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Join Jeff Bartels as he covers the most important features of this industry-standard drafting and design application in AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training. This course begins with a tour of AutoCAD's interface and the tools used to create basic shapes. It then focuses on the methods used to modify and refine geometry while emphasizing accuracy and good habits to build a solid design foundation. The course covers using layers, line types, and colors to organize a drawing file and explains how to efficiently annotate a design and prepare it for final output. Throughout the title, Jeff shares industry techniques used in production and reinforces concepts using practical examples. Exercise files are included with the course.
All of the dimensions we create in our drawing will conform to a Dimension Style. A Dimension Style is very similar to a Text Style, and that it controls the appearance of our dimensions. In fact, Dimension Styles and Text Styles work the same way. Just like a change in your Text Style will modify existing text, a change to your Dimension Style will modify your existing dimensions. On my screen, I have a mechanical part to which I have applied several dimensions. Let me mention that all of these dimensions were created using the Default Standard Dimension Style.
To see my Style, I'll click to open the Annotation fly-out and I can see the Style name right here, Standard. All drawings start with a Standard Dimension Style because you have to have at least one style in order to create dimensions. If I click this fly-out, we can see that this is the only dimension style in this drawing. If I'd like to create a new style or make changes to this style, I can click the Dimension Style icon. This brings up the Dimension Style Manager. Notice once again, we can see the name of the Current style right here.
On the left side of the dialog box, I can see a listing of all of the Dimension Styles that have been defined in this drawing. On the right side, I have these buttons that I can use to help me manage my dimension styles. As you can see, I can Set a Style Current, I can create a New Dimension Style, I can Modify an existing style, I can Override the settings of a Dimension Style, and I can Compare one style to another. Let me move this over a little bit, and since all of these dimensions were created using an existing Style, we won't be creating a new dimension style in this drawing.
If you did want to create a new style, you can click the New button and you could give the Style a name right here. Notice that you'll always create a new style from an existing one. So in this case, our New Style would start using the same settings as the Standard Style. I'm going to press Cancel and then I'll click the Modify button to make changes to the existing style. First of all, notice that there are seven tabs of settings that are used to create a Dimension Style. Now, we're not going to be going through what each of these settings does, but I'm going to show you how can get information about each setting.
First of all, if you place your cursor over a setting, AutoCAD will give you more information. Secondly, notice these settings are organized into Tabs much like our Ribbon. You can use these Tab names to make it easier to narrow your search if you're looking for a specific setting. Let's take a look at the Lines Tab. Notice, these settings are arranged in two named groups. These are kind of like Panels, if we're using in it our Ribbon analogy. Also, keep an eye on this preview. If you're unsure what a setting does, change it and watch the preview.
For instance, I'm going to adjust this setting. Notice, it's suppressing one of the Dimension Lines. I'll change to this setting and we can see it in the preview, this is suppressing one of the Extension Lines. Using these techniques along with a little experimentation will help you learn what all of these settings do. Let's make a change. I'm going to go to the Primary Units Tab and I can see right here that the precision of the Dimension Text is four decimal spaces. I'm going to open up this fly-out and I'll switch this to two, notice the change in the preview. Then I'll click OK and I'll click Close.
And notice how all of my dimensions are conforming to the new settings. Well, except for this one. Notice, my Angular Dimension is still to the even integer. Let's go back to the Dimension Style Manager. I'll click Modify, and take a look right here. Angular Dimensions have their own precision. keep that in mind when you're making changes. You know what, since we're on the Primary Units Tab, I'm going to open up the Unit Format fly-out and I'll set this to Architectural. This is how you can create dimensions that read in feet and inches.
Now, this drawing is set up for Decimal Units, so I'm going to switch this back. And, let's make another change to this style. I would like to change the Text Height. That setting is probably going to be on the Text Tab. If we look right here, we can see the current Text Height is 0.18, I'm going to make this a little smaller. I'll change this to 0.125 and I'll press Tab to accept this value. And let's take a look at Text Alignment. Right now, my text is reading Horizontal on screen. Maybe I'd like the text to be Aligned with the Dimension Line.
Once again, I'll click OK, let's move to this Manager over a little bit and I'll click Close. And you can see, my dimensions are a conforming to the new settings. I'd like to make one more change. Right now, my arrowheads are looking a little large, let's see if we can make these smaller. I'm going to press my Spacebar to bring back the Dimension Style Manager, I'll click Modify and the Arrowhead Settings are probably on the Symbols and Arrows Tab. Right here, I can see the current Arrow Size is 0.18. I'm going to change this to 0. 12, I'll click OK and Close.
Dimension Styles give us the same flexibility of a Text Style. If we need to make global changes to the appearance of our dimensions, we can simply change the style and all of the dimensions will update automatically.
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