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How to Use the TEXT Command in AutoCAD 2014

Despite its limitations, the TEXT command in AutoCAD 2014 is useful for labels and other short notes for which mText (multiline) would be overkill. The following steps show you how to add text to a drawing by using AutoCAD’s TEXT command.

The TEXT command doesn’t use a dialog box, fancy formatting toolbar, or contextual Ribbon tab, like the mText command’s In-Place Text Editor. You set options by typing them on the command line or in the Dynamic Input tooltip.

Here’s how to add text by using the TEXT command:

  1. Set an appropriate non-annotative text style current.

    It’s possible to set an already created text style current at the TEXT command prompt, but it’s usually more straightforward to set the style before starting the command.

    An alternative to opening the Text Style dialog box to make an existing style current is to click the Text Style drop-down list and choose the style there. Look for the Text Style drop-down list on the Annotation panel’s slideout (on the Home tab) or on the Text panel of the Annotate tab.

    If you know the name of the text style that you want to use, begin typing it at the command line. The AutoCAD 2014 command line searches for text styles; they appear at the bottom of the command line window. When you see the one you want, just select it.

  2. (Optional) Use the Object Snap button on the status bar to enable or disable running object snaps.

    You may or may not want to snap text to existing objects. For example, you’d want to use a Center object snap to locate a letter or number precisely at the center of a circle. Make sure that you specify middle-center (MC) text justification to ensure that object snapping works perfectly.

  3. On the Home tab’s Annotation panel, click the lower part of the big button labeled Text, and then choose Single Line from the drop-down menu to start the TEXT command.

    Don’t click the upper part of the Text button. That action starts the multiline text command, mText.

    If your text style is annotative and this annotative object is the first one you’re creating in this drawing session, AutoCAD usually displays the Select Annotation Scale dialog box, which advises you that you are indeed creating an annotative object and asks you to set the scale at which you want the annotation to appear; click OK to continue.

    AutoCAD tells you the current text style and height settings and then prompts you to either select a starting point for the text or choose an option for changing the text justification or current text style first:

    Current text style: “Standard” Text height: 0.2000 Annotative: No
    Specify start point of text or [Justify/Style]:
  4. If you want a justification style different from the default (left), type J, press Enter, and choose another justification option.

    Look up the term create single-line text in the online Help system if you need help with the justification options.

  5. Specify the insertion point for the first text character.

    You can enter the point’s coordinates from the keyboard, use the mouse to click a point onscreen, or press Enter to locate new text immediately below the most recent single-line text object that you created.

    AutoCAD prompts you for the text height:

    Specify height <0.2000>:
  6. Specify the height of the text.

    The text height prompt doesn’t appear if you’re using a text style with a fixed (that is, nonzero) height. Now here’s the nuisance: If you haven’t specified a fixed height for the current text style, you’ll be asked for the text height every time you create text, and you’ll have to enter the correctly scaled value to get things to come out right.

    AutoCAD prompts you for the text rotation angle:

    Specify rotation angle of text <0>:
  7. Specify the text rotation angle by typing the rotation angle and pressing Enter or by rotating the line onscreen with the mouse.

    AutoCAD prompts you to type the text.

  8. Type the first line of text and press Enter.

  9. (Optional) Type additional lines of text, pressing Enter at the end of each line.

    Each line of text is neatly aligned below the previous line and is a separate, independent object and cannot be edited as a single paragraph. If you want a single paragraph, use the mText command.

  10. To stop entering text and return to the command line, press Enter at the start of a blank line.

    AutoCAD adds to the drawing the new, single-line text object — or objects, if you typed more than one line.

The TEXT command remembers its last-used settings (style, justification, height, and rotation angle), so you don’t need to reapply them every time.

To align lines of text exactly, type all the lines in one instance of the TEXT command, pressing Enter after each line to make the next line appear immediately after it. Otherwise, aligning different lines of text precisely is more difficult (unless you set the snap just right or use a complicated combination of object snaps and point filters).

To edit single-line text after you create it, select the text, right-click, and choose Edit (or double-click the text) to open the In-Place Text Editor. (In-place simply means that you edit text at its exact size and location in the drawing.)

An in-place editing box highlights the selected text object, enabling you to edit the contents of the text string. If you want to edit other text properties such as text height, select the text, right-click, and choose Properties to display the Properties palette. Use this palette to change properties as needed.

If the Quick Properties button on the application status bar is enabled, clicking a single-line text object opens the Quick Properties panel, allowing you to change some (but not all) of the same properties as you can on the Properties palette.

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