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In-Place Text Editor
Quick Reference

Creates or modifies single or multiline text objects.

Access Methods


 Ribbon: Home tabAnnotation panelMultiline TextNot available on the ribbon in the current workspace
 Menu: Draw  Text  Multiline TextNot available in menus in the current workspace.
 Toolbar:  Draw 
 Command entry: mtext


You can import or paste text from other files to use in multiline text, set tabs, adjust paragraph and line spacing and alignment, and create and modify columns.

The In-Place Text Editor includes a Text Formatting Toolbar, a Paragraph Dialog Box, a Columns Menu, and an Options Menu. When a table cell is selected for editing, the In-Place Text Editor displays column letters and row numbers.

List of Options

The following options are displayed.

Text Formatting Toolbar

Controls the text style for a multiline text object and character and paragraph formatting for selected text.

NoteText that you paste from other word processing applications such as Microsoft Word will retain most of its formatting. With the options in Paste Special, you can strip out paragraph formatting such as paragraph-based alignment or character formatting from the pasted text.

Applies a text style to the multiline text object. The current style is saved in the TEXTSTYLE system variable.

Character formatting for font, height, and bold or italic attributes is overridden if you apply a new style to an existing multiline text object. Stacking, underlining, and color attributes are retained in characters to which a new style is applied.

Styles that have backward or upside-down effects are not applied. If a style defined with a vertical effect is applied to an SHX font, the text is displayed horizontally in the In-Place Text Editor.


Specifies a font for new text or changes the font of selected text. TrueType fonts are listed by font family name. AutoCAD LT compiled shape (SHX) fonts are listed by the name of the file in which the fonts are stored. Custom fonts and third-party fonts are displayed in the editor with Autodesk-supplied proxy fonts.

A sample drawing (TrueType.dwg) showing each font is provided in the sample directory.


Turns Annotative on or off for the current mtext object.

Text Height

Sets the character height in drawing units for new text or changes the height of selected text. If the current text style has no fixed height, the text height is the value stored in theTEXTSIZE system variable. A multiline text object can contain characters of various heights.


Turns bold formatting on and off for new or selected text. This option is available only for characters using TrueType fonts.


Turns italic formatting on and off for new or selected text. This option is available only for characters using TrueType fonts.


Turns underlining on and off for new or selected text.


Turns overline on and off for new or selected text.


Undoes actions in the In-Place Text Editor, including changes to either text content or text formatting.


Redoes actions in the In-Place Text Editor, including changes to either text content or text formatting.


Creates stacked text, for example, fractions, if the selected text contains stack characters. Also, unstacks text if stacked text is selected. When the stack characters, carat (^), forward slash (/), and pound sign (#), are used, the text to the left of the stack character is stacked on top of the text to the right.

By default, text that contains a carat converts to left-justified tolerance values. Text that contains the forward slash converts to center-justified fractional numbers; the slash is converted to a horizontal bar the length of the longer text string. Text that contains the pound sign converts to a fraction separated by a diagonal bar the height of the two text strings. The characters above the diagonal fraction bar are bottom-right aligned; the characters beneath the diagonal bar are top-left aligned.

Text Color

Specifies a color for new text or changes the color of selected text.

You can assign text the color associated with the layer it is on (BYLAYER) or the color of the block it is contained in (BYBLOCK). You can also select one of the colors in the color list or click Other to open the Select Color dialog box.


Displays a ruler at the top of the editor. Drag the arrows at the end of the ruler to change the width of the mtext object. Also displays height and column grips when column mode is active.

You can also select tabs from the ruler. Clicking the Tab Selection button changes tab styles from left, center, right, and decimal. Once you make your selection, you adjust the corresponding tab in the ruler or in the Paragraph dialog box.


Closes the editor and saves any changes that you made.


Displays a list of additional text options. See Additional Text Options.


Displays the column flyout menu, which provides three column options: No Columns, Static Columns, and Dynamic columns. See Columns menu.

MText Justification

Displays the MText Justification menu with nine alignment options available.


Displays the Paragraph dialog box. See the Paragraph dialog box for a list of the options.

