MTEXT Internals

The MTEXT entity stores multiline text in a single entity and was introduced in DXF version R13/R14. For more information about the top level stuff go to the MText class.

See also

Orientation

The MTEXT entity does not establish an OCS. The entity has a text_direction attribute, which defines the local x-axis, the extrusion attribute defines the normal vector and the y-axis = extrusion cross x-axis.

The MTEXT entity can have also a rotation attribute (in degrees), the x-axis attribute has higher priority than the rotation attribute, but it is not clear how to convert the rotation attribute into a text_direction vector, but for most common cases, where only the rotation attribute is present, the extrusion is most likely the WCS z-axis and the rotation is the direction in the xy-plane.

Text Content

The content text is divided across multiple tags of group code 3 and 1, the last line has the group code 1, each line can have a maximum line length of 255 bytes, but BricsCAD (and AutoCAD?) store only 249 bytes in single line and one byte is not always one char.

Inline Code Specials

The text formatting is done by inline codes, see the MText class.

Information gathered by implementing the MTextEditor and the MTextParser classes:

  • caret encoded characters:
    • “^I” tabulator
    • “^J” (LF) is a valid line break like “\P”
    • “^M” (CR) is ignored
    • other characters render as empty square “▯”
    • a space ” ” after the caret renders the caret glyph: “1^ 2” renders “1^2”
  • special encoded characters:
    • “%%c” and “%%C” renders “Ø” (alt-0216)
    • “%%d” and “%%D” renders “°” (alt-0176)
    • “%%p” and “%%P” renders “±” (alt-0177)
  • Alignment command “\A”: argument “0”, “1” or “2” is expected
    • the terminator symbol “;” is optional
    • the arguments “3”, “4”, “5”, “6”, “7”, “8”, “9” and “-” default to 0
    • other characters terminate the command and will be printed: “\AX”, renders “X”
  • ACI color command “\C”: int argument is expected
    • the terminator symbol “;” is optional
    • a leading “-” or “+” terminates the command, “\C+5” renders “\C+5”
    • arguments > 255, are ignored but consumed “\C1000” renders nothing, not even a “0”
    • a trailing “;” after integers is always consumed, even for much to big values, “\C10000;” renders nothing
  • RGB color command “\c”: int argument is expected
    • the terminator symbol “;” is optional
    • a leading “-” or “+” terminates the command, “\c+255” renders “\c+255”
    • arguments >= 16777216 are masked by: value & 0xFFFFFF
    • a trailing “;” after integers is always consumed, even for much to big values, “\c9999999999;” renders nothing and switches the color to yellow (255, 227, 11)
  • Height command “\H” and “\H…x”: float argument is expected
    • the terminator symbol “;” is optional
    • a leading “-” is valid, but negative values are ignored
    • a leading “+” is valid
    • a leading “.” is valid like “\H.5x” for height factor 0.5
    • exponential format is valid like “\H1e2” for height factor 100 and “\H1e-2” for 0.01
    • an invalid floating point value terminates the command, “\H1..5” renders “\H1..5”
  • Other commands with floating point arguments like the height command:
    • Width commands “\W” and “\W…x”
    • Character tracking commands “\T” and “\T…x”, negative values are used
    • Slanting (oblique) command “\Q”
  • Stacking command “\S”:
    • build fractions: “numerator (upr)” + “stacking type char (t)” + “denominator (lwr)” + “;”
    • divider chars: “^”, “/” or “#”
    • a space ” ” after the divider char “^” is mandatory to avoid caret decoding: “\S1^ 2;”
    • the terminator symbol “;” is mandatory to end the command, all chars beyond the “\S” until the next “;” or the end of the string are part of the fraction
    • backslash escape “\;” to render the terminator char
    • a space ” ” after the divider chars “/” and “#” is rendered as space ” ” in front of the denominator
    • the numerator and denominator can contain spaces
    • backslashes “" inside the stacking command are ignored (except “\;”) “\S\N^ \P” render “N” over “P”, therefore property changes (color, text height, …) are not possible inside the stacking command
    • grouping chars “{” and “}” render as simple curly braces
    • caret encoded chars are decoded “^I”, “^J”, “^M”, but render as a simple space ” ” or as the replacement char “▯” plus a space
    • a divider char after the first divider char, renders as the char itself: “\S1/2/3” renders the horizontal fraction “1” / “2/3”
  • Font command “\f” and “\F”: export only “\f”, parse both, “\F” ignores some arguments
    • the terminator symbol “;” is mandatory to end the command, all chars beyond the “\f” until the next “;” or the end of the string are part of the command
    • the command arguments are separated by the pipe char “|”
    • arguments: “font family name” | “bold” | “italic” | “codepage” | “pitch”; example “\fArial|b0|i0|c0|p0;”
    • only the “font family name” argument is required, fonts which are not available on the system are replaced by the “TXT.SHX” shape font
    • the “font family name” is the font name shown in font selection widgets in desktop applications
    • “b1” to use the bold font style, any other second char is interpreted as “non bold”
    • “i1” to use an italic font style, any other second char is interpreted as “non italic”
    • “c???” change codepage, “c0” use the default codepage, because of the age of unicode no further investigations, also seems to be ignored by AutoCAD and BricsCAD
    • “p???” change pitch size, “p0” means don’t change, ignored by AutoCAD and BricsCAD, to change the text height use the “\H” command
    • the order is not important, but export always in the shown order: “\fArial|b0|i0;” the arguments “c0” and “p0” are not required
  • Paragraph properties command “\p”
    • the terminator symbol “;” is mandatory to end the command, all chars beyond the “\p” until the next “;” or the end of the string are part of the command

