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Leaders essentially point to things and relate to text to describe those “things.” Leaders can consist of lines or arcs, with arrows attached to the ends that point to objects of note. Our software offers a variety of leader and arrow types. You can place leaders on their own or in conjunction with text. 

We've added some handy features to our Text and MText leaders: All Text and MText leaders are now multileaders and include the option for a background mask. For more details, see Text & Multiline Text (MText) Leaders below.

Leaders Overview

Our various site leader are available as:



A series of flyouts from the Leaders button on the F/X Site ribbon:


An option on the F/X Graphics menu:


Selecting the Leaders option from the F/X Graphics menu opens the Graphic Leaders toolbar, pictured below.





A series of buttons on the Graphics Leaders toolbar

To place a leader within Model Space, you need to have already set a scale in your drawing. Click a leader type to place that type of leader, starting at the arrow point and then the end of the leader.

Text & Multiline Text (MText) Leaders

You have four options for placing a leader with either a single line of text or multiline text (MText). The Text and MText leaders are available from the following locations:



The first four flyouts from the Leaders button on the F/X Site ribbon










The four buttons highlighted above on the Graphics Leaders toolbar

The first time you select one of these leader types in a particular drawing, the Text Manager will open when you click to place the leader.



In the Text Manager, select a Text Style for your leader text (example: ARIAL 10PT).

Once you've selected a Text Style for your leader text in the current drawing, the style you selected in the Text Manager will automatically apply to subsequent text you place along with leaders in the same drawing.


After selecting a Text Style, you'll be prompted to place the leader and text. After you place the leader, the Command Line will prompt you to Enter First Line of Annotation Text.



To insert multi-line text (MText), right-click to accept MText, then type your text.



If you do use MText, you'll have to press Enter at the end of each line.



The image to the right shows a few examples of leaders with text.




The Text and MText leaders now include the following features:



Multileaders (MLeaders)

When you place a Text or MText leader, you're actually placing what's known as a Multileader (MLeader)  – a native AutoCAD feature that we've built into these four leader types. An MLeader combines the entire callout – the leader, arrow, and text – into a single and contiguous entity.

For information on how MLeaders work, see our MLeaders page.



Background Masks

We've also built the capability of a background mask into the Text and MText leaders. A background mask renders your callout visible and distinct even when you need to place it on linework or on a hatch.

Background mask, Model Space



Background mask, Paper Space


For information on working with these background masks, see our MLeaders and background masks documentation section.


Setting a Background Mask, or No Background Mask, as the Default Style

Text leaders have background masks by default. If you'd like to remove the background mask as the default for one of the leader arrow types (Standard, Frame, Tick, or Dot), complete the following steps.


Select your preferred leader arrow type from the F/X Site ribbon.



In this example, we'll select the Text Leader Dot arrow type.

Place the text leader in your drawing.



We'll place our text leader with its callout box over a color hatch to show the background mask.




Now select the same text leader type you just selected, or simply press Enter to repeat the command.



Do not place another leader at this point. Instead, right-click within your drawing.



The Arrows dialog box will open. Here, you'll see two thumbnail previews of each of the arrow types: one without a mask and one with a mask.



Select your preferred mask style (that is, mask or no mask) for the leader type you just selected. In our example, we'll select a Dot leader with no mask.



Click OK.

Now place the leader and add the text. The mask style you selected will now be set as the default for the leader arrow type you selected.


In our example, we've set the option for no mask as the default setting for the Dot arrow style.

You can always complete these same steps to set the background mask as the default style again.

If you use other arrow types, you'll need to repeat these steps to set the default mask style for each arrow type you use.


Using the Old Text Leaders (Without MLeaders or Background Masks)

Don't like the MLeaders or background masks? At a few users' requests, we've added the old style of text leaders back into the software.

Use the old text leaders >

Thick (Bold) Leaders (No Text)

The Thick, or Bold leaders with no text are available from the following locations:



The three flyouts from the Leaders button on the F/X Site ribbon pictured above










The three buttons highlighted above on the Graphics Leaders toolbar




Here are examples of the three Thick leader styles:

If you want, you can place text associated with these leaders at any time using our Text tool.

Standard Leaders (No Text)

The remaining eleven leaders are our standard (that is, with a standard, rather than thick, lineweight) leaders without text. These leaders are available from the following locations:



The bottom eleven flyouts from the Leaders button on the F/X Site ribbon:











The eleven buttons highlighted above on the Graphics Leaders toolbar:


Last modified on Wednesday, 15 August 2018 16:17

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