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How to Automatically Display the Plotting Scale on Your AutoCAD Drawing

By Ellen Finkelstein, March 18, 2013
Originally published on EllenFinkelstein.com. Republished here by permission.

A reader asked me, "Can we have AutoCAD print the plotting scale on the drawing?"

Yes, you can! I’m going to assume that you have 1 viewport on a layout tab with a title block that will display the scale of that viewport.

Here are the steps:

  1. Set the scale for the viewport. I explain how in this tip, "Create a scale for plotting."
  2. Start the MTEXT command. (On the ribbon, choose Home tab, Annotation panel, Multiline Text.)
  3. At the Specify first corner: and Specify opposite corner: prompts, click to place

    the text in your title block - or anywhere you want. The Text Editor tab appears on the ribbon and you see the text editor in your drawing.

  4. Inside the text editor, right-click and choose Insert Field to open the Field dialog box.
  5. From the Field Category drop-down list, choose Objects.
  6. Under Field Names, choose Object.
  7. To the right of the Object Type box, click the Select Object button.
  8. Back in your drawing, select the layout for which you set the scale. You can only select one object. The dialog box returns and the Object Type box reads Viewport.
  9. In the Property box, choose Standard Scale if you chose a standard scale in the Properties palette when setting the scale. If you specified a custom scale, choose Custom Scale. You’ll see a preview of the text in the Preview box at the upper-right corner of the dialog box. For a scale, you usually don’t need to specify a format, since there isn’t any text, just numbers. You can see how the dialog box looks on the right.
  10. Click OK to close the Field dialog box.
  11. Click outside of the Text Editor to place the text of the layout’s scale. Your Mtext now shows the scale of the viewport as you see at the right.

What’s so cool about this method is that the field updates when you change the scale of the viewport. If you save the drawing, plot, do a regen, or open the drawing, the field will update automatically. You can update the field manually with these steps:

  1. Double-click the text to activate the Text Editor.
  2. Select the text.
  3. Right-click and choose Update Field.

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About the Author

Ellen Finkelstein Ellen Finkelstein is a recognized expert, speaker, trainer, and best-selling author on AutoCAD, PowerPoint and presentation skills. Her articles have appeared in numerous magazines, newsletters, and blogs. She is the author of the AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD LT 2013 Bible. More…

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