    • the command arguments are separated by commas “,”

    • all values are factors for the initial char height of the MTEXT entity, example: char height = 2.5, “\pl1;” set the left paragraph indentation to 1 x 2.5 = 2.5 drawing units.

    • all values are floating point values, see height command

    • arguments are “i”, “l”, “r”, “q”, “t”

    • a “*” as argument value, resets the argument to the initial value: “i0”, “l0”, “r0”, the “q” argument most likely depends on the text direction; I haven’t seen “t*”. The sequence used by BricsCAD to reset all values is "\pi*,l*,r*,q*,t;"

    • “i” indentation of the first line relative to the “l” argument as floating point value, “\pi1.5”

    • “l” left paragraph indentation as floating point value, “\pl1.5”

    • “r” right paragraph indentation as floating point value, “\pr1.5”

    • “x” is required if a “q” or a “t” argument is present, the placement of the “x” has no obvious rules

    • “q” paragraph alignment

      • “ql” left paragraph alignment
      • “qr” right paragraph alignment
      • “qc” center paragraph alignment
      • “qj” justified paragraph alignment
      • “qd” distributed paragraph alignment
    • “t” tabulator stops as comma separated list, the default tabulator stops are located at 4, 8, 12, …, by defining at least one tabulator stop, the default tabulator stops wil be ignored. There 3 kind of tabulator stops: left, right and center adjusted stops, e.g. “pxt1,r5,c8”:

      • a left adjusted stop has no leading char, two left adjusted stops “\pxt1,2;”
      • a right adjusted stop has a preceding “r” char, “\pxtr1,r2;”
      • a center adjusted stop has a preceding “c” char, “\pxtc1,c2;”

      complex example to create a numbered list with two items: "pxi-3,l4t4;1.^Ifirst item\P2.^Isecond item"

    • a parser should be very flexible, I have seen several different orders of the arguments and placing the sometimes required “x” has no obvious rules.

