Multileaders – Part 2

|

Flowers at the Elizabethan Gardens After a much needed and most enjoyable vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I am back in the office. My first two days back to the office have been both busy and exciting, as Monday kicked off our AutoCAD 2008 upgrade training and deployment. Two offices down – five more to go. Needless to say July is going to be an incredibly busy month. Regardless of how busy or chaotic the month may become, it’s all still incredibly exciting as the users I support will be able to take advantage of the seemingly endless list of new features I have been blogging about for months now. If the excitement I have received while conducting upgrade training is any indication, multileaders are destined to become an indispensible tool within AutoCAD.

My previous post on multileaders effectively provided a quick onceover of the new multileader feature. As you will find in using multileaders, they put the aging quick leader on the fast-track to retirement. Their power is truly harnessed in their versatility.

Creating a basic multileader really isn’t all that different from our old friend, the quick leader. As mentioned in my last post multileaders are their own little piece of AutoCAD. I restate fundamental fact as a common misconception is that multileaders are configured with dimension styles. Although a multileader, and quick leader look a lot alike, their similarities end there. Multileaders are configured in their own interface, which I discussed in part 1 of this series.

Creating Multileaders

The actual command is MLEADER, although most will likely opt for the toolbar button . From this point the command works much like the old Quick Leader command where you specify a start and end point of your leader. With textual multileaders, be sure to note the MTEXT editor that pops up. Using it you can set the width of your MTEXT box.

Ok – so that’s not necessarily a big deal. What I do find extremely cool is the way multileaders interact with annotative scaling. The size of your MTEXT box can be set on a scale-by-scale basis. In other words it’s possible to make your text at Scale A wrap to two lines, and at Scale B be a single line of text.

Editing Multileaders

I have always found it especially sloppy and of poor quality when leader tails (part that connects to the text) is not perpendicular to the text it is associated with. After all we should be able to draw things both accurately and neatly when using a pencil which costs the price of AutoCAD! Admittedly using the old quick leader it was easy to grip-edit a leader and get a little sloppy from time to time. Thankfully, multileaders has a solution for keeping things neat, even when we’re pressed to get a job out the door.

The two little arrow grips will allow you to quickly and easily stretch/lengthen the tail of a leader – keeping it perpendicular to the text (or block) it is associated with.

Adding & Deleting Leaders

So far all of our examples have been with a single leader which looks strikingly similar to the old quick leader. Well every definition of “multi” I have ever read has stated multi means more than one. Although mutlileaders can contain only one leader, they are in fact aptly named. AutoCAD gives us two toolbar buttons; one for adding and the other for deleting leaders from a multileader.

To add a leader to an existing multileader use the button. You will be prompted to “Select a multileader”, and in doing so the arrowhead location.

Conversely deleting a leader from an existing multileader is done by using the button. Upon clicking it you will be prompted to select a multileader, and then the leader(s) you wish to delete.

Grouping Multiple Multileaders

Oftentimes when working with tag leaders (circle, triange, square, etc) there is a need to group multiple “bubbles” together with a single leader. No extremely manual process is needed to accomplish this. In fact it’s done by using the “Collect Multileaders” button (). Upon running the collect multileaders command you will be prompted to select your multileaders. Now don’t get too click-happy quite yes, as the order you select the multileaders makes a difference in the way things get collected. Simply you need to select the leaders in the order you want them collected (or grouped). The first leader you select will be the one which gets attached to the leader itself. In my illustration below I selected leader (1) first, and then the (2) second.

