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Using Formulas and Conversion Factors in Your Land Desktop Labels

By Rick Ellis, Cadapult Software Solutions, Inc., March 18, 2003

Did you know that you could add mathematical formulas to your Land Desktop labels? This will allow you to calculate unit conversions or any other value that you may need with the data you use to label your lines, curves, spirals, and points.

The key to this is just properly setting up the Label Style. To see the process we will look at a common application for using formulas in label styles, converting feet to meters. In our example we have a drawing that is in feet. But we need to label some lines in both feet and meters.

1. Select Labels > Edit Label Styles.

2. On the Line Tab of the Edit Label Styles dialog box set “direction above distance below” as the current style.

3. Now type in “Feet and Meters” as the new Name for our new style
a. Remember, the name is up to you. It can be anything.

4. Next place your cursor in the Text Below box at the end of the text, after the foot symbol, and use the Enter key to create a new line of text.

5. In the Data box select Length and then pick the Text Below button.

6. This is where we add the formula. Place your cursor in the Text Below box, on the second line, inside the brackets {} after the h.

7. Now type the formula function symbol that you want to use. For our exercise it will be the multiplication symbol * . You can reference the table below for all of the available functions.

8. After the * type the conversion factor. .3048

9. Outside of the brackets type the desired suffix. M

10. You may also want to check the units of your label style because the units of formulas are handled differently than standard linear lengths. So pick the Linear button in the Units section of the dialog box.

11. Set the formula units to 2.

12. Finally, pick the Save button to save your new label style.

13. Close the Edit Label Styles dialog box.

14. Select Labels > Settings and set your new label style current.

15. Then select Labels > Add Dynamic Labels to Label a Line.

Using this process you can create labels that perform almost any conversion or mathematical function that you can imagine. So take a little time to think about how you might be able to use this functionality to your advantage, and happy labeling!

About the Author

Rick Ellis is the co-founder of Cadapult Software Solutions, Inc., a member of the Autodesk Developer Network; and author of several AutoCAD training manuals, including “Digging into Land Desktop.” He teaches classes focusing on AutoCAD, Map, Land Desktop, Raster Design, MXRoad and MXRenew for skill levels ranging from beginner to advanced users. Consulting services range from installation support to the implementation of standards.

If you have any questions about this article or for more information you can call Rick at (503) 829-8929, email rick@cadapult-software.com, or visit the Cadapult website at www.cadapult-software.com

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