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July 3, 2014

Dear Bill:

Cadkey...that's a concept...

Hi's one of those obscure computer concepts that can keep you up at night!

My brother...a programmer!...helped me cross the chasm between entering data and entering data the right way...he helped me figure out why my excel file was behaving so mysteriously.

A similar problem has occurred in AutoCAD 2008.  My formatting is behaving erratically with respect to justification...I think I solved the problem previously, but, just as Egypt once knew that the earth was round (or so my other brother tells me!), I forgot what I once knew... for a moment.
I want the justification in one data column to deviate from the justification in the other columns (data cells)...When I enter numbers, 1,2,3,4..., the justification behaves erratically...often "top right."  I've tried gaining consistency via the properties palate, format tables in the pull down menu, short-cut menu...
I think it's some type of formatting/data type problem.  I just know I don't always think like a cad operator...or for that matter, a programmer.

The computer doesn't always see numbers/data the way we do!

Thanks for your time.


Hey, Sheldon!  How are you doing?  :-)

    So, are you doing this with an AutoCAD Table?  Or are you importing the spreadsheet as AutoCAD objects?  Importing the spreadsheet as an OLE object (totally not recommended on my part)?  It can make a difference.  

    I can only offer you what I can experience in AutoCAD 2010.  It shouldn't be that different from AutoCAD 2008, but let's see:

    If you're working with an AutoCAD table, Justification is fairly easy.  When you first create the table, everything is set by default to Middle Center.  Depending on how the cells are selected, if the text is editable character by character, a Text Formatting toolbar appears.  On that toolbar if you hover the cursor over the little box with an A inside of it, that will give you the justification of only the cell in which you are editing the text.  You get in that far into the cell by double-clicking it in the first place.  The other choices that appear to be for justification, aren't working for me in the table cells: Left, Center, Right, Justify (which I assume to be full justification), and distribute (no idea what that means).  Even Paragraph doesn't indent the text.

    If you highlight cells (either one or several in a column), by single clicking and holding down the shift key to select others in the same column, or drag your selection by holding down the pick button on the mouse, multiple cells will be selected and a different toolbar displays:  The Table toolbar.  Instead of a box with an "A" inside of it and instead of calling the feature "MText Justification", the same feature has a new name:  "Alignment".  For that feature, there's an icon and a down-arrow in slightly to the left of middle of the toolbar.  You'll see that name when your cursor hovers over the icon or arrow for a bit.  With the cells highlighted, go to the down-arrow and select your choice of justification (alignment).  All of the text in the highlighted cells should respond to your choice of alignment.
    Hopefully this description helps you get your text aligned the way you want.  Please let me know.
Bill DeShawn  


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Bill DeShawn


I can address all 2-D questions and some 3-D questions. I do programming in AutoLISP if it doesn`t involve solid modeling. I can also address menu customization issues and can help you find answers to questions I can`t answer by taking your question directly to Autodesk via their newsgroups.


I used to do electronic and mechanical design for a flat panel monitor manufacturer, and now I do architectural drafting for an architect. I did and do AutoLISP and menu customization and take pride in making my lisp routines to do the work exactly the way the client likes them done.

I had a routine published in CADENCE magazine (no longer in publication and taken over by CADALYST). Some of my routines are published on my website at

Certified completion of AutoCAD courses, AutoCAD employment experience since 1992

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