Aligning Multileaders

Another pet peeve of mine in relation to annotation is when leaders which were intended to be stacked do not line up. Once again the quick leader serves as a good example in the way it was rather difficult to do much more than eyeball things. Multileaders offer us a slick “Align Multileaders” tool within its bag-of tricks. Clicking the button will invoke the “Collect Multileaders” command, where you will be prompted to select the multileaders to align. Unlike the grouping function discussed earlier, the order you select your leaders does not matter. Press [Enter] to continue in the command, at which point you will be asked to specify the leader to align all others to. Something like POLAR snapping may prove helpful when doing this (see illustration)

Traditionally the “big new features” in AutoCAD take some getting used to before they become especially helpful. Dynamic Blocks and Sheet Set Manager are keen examples. While incredibly powerful, they are rather complex. Multileaders is by no means as complicated as say Sheet Set Manager, but it does still have parts which can prove tricky. Personally the more I test multileaders out, the more I like them. Be warned, unless you use the “Export to AutoCAD” function within the vertical products (ADT, Civil 3D) multileaders will show up as proxy graphics in AutoCAD 2007. What that means is AutoCAD 2007 has the ability to display the multileaders, but not edit them. Even still as the world begins migrating to AutoCAD 2008, and AutoCAD 2009 multileaders seem destined to become the norm among the CAD industry.

30 thoughts on “Multileaders – Part 2

  1. Mleader Align seems to have a bug. The alignment function works perfectly when all the leader heads face the left as the alignment line snaps to the leftmost text which also happens to be the same place where the leader landing attaches to the text. But, when you have leaders that have the leader head pointing to the right, the alignment line snaps to the leftmost text of each leader and aligns in that fashion which results in no alignment of the text/landing connection points of each leader. Does this make sense? Is there a way around this or is it a bug that Autodesk needs to fix. Thanks

  2. do you know if there is any way of getting the text at the arrowhead end of a multileader and it still being interactively linked with the multileader?

  3. I’d really love it if SOMEONE could write a decent tutorial on creating a “user block” along with the multileader tool AND having it work correctly as annotative.
    I can’t find a single tutorial that walks you through the creation of a multileader style using a user defined block and having it look correctly when annotative.

  4. I’d really love it if SOMEONE could write a decent tutorial on creating a “user block” along with the multileader tool AND having it work correctly as annotative.
    I can’t find a single tutorial that walks you through the creation of a multileader style using a user defined block and having it look correctly when annotative.

  5. I just discovered multileadersin ACAD2008 and thought they were great until I tried copying them to other drawings. Is there any way to realign the collected annotative circle-block multileaders when they are moved between drawings with different annotative scales? Or better yet keep them aligned with each other in the first place?
    Happy to have found your blog today, I hope to spend some time here learning.
    Thanks.

  6. I just discovered multileadersin ACAD2008 and thought they were great until I tried copying them to other drawings. Is there any way to realign the collected annotative circle-block multileaders when they are moved between drawings with different annotative scales? Or better yet keep them aligned with each other in the first place?
    Happy to have found your blog today, I hope to spend some time here learning.
    Thanks.

  7. @Mike – I too have run into this. I have found saving your DWG in the World UCS prevents this issue from happening. Of course if you happen to forget the quickest fix I have found is to go into the ML Style Editor. Click the edit button for your problematic styles, and hit ok (you don’t have to modify anything). You leaders should be properly oriented.

  8. @Mike – I too have run into this. I have found saving your DWG in the World UCS prevents this issue from happening. Of course if you happen to forget the quickest fix I have found is to go into the ML Style Editor. Click the edit button for your problematic styles, and hit ok (you don’t have to modify anything). You leaders should be properly oriented.

  9. Multileaders > Qleaders

    However, another workstation in our small office (3 workstations) is displaying MLEADERS differently. We have a rotated viewport in one particular dwg which PROPERLY displays the MLeaders when I open it on my machine. When he opens it on his computer, they’re all oriented incorrectly. Same computer, same AutoCAD LT 2008. Is there a system variable controlling this?

  10. Multileaders > Qleaders

    However, another workstation in our small office (3 workstations) is displaying MLEADERS differently. We have a rotated viewport in one particular dwg which PROPERLY displays the MLeaders when I open it on my machine. When he opens it on his computer, they’re all oriented incorrectly. Same computer, same AutoCAD LT 2008. Is there a system variable controlling this?

  11. Is it possible to use a dynamic block with the multileader command? I’ve tried a few ways without success. Autocad seems to get rid of the dynamic intelligence of the block when inserting it with the mleader command?