    • exporting seems to be safe to follow these three rules:

      1. the command starts with “\px”, the “x” does no harm, if not required
      2. argument order “i”, “l”, “r”, “q”, “t”, any of the arguments can be left off
      3. terminate the command with a “;”

Height Calculation

There is no reliable way to calculate the MTEXT height from the existing DXF attributes. The rect_height (group code 43) attribute is not required and seldom present. DXF R2007 introduced the defined_height attribute to store the defined column height of the MTEXT entity but only in column mode. MTEXT entities without columns, except MTEXT entities created with column type “No Columns”, store always 0.0 as defined column height. Which seems to mean: defined by the rendered text content.

The only way to calculate the MTEXT height is to replicate the rendering results of AutoCAD/BricsCAD by implementing a rendering engine for MTEXT.

In column mode the MTEXT height is stored for every column for DXF version before R2018. In DXF R2018+ the column heights are only stored if MTextColumns.auto_height is False. If MTextColumns.auto_height is True. But DXF R2018+ stores the MTEXT total width and height in explicit attributes.

Width Calculation

The situation for width calculation is better than for the height calculation, but the attributes width and rect_width are not mandatory.

There is a difference between MTEXT entities with and without columns:

Without columns the attribute width (reference column width) contains the true entity width if present. A long word can overshoot this width! The rect_width attribute is seldom present.

For MTEXT with columns, the width attribute is maybe wrong, the correct width for a column is stored in the column_width attribute and the total_width attribute stores the total width of the MTEXT entity overall columns, see also following section “Column Support”.

Background Filling

The background fill support is available for DXF R2007+. The group code 90 defines the kind of background fill:

0 off
1 color defined by group code 63, 421 or 431
2 drawing window color
3 background (canvas) color
16 bit-flag text frame, see Open Design Alliance Specification 20.4.46

Group codes to define background fill attributes:

45 scaling factor for the border around the text, the value should be in the range of [1, 5], where 1 fits exact the MText entity
63 set the background color by ACI.
421 set the background color as true color value.
431 set the background color by color name - no idea how this works
441 set the transparency of the background fill, not supported by AutoCAD or BricsCAD.

Group codes 45, 90 and 63 are required together if one of them is used. The group code 421 and 431 also requires the group code 63, even this value is ignored.

... <snip>
1 <str> eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto ...
73 <int> 1
44 <float> 1.0
90 <int> 1, b00000001   <<< use a color
63 <int> 1              <<< ACI color (red)
45 <float> 1.5          <<< bg scaling factor, relative to the char height
441 <int> 0             <<< ignored (optional)
... <snip>
../../_images/mtext_bg_color_red.png

The background scaling does not alter the width, column_width or total_width attributes. The background acquires additional space around the MTEXT entity.

Columns with background color:

../../_images/mtext_cols_bg.png

Text Frame

The MTEXT entity can have a text frame only, without a background filling, group code 90 has value 16. In this case all other background related tags are removed (45, 63, 421, 431, 441) and the scaling factor is 1.5 by default.

XDATA for Text Frame

This XDATA exist only if the text frame flag in group code 90 is set and for DXF version < R2018!

...  <snip>
1001 <ctrl> ACAD
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_TEXT_BORDERS_BEGIN
1070 <int> 80       <<< group code for repeated flags
1070 <int> 16       <<< repeated group code 90?
1070 <int> 46       <<< group code for scaling factor, which is fixed?
1040 <float> 1.5    <<< scaling factor
1070 <int> 81       <<< group code for repeated flow direction?
1070 <int> 1        <<< flow direction?
1070 <int> 5        <<< group code for a handle, multiple entries possible
1005 <hex> #A8      <<< handle to the LWPOLYLINE text frame
1070 <int> 5        <<< group code for next handle
1005 <hex> #A9      <<< next handle
...
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_TEXT_BORDERS_END

Extra LWPOLYLINE Entity as Text Frame

The newer versions of AutoCAD and BricsCAD get all the information they need from the MTEXT entity, but it seems that older versions could not handle the text frame property correct. Therefore AutoCAD and BricsCAD create a separated LWPOLYLINE entity for the text frame for DXF versions < R2018. The handle to this text frame entity is stored in the XDATA as group code 1005, see section above.