Left, Center, Right, Justified and Distributed

Sets the justification and alignment for the left, center, or right text boundaries of the current or selected paragraph. Spaces entered at the end of a line are included and affect the justification of a line.

Line Spacing

Displays suggested line spacing options or the Paragraph dialog box. Line spacing is set in the current or selected paragraph.

NoteLine spacing is the distance between the bottom of the upper line and the top of the lower line of text in a multiple line paragraph.

The predefined options are:

  • 1.0x, 1.5x, 2.0x, or 2.5x: Sets the line spacing at .5x increments in multiline text.
  • More: Displays the Paragraph dialog box, which provides additional options.
  • Clear Paragraph Spacing: Removes line spacing settings from the selected or current paragraph. The paragraph defaults to the mtext space setting.

Additional options in the Paragraph dialog box:

  • Exact: Defines the space with an arbitrary unit value the user specifies. Changing text height will not affect line spacing.
  • Multiple: Instead of assigning a value to line spacing, you specify spacing according to text height. When text height is not consistent in one line, the line space will be determined by the largest text height value in that line.
  • At least: Takes both the user specified arbitrary value and the text height to determine spacing. If text height is smaller than the arbitrary value the line space is determined by the user specified value. If the text height is larger, the line spacing is equal to the text height value.
NoteNot all of the new options for paragraph and paragraph line spacing are supported in releases before AutoCAD LT 2008. See MTEXT Paragraph and Paragraph Line Spacing in Previous Releases.

Displays the bullet and numbering menu.

Displays options for creating lists. (Not available for table cells.) The list is indented to align with the first selected paragraph.

  • Off: When selected, removes letters, numbers, and bullets from selected text that has list formatting applied. Indentation is not changed.
  • Lettered: Applies list formatting that uses letters with periods for the items in the list. If the list has more items than the alphabet has letters, the sequence continues by using double letters.
  • Numbered: Applies list formatting that uses numbers with periods for the items in the list.
  • Bulleted: Applies list formatting that uses bullets for the items in the list.
  • Restart: Starts a new letter or number sequence in list formatting. If the selected items are in the middle of a list, unselected items below them also become part of the new list.
  • Continue: Adds the selected paragraphs to the last list above and continues the sequence. If list items rather than paragraphs are selected, unselected items below the selected items continue the sequence.
  • Allow Auto-list: Applies list formatting as you type. The following characters can be used as punctuation after letters and numbers and cannot be used as bullets: period (.), comma (,), close parenthesis ()), close angle bracket (>), close square bracket (]), and close curly bracket (}).
  • Use Tab Delimiter Only: Limits the Allow Auto-list and Allow Bullets and Lists options. List formatting is applied to text only when the space after the letter, number, or bullet character was created by Tab, not Space.
  • Allow Bullets and Lists: When this option is selected, list formatting is applied to all plain text in the multiline text object that looks like a list. Text that meets the following criteria is considered to be a list. The line begins with (1) one or more letters or numbers or a symbol, followed by (2) punctuation after a letter or number, (3) a space created by pressing Tab, and (4) some text before the line is ended by Enter or Shift+Enter.

    When you clear the check mark, any list formatting in the multiline text object is removed and the items are converted to plain text. Allow Auto-list is turned off, and all the Bullets and Lists options are unavailable except Allow Bullets and Lists.

Insert Field

Displays the Field dialog box, where you can select a field to insert in the text.


Changes the selected text to uppercase.


Changes the selected text to lowercase.


Inserts a symbol or a nonbreaking space at the cursor position. You can also insert symbols manually. See Symbols and Special Characters.

Commonly used symbols are listed on the submenu, along with their control code or Unicode string. Click Other to display the Character Map dialog box, which contains the entire character set for each font available on your system. Select a character and click Select to place it in the Characters to Copy box. When you have selected all the characters that you want to use, click Copy to close the dialog box. In the editor, right-click and click Paste.

Symbols are not supported in vertical text.

Oblique Angle

Determines the forward or backward slant of the text. The angle represents the offset from 90 degrees. Entering a value between -85 and 85 makes the text oblique. A positive obliquing angle slants text to the right. A negative obliquing angle slants text to the left.


