15 the one you selected to be visible: the door type.

13. Add the rest of the door type symbols for the apartment entry doors by copying or arraying the door symbol you just inserted. You can use the previously saved views to help you get around the drawing quickly. Don’t worry that the attribute values won’t be appropriate for each unit. This chapter will show you how to edit the attributes in a later section .

As a review exercise, you’ll now create another file for the apartment number symbol. This will be a rectangular box with the room number that you will place in each studio apartment.

1. Save the Pl an file and then open a new file called S-apart (for the apartment number symbol).

2. Give the apartment number symbol attribute the tag name R-number, the prompt Room number, <1 default value of 000, and a text height of  0.125 inches .

3. Make the base point of this drawing the lower-left corner of the rectangle.

4. Save and close S-apart.

5. Open the Pl an file again and insert the apartment number symbol (using an x-scale factor of %) into the lower-left unit. Give this attribute the value of 116.

6. Copy or array the room number symbol so that there is one symbol in each of the units. You’ll learn how to modify the attributes to reflect their proper values in the following section, Editing Attributes. Figure shows what the view should look like once you’ve entered the door symbols and apartment numbers.

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