Because this LWPOLYLINE is not required ezdxf does not create such a text frame entity nor the associated XDATA and ezdxf also removes this data from loaded DXF files at the second loading stage.

Column Support

CAD applications build multiple columns by linking 2 or more MTEXT entities together. In this case each column is a self-sufficient entity in DXF version R13 until R2013. The additional columns specifications are stored in the XDATA if the MTEXT which represents the first column.

DXF R2018 changed the implementation into a single MTEXT entity which contains all the content text at once and stores the column specification in an embedded object.

Hint

The width attribute for the linked MTEXT entities could be wrong. Always use the the column_width and the total_width attributes in column mode.

There are two column types, the static type has the same column height for all columns, the dynamic type can have the same (auto) height or an individual height for each column.

Common facts about columns for all column types:

  • all columns have the same column width
  • all columns have the same gutter width
  • the top of the column are at the same height

Column Type

The column type defines how a CAD application should create the columns, this is not important for the file format, because the result of this calculation, the column count and the column height, is stored the DXF file.

Column Type in BricsCAD Description
Static All columns have the same height. The “auto height” flag is 0.
Dynamic (auto height) Same as the static type, all columns have the same height. The “auto height” flag is 1. The difference to the static type is only important for interactive CAD applications.
Dynamic (manual height) same as the dynamic (auto height) type, but each column can have an individual height.
No column A regular MTEXT with “defined column height” attribute?
Column Type Defined Height Auto Height Column Heights
Static stored False not stored
Dynamic auto stored True not stored
Dynamic manual not stored False stored (last=0)

Column Count

For DXF versions < R2018 the column count is always given by the count of linked MTEXT columns. Caution: the column count stored in the XDATA section by group code 76 may not match the count of linked MTEXT entities and AutoCAD is OK with that! In DXF R2018+ this property is not available, because there are no linked MTEXT entities anymore.

R2018+: For the column types “static” and “dynamic manual” the correct column count is stored as group code 72. For the column type “dynamic auto” the stored column count is 0. It is possible to calculate the column count from the total width and the column width if the total width is correct like in AutoCAD and BricsCAD.

Static Columns R2000

Example for a static column specification:

  • Column Type: Static
  • Number of Columns: 3
  • Height: 150.0, manual entered value and all columns have the same height
  • Width: 50.0
  • Gutter Width: 12.5
../../_images/mtext_cols_static.png

The column height is stored as the “defined column height” in XDATA (46) or the embedded object (41).

DXF R2000 example with a static column specification stored in XDATA:

0
MTEXT
5           <<< entity handle
9D
102
{ACAD_XDICTIONARY
360
9F
102
}
330         <<< block record handle of owner layout
1F
100
AcDbEntity
8           <<< layer
0
100         <<< begin of MTEXT specific data
AcDbMText
10          <<< (10, 20, 30) insert location in WCS
285.917876152751
20
276.101821192053
30
0.0
40          <<< character height in drawing units
2.5
41          <<< reference column width, if not in column mode
62.694...   <<< in column mode: the real column is defined in XDATA (48)
71          <<< attachment point
1
72          <<< text flow direction
1
3           <<< begin of text
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam ...
3
kimata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit ...
3
ea rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lorem ...
3
At vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita kasd ...
3
ore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio ...
1           <<< last text line and end of text
euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.
73          <<< line spacing style
1
44          <<< line spacing factor
1.0
1001
AcadAnnotative
1000
AnnotativeData
1002
{
1070
1
1070
0
1002
}
1001        <<< AppID "ACAD" contains the column specification
ACAD
1000
ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMN_INFO_BEGIN
1070
75          <<< group code column type
1070
1           <<< column type: 0=no column; 1=static columns; 2=dynamic columns
1070
79          <<< group code column auto height
1070
0           <<< flag column auto height
1070
76          <<< group code column count
1070
3           <<< column count
1070
78          <<< group code column flow reversed
1070
0           <<< flag column flow reversed
1070
48          <<< group code column width
1040
50.0        <<< column width in column mode
1070
49          <<< group code column gutter
1040
12.5        <<< column gutter width
1000
ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMN_INFO_END
1000        <<< linked MTEXT entities specification
ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMNS_BEGIN
1070
47          <<< group code for column count, incl. the 1st column - this entity
1070
3           <<< column count
1005
1B4         <<< handle to 2nd column as MTEXT entity
1005
1B5         <<< handle to 3rd column as MTEXT entity
1000
ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMNS_END
1000
ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_BEGIN
1070
46          <<< group code for defined column height
1040
150.0       <<< defined column height
1000
ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_END

