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LiveLabel reactor

Dynamically link and label properties of AutoCAD objects




LiveLabel reactor


Source object: green border, area
Target object: magenta text

The LiveLabel utility (for AutoCAD 2007, 2006/2005/2004 or AutoCAD 2002) by CAD Studio (Xanadu) adds dynamics (parametrics) to your AutoCAD drawings. Making use of the "reactor" functionality it dynamically transfers information about a property of one object (e.g. polyline area) to a textual or geometric value of another object (e.g. block attribute with area label). A live link is created in your drawing and then the target value is updated automatically at any change of the source property (e.g. dragging a node of the boundary polyline).

Typical use of LiveLabel: area labels or true area-dimensions (area->attrib, area->dim), room or parcel schedules (area->text), live polyline-length dimensions (length->text), arc-length dimensions (lenght->dim), live legends (scale->color), live texts (text->text, text->mtext), live leaders (len->leader), live coordinates (coordinate->text), level indicators (Z-coordinate->block), associative notes.

LiveLabel 2005 was awarded "Tool of the week" (6.6.2004) at CAD Depot

LiveLabel was awarded "Tool of the week" (11.3.2002) at CAD Depot

Installation


Run the .MSI distribution archive. The application is installed to the \Program Files\AAC Solutions\LiveLabel 2006 or 2005 folder by default. Choose one of the "autorun" methods.

Commands


Program creates a link between the source and target objects. Type of the property and method, how its value will be displayed in the target object, is controlled using the Link style. Link styles are managed by the Style manager. To create a link using the LL_LINKCREATE command, select a link style, source entity and target entity (or "S" for self). The created link is controlled by the style settings. If you change the style, all links using this style will be changed.
You can also define multiple-links - one source object can be linked with more target objects. You can also self-link an object (modify its own property, e.g. block attributes displaying coordinates of the block they belong to). Source and target entities can be in different spaces (modelspace/paperspace).

Property type

The term "Property" defines that entity property, which will be transferred from the source object to the target object. E.g. property type Area means that the link reads the area of the source object to e.g. display this numerical value in the target object.

Modifier type

Modifier is an object which modifies the target entity in some way. Several modifier types are available:

  • Block modifier transfers a property value to the selected block attribute.
  • Text modifier transfers a property value to the selected text.
  • MText modifier transfers a property value to the selected mtext.
  • Dimension modifier transfers a property value to the selected dimension (dim.text).
  • Leader modifier transfers a property value to the selected leader (leader text).
  • Color modifier transfers a property value as color to the selected object.

Text format for numeric values is controlled by your current AutoCAD Units settings. The original value of the target entity will be overwritten by LiveLabel - so you can use any text e.g. for text entities which you plan to use as LiveLabel targets.

You can use DIESEL (AutoCAD embedded macro language, see AutoCAD Customization Guide in AutoCAD Help for details) macros as "Postprocessing macros" to process values (properties) read from the source objects (the pseudovariables %PROPERTY and %NPROPERTY contain current textual and numeric value of the source property). So you can e.g. convert results to square feet or to kilometers or add unit suffix. The numeric value %NPROPERTY (since version 16.1) can be used e.g. for output formatting with the DIESEL function rtos or for drawings in feet/inches. Other examples are listed under the icon in the program and in the table below.

Conversion examples:

Source Target Action Macro
Length Text convert units from millimeters to meters
520 --> 0.52
$(*,%PROPERTY, 0.001)
Area Text convert area from square mm to sq.meters, 1 dec.place
502300000 --> 50.2
$(rtos,$(/,%NPROPERTY,1000000),2,1)
Area Text convert area from square inches to feet
288 --> 2
$(rtos,$(/,%NPROPERTY,144),1)
Area Text perform computation on the area result - (area/2)+6
288 --> 150
$(rtos,$(+,$(/,%NPROPERTY,2),6),2)
Length Dim limit the number of displayed digits (zeroes)
1234.5 --> 1200
$(*,$(rtos,$(/,%NPROPERTY,100),2,0),100)
Length Dim limit the number of displayed decimal places
12.3456 --> 12.3
$(rtos,%PROPERTY,2,1)
Area Leader DIESEL conditional display expressions
19.9 --> leader shows: "Small area"
$(if,$(<,%PROPERTY,20),Small area,Large area)
Length Color DIESEL conditional display expressions
20.1 --> change color from blue(5) to red(1) unless EXPERT variable is not 0
$(if,$(and,$(<,%PROPERTY,20),$(=,$(getvar,EXPERT),0)),5,1)
Z-coordinate Block automatic level indicator (self-linked block with an attribute, placed on a Z-level) - see image below
height=5m --> level 2 (using level height 3.0m)
Level $(fix,$(/,%PROPERTY,3.0))

Working with styles

Source object: blue polyline, length
Target object: dimension text

You can use the Style manager (the LL_STYLEMGR command or the Style option of the LL_LINKCREATE command) to manage styles. Individual styles are stored in the drawing, in the Named Objects Dictionary table. If you want to access your styles in all your drawings, define them in your drawing template.

You can even create several links from one border polyline to more blocks - eg. one descriptive in the center of an area and another in the legend. You can use the attached tutorial drawing as an example for the description blocks.

Removing links

You can use the LL_LINKREMOVE command (or toolbar button) to remove links.

Example

Create link

Source object: level block with 2 attributes, Y-coordinate
Target object: Self, 3 link styles: Level, Height, Color
(see LL-Level.DWG, 30kB)
  • Draw an arc (or polyline)
  • Dimension the arc angle (_dimangular or _dimhorizontal)
  • Issue Create a link command from the LiveLabel toolbar
  • Use the Style option to define a new Link style
  • Rt-click and Add new link style
  • Name the style, choose the Source property type - Length, choose the Target modifier - Dimension modifier
  • Close the Link style manager using OK buttons
  • Select the arc ("Entity to link")
  • Select the dimension ("Entity to be modified")
  • Dimension text changes from angular value to the current length of the arc

Automatic update

  • Select the arc (grips are highlighted)
  • Drag the endpoint grip of the arc
  • New value of the arc lenght is displayed automatically in the dimension

What's new?


Version number Description
17.0.0 Support for AutoCAD 2007 family
XANADU installation folder
16.2.0 Support for AutoCAD 2006 family
AAC Solutions installation folder
16.1.0 Support for AutoCAD 2005 family
%NPROPERTY numeric property variable
16.0.0 Support for AutoCAD 2004 family
Xanadu installation folder
15.6.2 DIESEL expressions for value postprocessing
New readers (coordinates) and modifiers (color)
Self modification links available (e.g. entity color based on its area)
15.6.1 Can make links between model- and paperspace objects
15.6.0 First version

Supported platforms


Program was tested under Windows 2000 and Windows XP (version 2002 also under Windows NT4 and Win98).

Program supports AutoCAD 2002, AutoCAD 2006/2005/2004, AutoCAD 2007 and vertical CAD applications based on it (AutoCAD LT is not supported).

FAQ


  • Is AutoCAD LT supported? No, we do not plan to add LT support to LiveLabel.
  • Values are not automatically updated in my AutoCAD session. Values are updated when the source property is changed (e.g. you move the source object). LiveLabel application has to be loaded for the changes to be applied.
  • Target values are different or not expected. For drawing with imperial units the %PROPERTY value is a string which cannot be used for further DIESEL calculations. DIESEL needs a plain number string. Use the %NPROPERTY value instead (you may convert/format the result using the $rtos DIESEL function).
  • Number of decimal places doesn't match. Text value of %PROPERTY is subject to the AutoCAD system setting of number of dec.places. Its further processing with the DIESEL function $rtos can therefore only limit, not increase, the number of decimal places. Use %NPROPERTY instead.
  • Updating values. The linked values are updated only on a change of the source object (not on REGEN, OPEN, etc.). To update e.g. after a change of link styles or system setting of decimal places, use any edit function on the source objects - e.g. MOVE and then revert this function back with UNDO.

Problems


Please send possible questions and problems to support@cadstudio.cz or use our discussion forum. Please send inquiries about custom application development to: develop@cadstudio.cz.


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LiveLabel Demo + Buy/Order


Time limited (15 days) trial version is free for download. If you are interested in the full unlimited commercial version, use the Order below or contact CAD Studio.

Please consider also CAD Studio Tools - a bundle product containing also LiveLabel.

Price of the commercial version of LiveLabel is 50,-EUR Buy (2002), Buy (2006/2005/2004), Buy (2007), upgrade to LiveLabel 2007 - Buy, upgrade from AreaUtil costs 40,-EUR Buy.

Download limited free version of LiveLabel (for AutoCAD 2002 or AutoCAD 2006/2005/2004 or AutoCAD 2007)

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