Frequent tipster Danny Korem offers some advice about using annotative objects while working in AutoCAD.
"I'm so accustomed to seeing annotative objects these days that old-school methods seem confusing and clumsy, and I look at hundreds of drawing files, layouts, and viewports every week. Before annotative objects, users essentially had two choices. The first was to create dimensions and annotations in paper space (letting AutoCAD get the viewport scale and use real-world paper height for text, dimensions, and so on). The second choice would be to duplicate dimensions and annotations in model space, and manage their appearance through layers and viewports overrides. Both cases are clumsy; both involve duplicates of some kind. Then came annotative objects. There are annotative blocks, annotative attributes, annotative dimensions, annotative texts, and even annotative hatch patterns.
"If most of your work happens in model space and you create an annotative dimension style, select an annotation scale within your model space before using it (model space is no different than any other layout). If the annotation scales you will need in the file's life cycle are missing, then this is the time to create them. After an annotation scale is selected, any annotative dimensions or texts created will automatically be created in the specific annotation scale. This will make them visible in model space. When you switch to a layout, you can select a viewport and change its annotation scale to the one you need. Usually it will be logical to use similar values for custom and annotative scales of a viewport, but you are the boss!
"Select all the dimensions and annotations you'd like to use in another viewport (no matter the layout) and add to them as many annotative scales as needed. If you are still in model space, you can browse through the different scales. When an annotated object is selected, you will see all the scales applied to the object at once — which is hard on the eyes. Turn this feature off by setting the setvar selectionannodisplay to a value of zero (0)."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: Annotative objects in AutoCAD are very powerful and extremely useful, but they can be difficult to work with sometimes.
An annotative object has a predefined size that is relative to the scale of the viewport it is being displayed in. For example, annotative text styles define the "paper height" of text. This setting controls the size of the text when it is printed on paper. You can set annotative text to have a paper height of 1 mm, 1/8", 0.1", or to any value of any unit that AutoCAD uses. Regardless of the viewport's scale, the text will be displayed and printed at the defined paper height.
There are a few restrictions: The text object must be in model space, and it must have the viewport's scale assigned to it. If the text object does not have the viewport scale assigned to it will not display at all — but that can also be a way of making sure your text does not appear. The more text scales you assign to a text object, the more possibilities there are. It also means the more difficult it can be to work with. When an annotative text object is selected in model space, all instances of each scale assigned to that object are displayed. That way you can see how your edits will affect the way it looks at those scales. But the more scales there are, the more text that shows up. This can make things difficult to work with; be careful, or apply this tipster's advice and turn that feature off. I recommend leaving it on and limiting the amount of scales you add to your annotative objects.