The linked column MTEXT #1B4 in a compressed representation:

0 <ctrl> MTEXT
... <snip>
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (348.417876152751, 276.101821192053, 0.0)
40 <float> 2.5
41 <float> 175.0        <<< invalid reference column width
... <snip>
1001 <ctrl> ACAD
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_BEGIN
1070 <int> 46           <<< defined column height
1040 <float> 150.0
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_END

The linked MTEXT has no column specification except the “defined column height” in the XDATA. The reference column width is not the real value of 50.0, see XDATA group code 48 in the main MTEXT #9D, instead the total width of 175.0 is stored at group code 41. This is problem if a renderer try to render this MTEXT as a standalone entity. The renderer has to fit the content into the column width by itself and without the correct column width, this will produce an incorrect result.

There exist no back link to the main MTEXT #9D. The linked MTEXT entities appear after the main MTEXT in the layout space, but there can be other entities located between these linked MTEXT entities.

The linked column MTEXT #1B5:

0 <ctrl> MTEXT
5 <hex> #1B5
... <snip>
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (410.917876152751, 276.101821192053, 0.0)
40 <float> 2.5
41 <float> 175.0        <<< invalid reference column width
... <snip>
1001 <ctrl> ACAD
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_BEGIN
1070 <int> 46           <<< defined column height
1040 <float> 150.0
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_END

Static Columns R2018

The MTEXT entity in DXF R2018 contains all column information in a single entity. The text content of all three columns are stored in a continuous text string, the separation into columns has to be done by the renderer. The manual column break \N is not used to indicate automatic column breaks. The MTEXT renderer has to replicate the AutoCAD/BricsCAD rendering as exact as possible to achieve the same results, which is very hard without rendering guidelines or specifications.

The example from above in DXF R2018 with a static column specification stored in an embedded object:

0
MTEXT
5           <<< entity handle
9D
102
{ACAD_XDICTIONARY
360
9F
102
}
330         <<< block record handle of owner layout
1F
100
AcDbEntity
8           <<< layer
0
100
AcDbMText
10          <<< (10, 20, 30) insert location in WCS
285.917876152751
20
276.101821192053
30
0.0
40          <<< character height in drawing units
2.5
41          <<< reference column width, if not in column mode
62.694536423841
46          <<< defined column height
150.0
71          <<< attachment point
1
72          <<< text flow direction
1
3           <<< text content of all three columns
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam n...
3
imata sanctus est Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. Lorem ipsum dolor sit...
3
a rebum. Stet clita kasd gubergren, no sea takimata sanctus est Lor...
3
vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebum. Stet clita ka...
3
eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio s...
3
od tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat.   \P\PU...
3
e velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla ...
3
obis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim pl...
3
m ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit ...
3
lisis.   \P\PAt vero eos et accusam et justo duo dolores et ea rebu...
3
t labore et dolore magna aliquyam erat, sed diam voluptua. At vero ...
3
litr, At accusam aliquyam diam diam dolore dolores duo eirmod eos e...
1
ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur
73          <<< line spacing style
1
44          <<< line spacing factor
1.0
101         <<< column specification as embedded object
Embedded Object
70          <<< ???
1
10          <<< (10, 20, 30) text direction vector (local x-axis)
1.0
20
0.0
30
0.0
11          <<< (11, 21, 31) repeated insert location of AcDbMText
285.917876152751
21
276.101821192053
31
0.0
40          <<< repeated reference column width
62.694536423841
41          <<< repeated defined column height
150.0
42          <<< extents (total) width
175.0
43          <<< extents (total) height, max. height if different column heights
150.0
71          <<< column type: 0=no column; 1=static columns; 2=dynamic columns
1
72          <<< column height count
3
44          <<< column width
50.0
45          <<< column gutter width
12.5
73          <<< flag column auto height
0
74          <<< flag reversed column flow
0
1001
AcadAnnotative
1000
AnnotativeData
1002
{
1070
1
1070
0
1002
}