Decreases or increases the space between the selected characters. The 1.0 setting is normal spacing. Set to more than 1.0 to increase spacing, and set to less than 1.0 to decrease spacing.

Width Factor

Widens or narrows the selected characters. The 1.0 setting represents the normal width of the letter in this font. You can increase the width (for example, use a width factor of 2 to double the width) or decrease the width (for example, use a width factor of 0.5 for half the width).

Additional Text Options

Insert Field

Displays the Field dialog box.


Displays a list of available symbols. You can also select a Non-breaking space and open the Character Map for additional symbols.

Import Text

Displays the Select File dialog box (a standard file selection dialog box). Select any file that is in ASCII or RTF format. Imported text retains its original character formatting and style properties, but you can edit and format the imported text in the editor. After you select a text file to import, you can replace either selected text or all text, or append the inserted text to text selected within the text boundary. The file size for imported text is limited to 32 KB.

The editor automatically sets the text color to BYLAYER. When black characters are inserted and the background color is black, the editor automatically changes to white or the current color.

NoteA Microsoft Excel spreadsheet imported into a drawing is truncated at 72 rows unless the spreadsheet was created in Microsoft Office 2002 with Service Pack 2 installed. The same limitation applies when the drawing that contains the OLE object is opened on a system with an earlier version of Microsoft Office installed; the spreadsheet is truncated.
Paragraph Alignment

Sets alignment for the multiline text object. You can choose to align your text to the left, center, or right. You can justify your text, or align the first and last characters of your text with the margins of your mtext box, or center each line of text within the margins of your mtext box. Spaces entered at the end of a line are included as part of the text and affect the justification of the line.


Displays options for paragraph formatting. See the Paragraph dialog box.

Bullets and Lists

Displays the options for numbering lists.


Displays options for columns. See the Columns menu.

Find and Replace
Change Case

Changes the case of selected text. Options are Uppercase and Lowercase.


Converts all new and imported text to uppercase. AutoCAPS does not affect existing text. To change the case of existing text, select the text and right-click. Click Change Case.

Character Set

Displays a menu of code pages. Select a code page to apply it to the selected text.

Combine Paragraphs

Combines selected paragraphs into a single paragraph and replaces each paragraph return with a space.

Remove Formatting

Removes character formatting for selected characters, paragraph formatting for a selected paragraph, or all formatting from a selected paragraph.

Background Mask

Displays the Background Mask dialog box. (Not available for table cells.)

Editor Settings

Displays a list of options for the Text Formatting toolbar. See Editor Settings for more information.

Learn About MText

Displays the New Features Workshop, which contains an overview of the MText feature.

Editor Settings

Provides options for changing the behavior of the Text Formatting toolbar and provides additional editing options. Options are specific to the Editor Settings menu and are not available elsewhere on the Text Formatting toolbar.

NoteSome options may not be available depending on what you are editing.
Always Display As WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)

Controls display of the In-Place Text Editor and the text within it. When unchecked, text that would otherwise be difficult to read (if it is very small, very large, or is rotated) is displayed at a legible size and is oriented horizontally so that you can easily read and edit it.

When this option is checked, the MTEXTFIXED system variable will be set to 0. Otherwise, MTEXTFIXED will be set to 2.

Show Toolbar

Controls display of the Text Formatting toolbar. To restore display of the toolbar, right-click in the editor and click Option Show Toolbar.

Show Options

Expands the Text Formatting toolbar to show more options.

Show Rulers

Controls the display of the ruler.

Opaque Background

When selected, makes the background of the editor opaque. (Not available for table cells.)

Check Spelling

Determines whether As-You-Type spell checking is on or off.

Check Spelling Settings

Displays the Check Spelling Settings dialog box, where you can specify text options that will be checked for spelling errors within your drawing.


Displays the Dictionaries dialog box, where you can change the dictionary that is checked against any found misspelled words.

Text Highlight Color

Displays the AutoCAD generic Select Color dialog box. Specifies the highlight color when text is selected.