April 19, 2005

Scale-Dependent Tags in ADT

There are several scale-dependent tags in the out-of-the-box content provided with ADT. Scale-dependent tags allow you to place a single tag and have the size of the tag change for plotting at different scales. The most commonly used one would be for room names and numbers; the imperial version supports plotting at 1/16” = 1’-0”, 1/8” = 1’-0” and 1/4” = 1’-0”.

The first thing to note is that the out-of-the-box tags that are scale-dependent also happen to be project based; to be able to use these as is, you would need to be using Project Navigator and the Drawing Management system. You do not need to be using Project Navigator to use scale dependent tags, you simply need to have your tags reference the non-project dependent properties that you are likely already using for a non-scale-dependent tag.

Please note that the following is based on the room tag, imperial content, for ADT2004. I believe that the ADT2005 and ADT2006 content is not much different [if at all]; the metric content is likely similar, with different scale factors. Other scale-dependent tags would, of course, have different Multi-View Block [MVB] and view block names.

The scale-dependent tags rely on the use of the display system to selectively display one of three view blocks associated with the MVB tag. The tags do not change when you change the drawing scale - you need to change the current Display Configuration to one that uses the desired MVB Display Representation [DR]. The following DR's have the noted view block assigned:

Plan DR: Aec4_Room_Tag_MedDtl_P for the Top view direction
Plan High Detail DR: Aec4_Room_Tag_HiDtl_P for the Top view direction
Plan Low Detail DR: Aec4_Room_Tag_LoDtl_P for the Top view direction

The three view blocks are identical, except for size. The entire MVB is designed to be inserted at a scale factor of 1; the blocks are scaled to be plotted at 1/8" = 1'-0" [Plan DR], 1/4" = 1'-0" [Plan High Detail DR] and 1/16" = 1-0" [Plan Low Detail DR]. This forces you to make do with these three scales [which, in my experience, are the three most common scales likely to be used by a floor plan] but avoids the problem of figuring out what drawing scale to use when inserting the tag. Note also that because the view blocks are prescaled for a particular plot scale, they do not use annotation scaling. This means that resetting the annotation plot size on the Scale tab of the Drawing Setup dialog has no effect on these tags. If you have a project that needs a different text size, you will need to create a separate scale-dependent tag with appropriately defined view blocks.

If you are not using Project Navigator, then your room numbers are not being created by a concatenation of the project-based level and an increment. You can make a copy of one of the project-based, scale-dependent tags and modify it to reference whatever property you are using for your room numbers instead of the project-based room number. This is done by changing the attribute tag to reference the desired property. See more on this here. I would suggest renaming both the MVB and the individual view blocks when making the changes, then running the revised content file back through the AEC Content Wizard and plugging in the new names on the first "page" [add the MVB and view block names to the Content File list box and change the command string, substituting your MVB name for the old MVB name]. That will avoid any unpleasant conflicts should you try to use the new content file in a file that already has the old MVB and/or view blocks defined. Drag your newly created tag from the Custom tab of DesignCenter onto an editable tool palette and you will have a tool palette access to your new tag.

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