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Entering Object Data for objects one at a time can be a very time-consuming and tedious process,

which can lead to many errors. In certain scenarios, you might be able to use the Generate Links

command to automate the process and save a tremendous amount of time.

When you use the Generate Links command, it enables you to populate an Object Data table based

on the criteria and rules that you define.

In this drawing are a number of polygons. Zoom in to take a closer look. These polygons are closed

polylines. Inside each of these polygons is a piece of text that designates the parcel number. The

process of generating links would also work if this was a block with attribute tags of the same value.

It's important to know what you have and what you're starting with before you set up the rules to

generate the links. Zoom back out and you can start the process.

There are a few things that you need to do to start this process. First, you need to create an Object

Data table, and that table needs to have a field which will be the target destination of the Object Data.

Then you generate the links and verify the results.

Start from the ribbon, Map Setup tab, Attribute Data panel, and click Define Object Data. This drawing

does not have a table in it, so you need to create a new table. For the Table Name, enter "Parcel".

Then you need to create a field. The Field Name will be "APN," and set the Field Type to Character. In

this particular data set, many of the parcel numbers contain spaces, which the Integer field type

would not support. Click the Add button.

When generating links to Object Data, it's important to only have one field in the Object Data table that

will be used as the target destination for the data because the Generate Links command does not

allow you to select any fields within a particular Object Data table. It simply takes the one value that it

finds and places that into the one field that resides within the table. Click OK to create your Object

Data table, then click Close.

Now you are ready to start generating links. Back in the ribbon, Map Setup tab, expand the Attribute

Data panel and click Generate Links. There are several options in the Generate Data Links dialog box.

You can generate links to blocks; you can generate links to text, which is what you have in this

drawing; and you can generate the link directly to the text itself. If you have blocks that are enclosed
by a closed polyline, you can generate the link to that polyline rather than the block itself, and the

same is true for enclosed text. In this case, select Enclosed Text, because this is text enclosed by a

closed polyline. The link that you generate will be placed on the polyline object, and not the text.

Next, you can choose what type of data link to create. For this exercise, you are going to create

object data records. By default, the Parcel object data table is selected because it's the only object

data table in the drawing. This is what you want, so click OK.
The command line prompts you to select the text to generate the links from, and the default is All.

Since the text that you want to create links from is the only text in the drawing, you can use the

default, and press ENTER.

AutoCAD Map begins to process the links, and when it's done, it reports back to you how many links

were created. In this case, it found 894 objects and it created 893 links. One of the polygons did not

have a piece of text that it enclosed.

To verify this, zoom in and look at one of the polygons. Select one of the polygons, right-click, and

click Properties. Scroll down and you can see that this polygon now has the object data table

attached, and that the value in the APN field has been populated by the value of the text that is within

the polygon. You can see how tedious and error-prone this process would be to perform manually.