by: Paul Li
An AREA That Needed Improvement IN THE BEGINNING WAS THE AREA COMMAND
n 1982, Autodesk introduced their flagship product AutoCAD. Even at its infancy, AutoCAD had the AREA command. The AREA command provided a method to retrieve the area value formed by objects such as a Polyline or Hatch. Unfortunately, for many releases since then, this area value can only be read as a static number. When the geometry of the Polyline or Hatch object changes you would have to manually run the AREA command again to retrieve the new calculated area value.
interface (GUI). The Field GUI is neither friendly nor easily understandable. You would have to go through the following complicated and tedious steps every time before an object’s area value can be retrieved; let alone placed into the drawing (see Figure 1):
THEN CAME THE FIELD COMMAND
Twenty-two years later, AutoCAD 2005 was released with the new FIELD command. The FIELD command provided a method to retrieve an object’s area value and place this in the drawing as an Attribute, MText or Text object that would automatically update as the object changed. This added feature is truly a godsend to the end user. Now the AutoCAD drawing behaves dynamically. When Polylines that form rooms or Hatch patterns that show the extent of various landscape sections change the calculated area value shown in the Attribute, MText or Text will automatically update. But this is only true when the FIELD command is applied and applied properly.
A FIELD OF COMPLEXITY
Though powerful, the new FIELD command when executed, brings up a very complex graphic user 28
1. You’ll need to know to start from the top left column under the Field category drop down list - select Objects 2. Directly below this in the Field names list box select Object 3. Then you’ll need to move over to the top middle column under Object type and click on a button that is not labeled showing a mouse arrow -
AUGIWorld Magazine | June 2021 augi.com