  12. Is it possible to use a dynamic block with the multileader command? I’ve tried a few ways without success. Autocad seems to get rid of the dynamic intelligence of the block when inserting it with the mleader command?

  13. I was wondering if you had any input on making your own leader. We use just an arc with and arrow head, and I can’t seem to munipulate the multi line leader enough to get past a spline (which is not an option for our drawings)

    What we have been doing is drawing an arc and just pasting an arrow head on the end and rotating as needed.

    Thanks!

  14. I was wondering if you had any input on making your own leader. We use just an arc with and arrow head, and I can’t seem to munipulate the multi line leader enough to get past a spline (which is not an option for our drawings)

    What we have been doing is drawing an arc and just pasting an arrow head on the end and rotating as needed.

    Thanks!

  15. Dan – to my knowledge there is no way to adjust the default tag blocks that ship with ACAD. What I would suggest is create an attributed block the size you want it (at 1:1 – remember if annotative it’s going to scale up). With your custom block defined, select “User Defined” from the Multileader Style dialog.

  16. Dan – to my knowledge there is no way to adjust the default tag blocks that ship with ACAD. What I would suggest is create an attributed block the size you want it (at 1:1 – remember if annotative it’s going to scale up). With your custom block defined, select “User Defined” from the Multileader Style dialog.

  17. I have been setting up some templates and setting annotative multileaders inside the templates. I have been having problems with the size of the blocks. The hexagon pre-made by autodesk is the one I have issues with. I can not make it smaller. There is no adjustmest on anything but the arrow size.
    Any Suggestions?

  18. I have been setting up some templates and setting annotative multileaders inside the templates. I have been having problems with the size of the blocks. The hexagon pre-made by autodesk is the one I have issues with. I can not make it smaller. There is no adjustmest on anything but the arrow size.
    Any Suggestions?

  19. I have found all things Annotative to be rather particular. Essentially you have to somewhat play by AutoCAD’s rules. As I have stated in my blogs, we’re in the process of rolling out 2008 to our 200+ users. Consequently, I know it’s just a matter of time before I have to figure out certain quirks.

    As for Plan Production, like all things Civil 3D, you have to spend some time configuring it before even thinking about using it. I haven’t had a chance to write a lot about about the feature, but it can be a little difficult figuring out how view frames, view frame groups, and so on all interact together. The good news is once you get it configured, you should be able to simply use it!

  20. I have found all things Annotative to be rather particular. Essentially you have to somewhat play by AutoCAD’s rules. As I have stated in my blogs, we’re in the process of rolling out 2008 to our 200+ users. Consequently, I know it’s just a matter of time before I have to figure out certain quirks.

    As for Plan Production, like all things Civil 3D, you have to spend some time configuring it before even thinking about using it. I haven’t had a chance to write a lot about about the feature, but it can be a little difficult figuring out how view frames, view frame groups, and so on all interact together. The good news is once you get it configured, you should be able to simply use it!

  21. How are you handling the bugs I keep reading about? I’ve heard the annotative text wreaks havoc through xrefs and the plan production tools require alot of massaging. Great blog by the way.

  22. How are you handling the bugs I keep reading about? I’ve heard the annotative text wreaks havoc through xrefs and the plan production tools require alot of massaging. Great blog by the way.

  23. You really post some great blogs! Keep up the good work.

    I love the new 2008 multileaders but I can’t get them to rotate to my rotated view properly without setting the UCS.
    UCS = World
    Dview Twist = -20d
    Snapang = 20d
    I don’t change (and won’t change) the UCS EVER and I don’t use named views because they reset my layer states.
    Any suggestions?

  24. You really post some great blogs! Keep up the good work.

    I love the new 2008 multileaders but I can’t get them to rotate to my rotated view properly without setting the UCS.
    UCS = World
    Dview Twist = -20d
    Snapang = 20d
    I don’t change (and won’t change) the UCS EVER and I don’t use named views because they reset my layer states.
    Any suggestions?

Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This
%d bloggers like this: