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Halo Text Block Issue

Our company is currently transitioning from AutoCAD \ Civil 3D over to BricsCAD. As part of this process I am trying to resolve all issues with template objects & lisps that worked in AutoCAD but not in BricsCAD.

One example is with a block we use to create "halo" text - that is text with a white halo border around it so text is guaranteed to be readable on aerials (basic coloured text doesn't always work). The block consists of 17 identically named attributes. The one in the center is red (pen 10) and the other 16 forming a halo around the outside of this are white.

When inserted in AutoCAD you only have to edit one of the attributes at random and the contents of the rest automatically change to match as they are in effect many copies of the same attribute.

For some reason BricsCAD is treating these identically names attributes differently. As such when you edit one attribute the rest do not update. It appears we would need to update each of them individually which is not practical. I have attached a drawing with the halo block in it for reference.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how I could make this work? Or is there an alternative out there that can be suggested to replace this block?


  • I didn't look at the .dwg, but as I understood your INSERt has multiple ATTRIBs for the same ATTDEF? Interesting and clever. I think best to submit a support request to make sure it gets fixed.

  • I think it may have been created by placing an object FIELD in each of the halo attributes these fields would be linked to display the contents of the primary attribute.

    As far as I can see this type of arrangement won't work by a simple INSERT of the block. This is because you cannot pre-define this type of arrangement. Instead you must create the object link after insertion and from then on you can copy this instance to create others. Attach an example with just 4 background text fields.

    I would try opening some existing drawings with this entity and try COPYCLIP & PASTECLIP into a new drawing. This should retain the arrangement.

    An alternative approach would be to use some LISP to update the halo attributes with the primary attributes data.

    Interesting effect! Could be used to create drop shadows too. If you used it a lot you would probably want a programme to create and maintain these type of objects easily.

    Jason Bourhill
    CAD Concepts

    933 x 483 - 15K
  • Woops didn't realise you had posted an example. It is setup using object fields like I described, but it is using a multi-line attribute. There is a bug in BricsCAD with fields in MTEXT attributes (SR 75247). It would be worth raising an SR with your file too.

    A workaround for this situation would be to create the same using MTEXT and then GROUP them to keep them together.

    Jason Bourhill
    CAD Concepts

  • I think the core issue is with the multi-line attributes not making a dynamic field link. My workaround would be to make a version of the block for BricsCAD with only single line attributes. I'm able to make single line attributes maintain the link. Unfortunately instead of 17 attributes in one block it would be 17x3= 51 attributes per block :p

    I'm using BricsCAD V18.2.14 (64 bit, Windows 8.1, etc)

    halo text TEST_MDJ.dwg
  • edited July 2018

    Ok, so I had some free time and I made my own version from scratch.. ended up with 108 attributes. I learned two new things along the way. First, that the order that the attributes are displayed in BATTMAN matters for draworder within the block.. the ones at the bottom display on top. Also, it may be helpful to set the FIELDDISPLAY variable to 0 when using this block. Turning fielddisplay off turns off the greyish shadow that normally denotes that a block attribute is being driven by a field value. A third thing to note about using this block is that if you link the halo fields once to the main fields and then copy and paste it will maintain the links. But if you insert the block from a tool pallet you will have to remake the links, but you can use copy and paste to do it quickly.

  • Thanks for the response everyone. In summary it seems like there is a limitation in BricsCAD attributes versus AutoCAD that affects the behavior (or maybe just a difference in approach). Its a pity multiline attributes won't work but it is good to know that single still does.

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