Dynamic (auto height) Columns R2000

Example for a dynamic column specification:

  • Column Type: Dynamic
  • Number of Columns: 3
  • Height: 158.189… adjusted by widget and all columns have the same height
  • Width: 50.0
  • Gutter Width: 12.5
0 <ctrl> MTEXT
5 <hex> #A2                 <<< entity handle
... <snip>
330 <hex> #1F               <<< block record handle of owner layout
100 <ctrl> AcDbEntity
8 <str> 0                   <<< layer
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (-133.714579865783, 276.101821192053, 0.0)   <<< insert location in WCS
40 <float> 2.5              <<< character height in drawing units
41 <float> 62.694536423841  <<< reference column width, if not in column mode
71 <int> 1                  <<< attachment point
72 <int> 1                  <<< flag text flow direction
3 <str> Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed dia...
... <snip>
73 <int> 1                  <<< line spacing style
44 <float> 1.0              <<< line spacing factor
1001 <ctrl> AcadAnnotative
... <snip>
1001 <ctrl> ACAD
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMN_INFO_BEGIN
1070 <int> 75               <<< column type: 2=dynamic columns
1070 <int> 2
1070 <int> 79               <<< flag column auto height
1070 <int> 1
1070 <int> 76               <<< column count
1070 <int> 3
1070 <int> 78               <<< flag column flow reversed
1070 <int> 0
1070 <int> 48               <<< column width in column mode
1040 <float> 50.0
1070 <int> 49               <<< column gutter width
1040 <float> 12.5
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMN_INFO_END
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMNS_BEGIN
1070 <int> 47               <<< column count
1070 <int> 3
1005 <hex> #1B6             <<< handle to 2. column as MTEXT entity
1005 <hex> #1B7             <<< handle to 3. column as MTEXT entity
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMNS_END
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_BEGIN
1070 <int> 46               <<< defined column height
1040 <float> 158.189308131867
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_END

The linked column MTEXT #1B6:

0 <ctrl> MTEXT
... <snip>
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (-71.214579865783, 276.101821192053, 0.0)
40 <float> 2.5
41 <float> 175.0    <<< invalid column width
... <snip>
1001 <ctrl> ACAD
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_BEGIN
1070 <int> 46       <<< defined column height
1040 <float> 158.189308131867
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_END

The linked column MTEXT #1B7:

0 <ctrl> MTEXT
... <snip>
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (-8.714579865783, 276.101821192053, 0.0)
40 <float> 2.5
41 <float> 175.0    <<< invalid column width
... <snip>
1001 <ctrl> ACAD
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_BEGIN
1070 <int> 46       <<< defined column height
1040 <float> 158.189308131867
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_END

