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Mask Dimension Text
Tip# 3804 By Samuel Lucido On 08-Jan-2012
Rated By 3 users
Categories : Styles
Software type : AutoCAD 2012
Rename File To : No Files to download.
Ensure that your annotations are visible — prevent other objects from printing over the top of the text.

Tipster Sam Lucido writes about how to set and control background text masking for dimension text in AutoCAD and its verticals.

"Did you know that you can mask the background of dimension text? You can add a background mask to a single dimension or all dimensions within a drawing file.

"There are several ways to change this. First, you can create a new dimension style and set the fill color to background. All of your dimensions with that style will have the mask set to background, which will in effect wipeout any objects behind the dimension text.

"You can also select the dimension, right-click, and open the properties palette. Select the Fill Color pull-down menu, then the Background option.

"AutoCAD has two system variables that control the background color for dimensions. DimTFill controls the background of dimension text:

  • 0 — No background
  • 1 — The background color of the drawing
  • 2 — The background color specified by DimTFillClr

DimTFillClr sets the color for the text background in dimensions. Color numbers are displayed in the Select Color dialog box. For ByBlock, enter 0. For ByLayer, enter 256."

Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: Masking text, notes, and dimensions is an easy way to ensure that your annotations are visible to those reading your drawings. It hides everything beneath the text, ensuring that it is visible by preventing any other object from printing over the top of it. Text masking keeps the mask with the text. It doesn’t create a separate object, like a wipeout, that requires maintenance every time the text is altered. It fits itself to the text area width and height.


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User comments
Comment by Jacobsen,Don
Posted on 2012-01-09 13:27:43
Interesting, but I guess I'm from the old school where we placed dimensions and text in a location that didn't interfere with object lines.
Comment by Krupa,Ken
Posted on 2012-01-09 14:12:19
I'm old-school too, but this seems handy - and I did not know about it. Thanks.
Comment by Caldwell,Charles
Posted on 2012-01-09 15:13:55
Good tip: I use this often, especially when annotating over images. I wasn't aware of system variables that control this. Is there a variable to enable background mask for any new dimensions (to save selecting each dimension and turning on background maks)?
Comment by Caldwell,Chas
Posted on 2012-01-09 15:27:04
Okay, I see DIMTFILL = 1 enables background mask for all dimensions. To clarify my earlier question: what is variable, if any, for multileaders text background mask?
Comment by Rankin,Cheryl
Posted on 2012-01-09 16:33:03
I agree with Ken. I'm old school too and have had occasionally had to mask dimension text. This tip will be very helpful and a time saver. Thanks!