June 03, 2014
Hey dads and grads, who doesn't like more new tools? I am working on a project that a friend suggested would benefit from using pocket screws. I kind-of-knew what those were and he assured me it was pretty simple and he had the tool to do it. It took a while to meet up with him again, and then I forgot to mention borrowing the tool when we did meet… then looking online I could get the tool inexpensively and just ordered it, and I was sure I would use it more on similar projects. A neighbor boy and I were able to test it out and get our work done learning by just using it on some test boards.
ArcGIS for AutoCAD 350 includes new extensions to the AutoLISP API. I wrote a tool set using this API to create and manage feature-linked annotation. I am pretty proud of it. I am now creating some sophisticated labeling scenarios using feature classes and feature services.
These labeling tools take advantage of the often under used local ANNOTATION feature class which means the pieces of text themselves have attributes that I can query to manage the different labels. Because they are also simple AutoCAD text I can use my existing text styles and formatting options to get the type of text annotation I expect to see in AutoCAD. I have also created a tool to push label values back into the fields so that the labels can be used to update the feature's field values.
I have created a short document outlining the scope and use of these tools, which also includes helper AutoLISP functions that brave souls (like you) can re-use to build new customized labeling behaviors. I have also produced a short video on my YouTube GISCADChannel outlining the capabilities and use of the tools to get you started quickly. A similar set of tools for managing AutoCAD blocks with attribute tags is also in the works. I plan to assemble a toolbox of ArcGIS for AutoCAD Bonus Tools to take advantage of this new AutoLISP power I've been given to customize ArcGIS for AutoCAD 350 and future versions.
You can find these free tools here on ArcGIS Online.
If you have problems finding it for any reasons contact me and I will get it to you some other way.