Dynamic (auto height) Columns R2018

0 <ctrl> MTEXT
5 <hex> #A2                     <<< entity handle
102 <ctrl> {ACAD_XDICTIONARY
360 <hex> #A3
102 <ctrl> }
330 <hex> #1F                   <<< block record handle of owner layout
100 <ctrl> AcDbEntity
8 <str> 0                       <<< layer
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (-133.714579865783, 276.101821192053, 0.0)   <<< insert location in WCS
40 <float> 2.5                  <<< character height in drawing units
41 <float> 62.694536423841      <<< reference column width, if not in column mode
46 <float> 158.189308131867     <<< defined column height
71 <int> 1                      <<< attachment point
72 <int> 1                      <<< text flow direction
3 <str> Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam...
... <snip> text content of all three columns
73 <int> 1                      <<< line spacing style
44 <float> 1.0                  <<< line spacing factor
101 <ctrl> Embedded Object
70 <int> 1, b00000001           <<< ???
10 <point> (1.0, 0.0, 0.0)      <<< text direction vector (local x-axis)
11 <point> (-133.714579865783, 276.101821192053, 0.0)   <<< repeated insert location
40 <float> 62.694536423841      <<< repeated reference column width
41 <float> 158.189308131867     <<< repeated defined column height
42 <float> 175.0                <<< extents (total) width
43 <float> 158.189308131867     <<< extents (total) height, max. height if different column heights
71 <int> 2                      <<< column type: 2=dynamic columns
72 <int> 0                      <<< column height count
44 <float> 50.0                 <<< column width
45 <float> 12.5                 <<< column gutter width
73 <int> 1                      <<< flag column auto height
74 <int> 0                      <<< flag reversed column flow
1001 <ctrl> AcadAnnotative
1000 <str> AnnotativeData
1002 <str> {
1070 <int> 1
1070 <int> 0
1002 <str> }

Dynamic (manual height) Columns R2000

Example for a dynamic column specification with manual height definition for three columns with different column heights. None of the (linked) MTEXT entities does contain XDATA for the defined column height.

Hint

If “content type” is 2 and flag “column auto height” is 0, no defined height in XDATA.

  • Column Type: Dynamic
  • Number of Columns: 3
  • Height: 164.802450331126, max. column height
  • Width: 50.0
  • Gutter Width: 12.5
../../_images/mtext_cols_dynamic_manual.png
0 <ctrl> MTEXT
5 <hex> #9C                     <<< entity handle
330 <hex> #1F                   <<< block record handle of owner layout
100 <ctrl> AcDbEntity
8 <str> 0                       <<< layer
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (69.806121185863, 276.101821192053, 0.0)     <<< insert location in WCS
40 <float> 2.5                  <<< character height in drawing units
41 <float> 62.694536423841      <<< reference column width, if not in column mode
71 <int> 1                      <<< attachment point
72 <int> 1                      <<< flag text flow direction
3 <str> Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, ...
... <snip>
73 <int> 1                      <<< line spacing style
44 <float> 1.0                  <<< line spacing factor
1001 <ctrl> ACAD
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMN_INFO_BEGIN
1070 <int> 75                   <<< column type: 2=dynamic columns
1070 <int> 2
1070 <int> 79                   <<< flag column auto height
1070 <int> 0
1070 <int> 76                   <<< column count
1070 <int> 3
1070 <int> 78                   <<< flag column flow reversed
1070 <int> 0
1070 <int> 48                   <<< column width in column mode
1040 <float> 50.0
1070 <int> 49                   <<< column gutter width
1040 <float> 12.5
1070 <int> 50                   <<< column height count
1070 <int> 3
1040 <float> 164.802450331126   <<< column height 1. column
1040 <float> 154.311699779249   <<< column height 2. column
1040 <float> 0.0                <<< column height 3. column, takes the rest?
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMN_INFO_END
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMNS_BEGIN
1070 <int> 47                   <<< column count
1070 <int> 3
1005 <hex> #1B2                 <<< handle to 2. column as MTEXT entity
1005 <hex> #1B3                 <<< handle to 3. column as MTEXT entity
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_COLUMNS_END

The linked column MTEXT #1B2:

0 <ctrl> MTEXT
... <snip>
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (132.306121185863, 276.101821192053, 0.0)
40 <float> 2.5
41 <float> 175.0            <<< invalid reference column width
... <snip>
73 <int> 1
44 <float> 1.0

The linked column MTEXT #1B3:

0 <ctrl> MTEXT
... <snip>
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (194.806121185863, 276.101821192053, 0.0)
40 <float> 2.5
41 <float> 175.0            <<< invalid reference column width
... <snip>
73 <int> 1
44 <float> 1.0

Dynamic (manual height) Columns R2018

Hint

If “content type” is 2 and flag “column auto height” is 0, the “defined column height” is 0.0.

