The Wmdows Metafile (WMF) file type is one of the more popular vector file formatsin Windows. It can be opened and edited by most illustration progra ms, including CorelDraw and Adobe illustrator. Most word-processing, database, and spreadsheet programs can also import WMF files. It’s a great option for AutoCAD file export because it preserves TrueType fonts and now that AutoCAD offers line-weight settings, you can export WMF files that preserve line weights as well.
To export WMF files, do the following.
1. Choose File >- Export. The Export Data dialog box appears.
2. The default file type in this dialog box happens to be.WMF, SO all you need to do is enter a name and location for your WMF file, then dick OK. The dialog box doses and a prompt appears asking you to select objects.
3. Select the objects you want to export to the WMF file and press when you are finished. The object are saved to your WMF file.
AutoCAD is capable of exporting to the Encapsulated PostScript file format (.eps). You actually have two ways of obtaining PostScript output. You can use the File >- Export option on the menu bar, or you can install a PostScript printer driver and plot your drawing to an .eps file. In Chapter 11, the IjYou Want to Experimeni.: section described the steps for using File >- Export to export .eps files. To set up . AutoCAD to plot your drawing to an ,eps file, follow the same steps described in the previous Exporting Raster Files section, but in step 2, select the option that reads Adobe from the Manufacturers list and then select the appropriate PostScript level from the Models list
PostScript Font Substitution
This chapter mentioned earlier that AutoCAD substitutes its own fonts with Post Script fonts when a file is exported to an .eps file using the Export Data dialog bo: If your work involves PostScript output, you will want to know these font names in order to make the appropriate substitution. Table 14.1shows a listing of Auto- CAD font names and their equivalent PostScript names. To take advantage of AutoCAD’s ability to translate fonts, you need to create AutoCAD fonts that have the names listed in the first column of Table 14.1. You then need to use those fonts when creating text styles in AutoCAD. Then Auto- CAD will convert the AutoCAD fonts into the corresponding PostScript fonts, Creating the AutoCAD fonts can be simply a matter of copying and renaming exismtg fonts to those listed in Table 14.1. For example, you could make a copy of the Romans. shx font and name it Agd •shx. Better yet, if you have the PostScript .pfb file of the font, you can compile it into anAutoCAD font file and rename the compiled file appropriately, By compiling the .pfb file, you get a close approxima~. tion of its appearance in AutoCAD. See the Using PostScript Fonts sidebar in Chapter 8 for a description on how to compile PostScript fonts.
Have you are using PostScript fonts not listed in Table 14.1, you can add your own AutoCAD-to-PostScript substitution by editing the Acad . psf file. This is a plain text file that contains the font substitution information as well as other PostScript translation data
Combining Data from Different Sources
Imagine being able to import and display spreadsheet data in an AutoCAD .drawing. Further imagine that you can easily update that spreadsheet data, either from directly within the drawing or remotely by editing the source spreadsheet document. With a little help from a Windows feature called Object Linking .and ETJbedding (OLE), such a scenario is within your grasp. The data is not limited to spreadsheets; it can be a word-processed document, a database report, or even a sound Or video clip.
To import data from other applications, you use the Cut and Paste features found in virtually all Wmdows programs. You cut the data from the source document, then paste it into AutoCAD.
When you paste data into your AutoCAD file, you have the option to have it linked to the source file or to embed it. H you link it to the source file, then the pasted data is updated whenever the source file is modified. This is similar to an Auto- CAD cross-referenced file. (more on cross-referenced files.)
You can also paste data into AutoCAD without linking it; then it is considered an embedded object. You can still open the application associated with the data by double-clicking it, but the data is no longer associated with the source file. This is similar to a drawing inserted as a block where changes in the source drawing file have no effect on the inserted block.
Let’s see firsthand how OLE works. The following exercise shows how to link an Excel spreadsheet to AutoCAD. You will need a copy of Microsoft Excel for Wmdows 95/98 or Wmdows NT, but if you have another application that supports OLE, you can follow along.
1 Open the file called 14 plain ls ,from the companion CD-ROM. This is a copy of the plan you may have created ill earlier exercises.
2 Open the Excel spreadsheet called 14a-pl an. xl 5, also from the companion CD-ROM.
3 In Excel, highlight the door data, as shown in Figure 14.7, by clicking cell Al and dragging to cell G17.
4 Choose Edit:> Copy. This places a copy of the selected data into the Win-‘ dows Clipboard.
5 Switch to AutoCAD, either by’ clicking a visible portion of the AutoCAD window, or by clicking the AutoCAD button in the Taskbar at the bottom of the Wmdows Desktop .
6 Choose Edit >Paste Special. The Paste Special dialog box appears.
7. Click the Paste Link radio button to tell AutoCAD you want this paste to be a link. Notice that the list of source types changes to show only one option: Microsoft Excel Worksheet.
8. Click OK. The spreadsheet data appears in the drawing.
9. Place the cursor on the upper-left comer of the spreadsheet so that a doubleheaded diagonal arrow appears, and then click and drag the comer downward and to the right to make the size.
10. Place the cursor over the spreadsheet data so it looks like.a cross, and then click and drag.the spreadsheet to the. lower-right comer.of the drawing.
11. Zoom into the spreadsheet so you can read its contents clearly.
As you saw in steps 8 and 9, you can resize a pasted object using the comer or side grips. The comer grips maintain the original proportion of the inserted object.
You now have a linked object inserted into the AutoCAD drawing. You can save this file and send it off to someone else, along with the pasted document, 14a-plan .xl s. The other person will be able to open the AutoCAD file and view the drawing with the spreadsheet.
Now let’s see how the link feature works by making some changes to the spreadheet data
1. Go back to Excel by clicking the Excel button in the Wmdows toolbar. 20 Click the cell just below the column heading D-RATE.
3. Change the cell’s contents by typing No Rating.J.
4. Go back to AutoCAD and notice that the corresponding cell in the
inserted spreadsheet has changed to reflect the change you made to the original document. Since you inserted the spreadsheet as a ltnked document, OLE updates the pasted copy whenever the orignal source document changes. ”
5. Now close both the Excel spreadsheet and the AutoCAD drawing.