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A Better Way to Make Text Masks

March 31, 2011


By Peter Rossi,an architecture designer and CAD software user


Text masking is a tiny but very useful function in ZWCAD. Sometimes, however, it can become a bit too complicated to use. (A text mask is in fact a wipeout, which is used to visually isolate text from the underlying drawing.) When it is first applied, ZWCAD adjusts the text mask to the correct size and shape automatically. When you edit the text, you may have to also adjust the size of the mask.



Here I would like to introduce a more efficient way to work with text masks. Background Mask is an option found in the right click menu of editable text. In this method, you don’t use the Textmask command; instead, you just check the option in the dialogue box shown below. ZWCAD then adds the mask under the text. Furthermore, masks made in this way adjust their size and shape automatically whenever the text changes. You don’t need to do anything, because ZWCAD does it for you automatically.




Some comments on the Use Background Mask option:

1. This option works only with Mtext; it does not support single-line text made with the Text command.

2. This option solves another text masking problem. When you use the Textmask command with text, and then delete both without first using the Unmask command, a problem is sometimes created: the text is removed, but the mask remains behind. The problem is that you can no longer delete or even select the mask any more. It always is there. But by using the second method, the problem is avoided. You can change and remove the text freely; even the text is removed entirely, the leftover masking problem never occurs, because when the text is removed, the mask disappears at the same time. Very convenient, and efficient! Please try it out for yourself!

For your reference, here are some examples of using the two text masking methods.


1. Using the old Textmask command:

a. The initial text with mask:




b. After changing the text, the mask does not change:




c. After deleting the text, the mask is left behind:



2. Using new Background Mask option of the Mtext command:

a. The initial text with background mask:


b. After changing the text, the mask changes automatically:


c. After deleting the text, the mask also disappears:



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