How to: Label Coordinate in AutoCAD

Over the years I’ve been asked numerous times if we can automatically label coordinates in AutoCAD. Of course Civil 3D can do this, but what if you were just using basic AutoCAD? The answer is YES!!

Of course there are probably several AutoLISP that will do the trick, but you may be required to use a certain format. So, why not use a field?

Creating a Reference Object

First, we need to create an object as a reference point. It can be a point, a circle, or any symbol you want it to appear. I use this symbol.

reference object[4]

Creating an Attribute Definition

After we have the reference object, we need to define an attribute definition. You can activate it by clicking it on your ribbon, home tab, block panel.


Or simply type ATTDEF then [enter].

Let’s define our attribute. Give the attribute tag, prompt like below. In default field, type “XY =” then click insert field.

define attribute_thumb

Change the field category to objects, and in field names, select object. Click select object button to define the object type. Select the circle, don’t select anything else!

field category_thumb[1]

AutoCAD will list all available properties. Select center (or if you use point, select position). Because I only use it in 2D drawings, I don’t need it to display Z value. I turn it off. Change the format if necessary.Click OK.

define property_thumb[2]

Click OK again to close the define attribute dialog box. Place your attribute definition in desired location.

Define Adjustable Leader (Optional)

If you don’t want to have leader in your coordinate label, you can skip this step.

I add a line that will be used as leader.

leader line[4]

Create Block

create block_thumb

Select all the objects, and define the center as insertion point. Activate Open in Block Editor on lower left of this dialog. We are going to add some ‘dynamic’ functionality. Click OK.

AutoCAD will show the edit attribute dialog. We don’t want to modify it as it is updated automatically. Just click OK.

Add the Control Grip

What we want to do is adding a grip control, so we can modify the text (and optionally leader) placement. In block authoring palette, activate the point parameter.

point parameter_thumb

Now place it where you want the grip appear.

point parameter placement_thumb

Now activate the stretch action.

Select the point parameter, create the stretch frame like below, and select the line and attribute definition. [Enter] to end it.

cross polygon_thumb

Now we are done! Save this block and close block editor.


How we can use the label? Just insert the block, and click on the point you want to show the coordinate. After you have one of the block in your drawing, you can copy it and place it on several points you wanted.

Because we add a control grip, we can move the text and leader position!

control grip[4]

Because we use field, if you move your points, the value will be automatically updated!