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How To Place Tables In ZWCAD Drawings

July 30, 2009

Q: ZWCAD's drawing functions are so good that they fulfill most of my drafting needs. It is a pity, then, that it cannot create tables, as AutoCAD can. Tables are very important, because I need them to add project information to drawings. I don't care to create tables manually by drawing vertical and horizontal lines, because that is too time-consuming, and I find it difficult to position the text in each cell of the table. Is there a more convenient method available?

 

A: ZWCAD supports OLE objects (short for Object Linking and Embedding), which lets you insert tables in drawings created with spreadsheet programs, like Excel and OpenOffice. You can enter the table data in the spreadsheet, and then copy and paste the cells into the ZWCAD drawing.

 

This method is not perfect, however. If you want to modify the OLE-pasted table in ZWCAD, you have edit the table back in the spreadsheet program. To do this, you have to double-click the OLE object, which opens it in the spreadsheet program to be edited.

 

A better solution is the Paste Special function. To use it, follow these steps:

 

1. Input the information into the cells of a spreadsheet, as before.
2. Add borders to all rows and columns. Note that it is important to add borders, because otherwise the text will appear with no border lines in the drawing – and it will not look like a table.
3. Right-click, and then select Copy from the shortcut menu. The spreadsheet table is copied to the Windows Clipboard for pasting into ZWCAD.
4. Open the drawing in ZWCAD. From the Edit menu, select Paste Special.
5. In the dialog box, select ZWCAD Entities, and click OK.

 

After pasting the table as ZWCAD Entities, the borders are drawn as 2D polylines, and the text is placed correctly in each cell. It is easy to modify the text: simply double-click it, and then edit it with ZWCAD's text editor.

 

While AutoCAD's Table command is powerful, I find that ZWCAD's Paste Special function is a good solution. My drawing needs some data which is stored in BOM(short for bill of material). BOM data includes items like material, price, and quantity. By exporting data from BOM to excel, I can easily add the data to the drawing by copying from excel. And the spreadsheet does an excellent job operating with data, because it can include formulas, sort data, and format the text.

 

With the help of a spreadsheet

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