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Tip # 76 : Referencing to Object attributes and creating Smart Text

By Sudam Fernando posted 06-21-2019 13:31


Smart Text !! what a handy little tool, it lets us create texts by referencing to object’s attributes. Whether you are familiar with this function or it is completely new to you, I will walk through the process of applying smart text to CAD objects. Along with this I will showcase the new v5.10 feature of applying simple math using smart text.  


Below I have opened a project which shows a small neighborhood plan. First, to access the Smart Text feature, we need to go on the ‘Drafting’ Ribbon and select the ‘Text’ feature shown below in figure 1 in the red box.  


Figure 1 : Plan view showing the insert text feature


Afterwards, the create text command pane opens up and we can see the ‘Insert Smart’ in the blue box. I am looking to add the area of the enclosed area, highlighted in white and I will go ahead and click the ‘Insert Smart’ box.











The Insert Smart Text window above will open up and in this window we can classify what kind of attributes we want to reference. Since the object I am referencing is a 2D enclosed space I have specified I want the Area in the ‘Property’ drop down list. Since I am extracting features from an object I have specified this in ‘Extract property at/from’ and decided to Use project settings for the units ( we can change this later on )  




After pressing OK on the Insert Smart Text window we see the setting we just chose appear as Smart Text Codes in the blue box. These keyboard shortcuts can be found using the Help function on TBC which you can access by pressing F1 and by searching up ‘Smart Text Codes’. Then we can proceed to select the object in the plan view and the attribute will automatically appear and you can choose where to insert the text. You may hit the ‘Close’ button to exit the Insert Text window.














 By right clicking the smart text in Plan view we can access its properties. In the green box we can note the smart text code that was applied in the previous text. We are able to edit the text straight from the properties panel by left clicking the browse button “...”








In the figure below I have gone ahead and changed some parameters using the Smart Text Codes which can be found by pressing F1 and typing ‘Smart Text Codes. (A) specifies that I want the Area, (O) specifies the selected object, (T) indicates that I intend to display units suffix, (2) indicates that I want a precision of 2 decimal places, and (m) indicates that I want the Area in square meters. We can see how the text has automatically changed from 3360.0 square feet (Project settings) to 312.16 square meters.







Now for the brand new feature implemented in TBC v.5.10 : Imagine a scenario your customer has told you the enclosed area will be split up into 6 equal parts to be developed into various projects and want to know what the area of each part will be. Well using this handy new trick we are able to compute basic math straight from the text editor. Shown in the figure below, in the red box we can see the mathematical computations following thevertical bar ‘|’. Since we want to divide the area into 6 equal parts, I have used the division symbol ‘/’ followed by the number of parts I want, which in this case is 6. We can see that the area has reduced to 52.03 square meters. This feature is not limited to the demonstration I showcased, for example, it can be handy when wanting to label the elevation of the top of the curb that is 10 cm above the ground or many other interesting ideas !





Don't forget, you can always look up these smart text codes and appropriate shortcut codes using a touch of a button, pressing ‘F1’ and typing in ‘Smart Text Codes’


So next time you have a big project and want to label your attributes, this feature will save the day and save you lots of time. Hope this tip comes in handy and have a safe weekend !




04-12-2022 17:26

How does the smart text link to the specific dynaview?

I used this smart text below in my titleblock but it just shows a ?


04-12-2022 17:26

How does the smart text link to the specific dynaview?

I used this smart text below in my titleblock but it just shows a ?


10-03-2019 14:27

Hi Barney, 


If you keep the create text command open with the smart text already written, you should be able to label your dynaviews in different sheet sets as such : 


hopefully this solves your problem but let me know if i was mistaken


Thank you ! 

10-01-2019 19:38

Hi @Sudam Fernando I would like use object based smart text (i.e. @<OD,O,SC>@) to label dynaview scale in my sheet set template. However, it seems that you need to create the text from scratch for each sheet set because the smart text needs to be shown the target dynaview in the specific sheet set before it will work i.e. it does not intuitively reference the dynaview assigned to that sheet set. Any suggestions? Cheers.