Once you’ve pasted an object with links, you can control the link by selecting. Edit >OLE Links (Olelinks): If there are no linked objects in the drawing, this option does nothing; otherwise it opens the Links dialog box.
The following list describes the options available in the Links dialog box: Cancel Does just that. It cancels the link between a pasted object and its source’ file. Once this option is used, changes in the source file have no effect on the pasted object. This is similar to using the Bind option in the Xref command.
Update Now Updates an object’s link when the Manual option is selected.
Open Source Opens the application associated with the object and lets you edit it.
Change Source Lets you change the object’s link to a different file. When you select this option, AutoCAD opens the Change Link dialog box, which lets you select another file of the same type. For example, if you are editing the link to a sound file, the Change Link dialog box will display files with the .wav file extension.
Automatic and Manual Radio buttons control whether linked objects are updated automatically or manually.
Break Link Disconnects the link between the inserted data and the source document. The inserted data then becomes embedded, rather than linked.
Options for Embedding Data
If you don’t need to link the imported data to its source, the Paste Special dialog box lets you convert the imported data to a number of other formats. Here is a brief description of each format that is available:
Picture (Metafile) Imports the data as vector or bitmap graphics, whichever is appropriate. If applicable, text is also maintained as text, though not editable within AutoCAD.
Bibnap Imports the data as a bitmap image, closely reflecting the appear:’ ance of the data as it appears on your computer screen in the source application.
AutoCAD Entities Converts·the data into AutoCAD objects such as
lines, arcs, and circles. Text is converted into AutoCAD single-line text objects.
Image Entity Converts the data into an AutoCAD raster image. You can then edit it using the raster image-related tools found in the Modify > Object :> Image cascading menu of the menu bar. See Chapter 11 for more on how to useraster images.
Text Converts the data into AutoCAD multiline text objects
The ‘options you see in the Paste Special dialog box will depend on the type of data being Imported. You saw how the Microsoft Excel Worksheet option maintains the imported data as an Excel worksheet. If the contents of the Clipboard come from another program, you are offered that program as a choice in place of Excel.
Using the Clipboard to Export AutoCAD Drawings
Just as you can cut and paste data into AutoCAD from applications that supportOLE, you can also cut and paste AutoCAD images to other applications. This can be useful as a way of including AutoCAD images into word-processed documents, spreadsheets, or desktop-publishing documents. It can also be useful in creating background images for visualization programs such as 3D Studio, er paint programs such as Fractal Painter.
The receiving application does not need to support OLE, but if is does, then the exported drawing can be edited with AutoCAD and will maintain its accuracy as a CAD drawing. Otherwise, the AutoCAD image will be converted to a bitmap graphic.
To use the Clipboard to export an object or set of objects from an AutoCAD drawing, use the Edit >Copy option. You are then prompted to select the objects you want to export. If you want to simultaneously export and erase objects from AutoCAD, choose “Edit :> Cut. If you want the AutoCAD image to be linked to AutoCAD, use Edit >: Copy Link. You won’t be prompted. to select objects. The current visible portion of your drawing will be exported. If you want the entire drawing to be exported, use Vlew >Zoom :> Extents before using the Copy Link option. Otherwise, set up AutoCAD to display the portion of your drawing you want exported, before using Copy Link.
In the receiving application, choose Edit >- Paste Special. You’ll see a dialog box similar to AutoC~D’s Paste Special dialog box. Select the method for pasting your AutoCAD image, and then click OK. If the receiving application does not have a Paste Special option, choose Edit >Paste. The receiving application con- . verts the image into a format it can accept.
With a little help from a Visual Basic macro and OLE, you can have Excel extract attribute data from a drawing, and then display that data in a spreadsheet imported. into AutoCAD. The following exercise uses a VISual Basic macro embedded. in the 14a-p 1an. xl s file you used in an earlier exercise.
“1. Open the ;L4a-plan-xl s .dwg file in AutoCAD again.
2. Open the 14a -p 1an . xl s file in Excel.
3. Repeat the exercise in the Combining Data from Different Sources section of this chapter, but stop before exiting the two files
4. In AutoCAD, choose Modify > Attribute> Single, and then click the door symbol in room 115.
S. Change the Fire Rating Attribute value to 1 hour, and then click OK.
6. Go to Excel, and then choose Tools> Macro> Macros.
7. In the Macros dialog box, highlight the Extract macro, and then click Run. Excel takes a moment to extract the attribute data from the open file; then it displays the data in the spreadsheet. ”
8. Return to AutoCAD and check the Fire Rating Value for room 115 in the imported spreadsheet. It reflects th~ change you made in the attribute in step 4.
9. Choose both the files
The macro you used in the Excel file is a small sample of what-can-be done usingAutoCAD’s implementation of Visual Basic Automation. You’ll learn more about VBA . In this chapter, you have seen how AutoCAD allows you to access iNormation ranging from the areas of objects to information from other programs. You may ,:. never use some of these features, but knowing they are there ma~ at SOJJ\e point,
Thell’ you to solve a production problem.
You’ve just completed Part mof our tutorial. If you’ve followed the tutorial hx>m the beginning, this is where you get a diploma. You have JOeadwd &peR status in 2D drawing and have the tools to tackle any drawing project thrown at you. You only need to log in some time on a few real projects to round out your experience. From now on, you won’t need to follow the book’s chapters In order. If you’re interested in 3D, go ahead and continue to Part Iv, where you’ll get thorough instructions on 3D drawing and imaging with AutoCAD. Otherwise, you can skip to Part V to become a full-fledged AutoCAD power user.
Also, don’t miss the appendices and the CD-ROM-they are packed with information that will answer many of your specific questions or problems. Of course, the entire book is a ready reference to answer questions as they arise or to refresh your memory about specific commands.