0 <ctrl> MTEXT
5 <hex> #9C                     <<< entity handle
330 <hex> #1F
100 <ctrl> AcDbEntity
8 <str> 0                       <<< block record handle of owner layout
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (69.806121185863, 276.101821192053, 0.0)     <<< insert location in WCS
40 <float> 2.5                  <<< character height in drawing units
41 <float> 62.694536423841      <<< reference column width, if not in column mode
46 <float> 0.0                  <<< defined column height
71 <int> 1                      <<< attachment point
72 <int> 1                      <<< text flow direction
3 <str> Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam...
... <snip> text content of all three columns
73 <int> 1                      <<< line spacing style
44 <float> 1.0                  <<< line spacing factor
101 <ctrl> Embedded Object
70 <int> 1, b00000001           <<< ???
10 <point> (1.0, 0.0, 0.0)      <<< text direction vector (local x-axis)
11 <point> (69.806121185863, 276.101821192053, 0.0)     <<< repeated insert location
40 <float> 62.694536423841      <<< repeated reference column width
41 <float> 0.0                  <<< repeated defined column height
42 <float> 175.0                <<< extents (total) width
43 <float> 164.802450331126     <<< extents (total) height, max. height if different column heights
71 <int> 2                      <<< column type: 2=dynamic columns
72 <int> 3                      <<< column height count
44 <float> 50.0                 <<< column width
45 <float> 12.5                 <<< column gutter width
73 <int> 0                      <<< flag column auto height
74 <int> 0                      <<< flag reversed column flow
46 <float> 164.802450331126     <<< column height 1. column
46 <float> 154.311699779249     <<< column height 2. column
46 <float> 0.0                  <<< column height 3. column, takes the rest?

No Columns R2000

I have no idea why this column type exist, but at least provides a reliable value for the MTEXT height by the “defined column height” attribute. The column type is not stored in the MTEXT entity and is therefore not detectable!

  • Column Type: No columns
  • Number of Columns: 1
  • Height: 158.189308131867, defined column height
  • Width: 175.0, reference column width
0 <ctrl> MTEXT
... <snip>
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (-344.497343455795, 276.101821192053, 0.0)   <<< insert location in WCS
40 <float> 2.5          <<< character height in drawing units
41 <float> 175.0        <<< reference column width
71 <int> 1              <<< attachment point
72 <int> 1              <<< flag text flow direction
3 <str> Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, sed diam...
... <snip> text content of all three columns
73 <int> 1              <<< line spacing style
44 <float> 1.0          <<< line spacing factor
... <snip>
1001 <ctrl> ACAD
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_BEGIN
1070 <int> 46           <<< defined column height
1040 <float> 158.189308131867
1000 <str> ACAD_MTEXT_DEFINED_HEIGHT_END

No Columns R2018

Does not contain an embedded object.

0 <ctrl> MTEXT
... <snip>
100 <ctrl> AcDbMText
10 <point> (-334.691900433414, 276.101821192053, 0.0)   <<< insert location in WCS
40 <float> 2.5                  <<< character height in drawing units
41 <float> 175.0                <<< reference column width
46 <float> 158.189308131867     <<< defined column height
71 <int> 1                      <<< attachment point
72 <int> 1                      <<< flag text flow direction
3 <str> Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consetetur sadipscing elitr, ...
... <snip>
73 <int> 1                      <<< line spacing style
44 <float> 1.0                  <<< line spacing factor
1001 <ctrl> AcadAnnotative
... <snip>