Smart Leader


Plugin AVC_Leader for AutoCAD and BricsCAD

MLeaders looking for an object under the arrow and fill the text for itself.

Normal multileader (MLeader) will be much smarter when you turn on this program. The multileader will be able to search the objects in the drawing under the place where their arrow points. In order to make a smart leader enough to create the normal multileader and to leave the text blank. Or enter a question mark ‘?’. Or you can type a special code word (substitution) instead of a multileader text. And if under the multileader arrow will find something valuable, the multileader text was miraculously replaced by a description of the found object. You can avoid a lot of mistakes and your work will be reduced to a couple of clicks! Automatic filling of the leader text will drastically reduce the time for drawing up assembly drawings and floor plans, electrical and any other schemes.

The leader will be able to find

Smart Leader features

All the Smart Leaders can be updated by one click, without suffering the search for changes. And the leaders remember not the object to which they originally pointed, but the search settings. And when you update the leader, it looks for the object under the arrow again (if it's left there), and maybe the leader will find another object and replace itself with the text. This makes it possible to exclude heavy cases when the arrow of the leader shows one detail, and the text describes a completely different one.

The program interacts well with the plugins A>V>C> Properties Palette, Lay and Sawing Table. Once entering the part names in the properties of the solids, you can quickly place them on the leaders of the Assembly drawing and exploded drawings, and Sawing Table. Measurement of the solid follows the same rules as in the Sawing Table, regardless of the rotation of parts in space.

And if you need to place all the leaders from all the parts and blocks of an assembly drawing at once, then there is a more powerful program for you: Place Leaders.

Read about downloading and installing the program here.

To run the plugin, you will have to register account and top up your account balance or receiving bonuses.

Then you can activate one of the licenses:

Automatic assignment of part numbers in the Assembly drawing. Using names of solids and measurement of solids. Leader placed in paper space. Finding solid highlight in all viewports.

Demonstration toggle search for objects inside blocks. When  InBlock option OFF search displays the name of blocks. And when  ON search displays the name and dimention of solids.

Demonstration using Smart Leader with Dynamic Block. Parameter "Length" added to leader. It use Octanorm Maxima for demo.

The GIF to demonstrate the quick installation of Smart Leaders. You can see one of the ways to apply the "Many objects" option. The last leader showed the properties of all three polylines, listing them through a comma.

See how you can use the "Face of solid" option in the Smart Leader (ALD) command. The demonstration shows how to use them to refer to coating, painting and edge materials. I pre-created two leader styles, in order to quickly switch the settings of Smart Leaders. Then I uploaded several materials from the AutoCAD library into the drawing and changed their names. I appropriated the materials to the solids of the shelf model. And I appropriated other materials to individual faces of solids. This is easily done, just select the face by clicking CTRL and change the material in the properties panel.


Usage Instructions

To create a smart leader you need use standard command _MLeader (MLD), specify the insertion point and leave the text empty. This will signal the program that you need to mark the leader as "smart" and start finding objects under the arrow. As the same signal you can enter the text ‘?’ or letter ‘n’ (from ‘name’ word) or any text with one of the substitutions, enclosed in percent symbols ’%’. After that the leader will always be considered "smart" and will be updated on command LeaderUpdate.

Note that the intelligence of leaders is not like yours. The leader may find nothing or find not what you expected. If the leader has not found the object, the text will be replaced with the template. To avoid errors the found object is highlighted. 

Please be aware

The program can display many properties of objects found under the arrow of the leader. To select the properties you need, use substitutions. Standard substitutions are described here. If the program does not find the standard substitution, it will look for a block attribute with that name or dynamic block parameter. All substitutions are written only in small letters. And attributes of blocks should be written in the same register as they are written in the block.

Follow the messages on the console. There may be program messages. 


As you know in AutoCAD, you can create 2 types of leaders: with text content or with a block content. The block is usually used to enclose the part number in a circle or in a square. For such leaders, a special block containing attributes is created in the drawing (automatically or manually). Nobody interferes with creating a block with several attributes and attaching it to the leader.

The Smart Leader program works with all types of leaders. If the block contains only 1 attribute, then working with such leader is no different from working with text leaders. You can configure such smart leaders in the ALD command dialog, and you will have the opportunity to configure 3 templates at once for one leader style: a solid template, a block template, and a template for other objects.

For leaders with multi-attribute blocks, you'll have to use the block editor (_BEdit) to insert the templates into the default values ​​of each attribute.

It is recommended to mark the Preset property of all block attributes so that AutoCAD does not open the attribute value input window every time you create a leader. And of course the program will not work with Constant attributes.

The attribute Tag does not matter.

Smart Leader Options

All smart leader settings are tied to the current leader style. Use the _MLeaderStyle command to create new styles of conventional and smart leaders. You can switch the current leader style directly in the settings dialog. To do this, at the top of the dialog, there is a drop-down list with all the styles of the current drawing.

Keep in mind that the settings are stored not in the drawing, but in the Windows registry, so they will be used in all drawings that have a leader style with the same name.

You can customize Smart Leaders from the A>V>C> Options Palette or from the dialog called by the option TUNE of ALD Command when entering the leader arrow point.

Below in the settings dialog you will see the Common Options panel of all A>V>C> commands. Smart leaders are affected by the size formatting and the use fields. Also, measurements of solids are affected by the tolerance settings and the right angle priority. For details, see the Common Options page. Common Options apply to all leader styles at once.

When you click OK the program starts to cyclically request from you pairs of points to create new leaders. You do not need to enter text. And generally it is not required to touch the keyboard. The texts will be filled in programmatically. To stop the operation, press Esc instead of entering a point.

ALD command

The command is used for quick placement of leaders and for customization. But there is no need to call it: you can use the usual _MLeader command as well.

Select the current leader style using standard AutoCAD | BricsCAD tools.

Run the ALD command.

If Smart Leaders have been disabled for this style, the program will suggest enabling them.

Next, the program will cyclically ask you for point pairs to create new leaders.

The first point is the position of the arrow. A search for objects will be performed under it. When you enter the first point, you will see the TUNE option - it opens the settings dialog.

The second point is the position of the leader text.

You do not need to enter text. And you don't need to touch the keyboard at all. The texts will be filled in automatically, according to the template from the settings.

To exit, press Esc instead of entering a point.

-ALD command

Configures smart leaders from the AutoCAD command line, without opening a dialog. Only the current leader style is configured. To switch the MLeader style, use the standard AutoCAD tools. Have options:

At the end of the operation, the command will call the usual command to create a multileader _MLeader. The settings are saved in the Windows registry for HKEY_Current_User. 

LeaderUpdate command 

Refreshes Smart Leaders. Leaders must be selected in advance. If nothing is selected, the program will automatically find all Smart Leaders on all sheets of the drawing. Command looking objects under leaders arrows and refills the text in accordance with the template stored in the multileader Info property. The remaining settings are used at the time the command is executed. If the leader arrow has nothing or if specified parameters not found, the command will display at the end the number of failed leaders. The text of the failed leaders will set like the template (usually the question mark ‘?’).

Native search method

There is a built-in search function for drawing objects below the point that the user clicked in AutoCAD. Emulating clicks is very strange. But in some cases you can try to use this native mode

Native search has a number of features:

Use the native search only if the main method causes problems.

Known Issues