In AutoCAD 2008, you can extract information from objects to use in spreadsheets or AutoCAD tables. For example, in a civil drawing you might want to extract object lengths to estimate the amount of piping for the gas, water and sewer lines.
AutoCAD displays all the objects in the drawing and you can select which types of objects you want to extract from. If you want to estimate the length of pipe, for example, you might select the arc, line, and polyline objects. You can extract data from these different objects, maintaining individual values for each type of object. Or you can have the Data Extraction Wizard treat all of these object types as one. For example, if you want to find the total length of pipe, regardless of the object (arc, line, polyline) that is being used to represent it, you can use the Date Extraction Wizard to automatically sum the length of all of these types of objects. To do this, you can simply “trick” AutoCAD into treating them the same by applying the same display name to all of the objects.
After selecting the types of objects to extract from, the Data Extraction Wizard displays all the available object properties. You can select the properties that you want to extract. For example, if the gas, water, and sewer lines are differentiated by layers you would want to extract the Layer and Length properties. If, on the other hand, the gas, water and sewer lines are differentiated by linetypes, you would want to extract the Linetype and Length properties.
The Data Extraction Wizard displays the data for the properties you chose to extract and you can specify whether you want to use the name or count properties, which are displayed by default. The Data Extraction wizard separates the values for each of the extracted objects. However, you can use the Combine Record Mode option to automatically sum the values instead of separate them.
You can output the extracted data to an external file to use in other calculations or you can extract it to an AutoCAD table, enabling you to easily update the table data to reflect changes to the objects.