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AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training
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Controlling appearance using dimension styles


From:

AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

with Jeff Bartels

Video: Controlling appearance using dimension styles

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.
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  1. 2m 8s
    1. Welcome
      1m 29s
    2. Using the exercise files
      39s
  2. 23m 33s
    1. Understanding model space
      3m 44s
    2. Accessing AutoCAD's tools
      3m 2s
    3. Leveraging dockable palettes
      3m 1s
    4. Monitoring the Status bar
      1m 28s
    5. Understanding the anatomy of a command
      2m 14s
    6. Customizing AutoCAD's preferences
      3m 13s
    7. Accessing help
      3m 38s
    8. Saving a workspace
      3m 13s
  3. 19m 42s
    1. Opening an AutoCAD drawing
      3m 2s
    2. Understanding mouse functions
      2m 44s
    3. Zooming, panning, and regenning
      4m 24s
    4. Working in a multiple-document environment
      2m 39s
    5. Saving your work
      2m 29s
    6. Saving time with templates
      4m 24s
  4. 14m 35s
    1. Constructing lines
      2m 20s
    2. Locking angles with the Ortho and Polar modes
      4m 49s
    3. Drawing circles
      4m 10s
    4. Activating the Heads-Up Display
      3m 16s
  5. 14m 48s
    1. Defining a unit of measure
      6m 28s
    2. Constructing geometry using architectural measurements
      4m 6s
    3. Working with metric units
      4m 14s
  6. 23m 45s
    1. Understanding the Cartesian coordinate system
      4m 53s
    2. Locking to geometry using object snaps
      7m 42s
    3. Automating object snap selection
      7m 26s
    4. Using temporary tracking to find points in space
      3m 44s
  7. 19m 30s
    1. Drawing rectangles
      4m 56s
    2. Drawing polygons
      3m 4s
    3. Creating an ellipse
      5m 9s
    4. Organizing with hatch patterns
      6m 21s
  8. 29m 46s
    1. Making geometric changes using the property changer
      3m 38s
    2. Moving and copying elements
      4m 28s
    3. Rotating elements
      3m 48s
    4. Trimming and extending geometry
      5m 10s
    5. Creating offsets
      6m 16s
    6. Erasing elements
      2m 46s
    7. Undoing and redoing actions
      3m 40s
  9. 11m 52s
    1. Selecting objects using windows
      3m 46s
    2. Adding and removing from selections
      3m 43s
    3. Using keyboard shortcuts
      4m 23s
  10. 51m 12s
    1. Creating fillets
      3m 52s
    2. Creating chamfers
      3m 51s
    3. Copying objects into a rotated pattern
      4m 20s
    4. Copying objects into a rectangular pattern
      4m 58s
    5. Stretching elements
      4m 4s
    6. Creating mirrored copies
      2m 12s
    7. Scaling elements
      5m 0s
    8. Leveraging grips
      7m 20s
    9. Exploding elements
      5m 47s
    10. Joining elements together
      3m 44s
    11. Editing hatch patterns
      6m 4s
  11. 32m 19s
    1. Understanding layers
      2m 43s
    2. Creating and adjusting layers
      7m 20s
    3. Using layers to organize a drawing
      9m 17s
    4. Changing popular settings using the layer control
      3m 30s
    5. Understanding the BYLAYER property
      3m 37s
    6. Restoring previous layer states
      3m 42s
    7. Using existing geometry to set the current layer
      2m 10s
  12. 37m 43s
    1. Creating single-line text
      3m 11s
    2. Justifying text
      5m 18s
    3. Controlling appearance using text styles
      6m 10s
    4. Annotating with multi-line text
      5m 10s
    5. Editing text
      4m 32s
    6. Creating bulleted and numbered lists
      3m 29s
    7. Incorporating symbols
      5m 28s
    8. Correcting spelling errors
      4m 25s
  13. 28m 37s
    1. Creating general dimensions
      4m 13s
    2. Creating continuous and baseline dimensions
      2m 13s
    3. Controlling appearance using dimension styles
      4m 57s
    4. Modifying dimensions
      6m 6s
    5. Creating multileaders
      2m 53s
    6. Controlling appearance using multileader styles
      3m 23s
    7. Modifying multileaders
      4m 52s
  14. 25m 19s
    1. Inserting blocks
      4m 34s
    2. Creating blocks
      6m 41s
    3. Leveraging blocks
      5m 39s
    4. Redefining blocks
      3m 1s
    5. Building a block library
      5m 24s
  15. 13m 50s
    1. Querying a drawing using rollover tooltips
      2m 9s
    2. Taking measurements using the Distance command
      3m 2s
    3. Modifying properties using the Quick Properties tool
      4m 25s
    4. Automating calculations using the Quick Calculator feature
      4m 14s
  16. 36m 6s
    1. Creating quick plots
      6m 4s
    2. Selecting a pen table
      5m 48s
    3. Choosing line weights
      4m 32s
    4. Creating a layout, pt. 1: Choosing a paper size
      2m 42s
    5. Creating a layout, pt. 2: Inserting a title block
      2m 29s
    6. Creating a layout, pt. 3: Cutting viewports
      6m 9s
    7. Reusing layouts
      4m 3s
    8. Organizing layouts
      4m 19s
  17. 16m 49s
    1. Using the Annotative property to automatically size text
      4m 13s
    2. Using the Annotative property to automatically size dimensions
      4m 34s
    3. Using the Annotative property to automatically size multileaders
      3m 58s
    4. Changing the scale assigned to annotations
      4m 4s
  18. 6m 56s
    1. Saving drawings to other formats
      2m 27s
    2. Plotting to the Design Web format
      2m 15s
    3. Plotting to PDF
      1m 20s
    4. Sending drawings via email
      54s
  19. 22s
    1. Goodbye
      22s

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AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training
6h 48m Beginner Jul 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Understanding model space
  • Working in a multiple-document environment
  • Organizing drawings using layers
  • Creating basic geometry
  • Configuring units for architectural, civil, or metric work
  • Incorporating blocks (symbols) into a working file
  • Maintaining accuracy with coordinates and snaps
  • Creating annotations that automatically size themselves
  • Moving and copying elements
  • Transferring data between drawings
  • Preparing standardized layouts with title blocks
  • Sharing drawings
Subjects:
CAD 2D Drawing 3D Drawing
Software:
AutoCAD
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Controlling appearance using dimension styles

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.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training.


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Q: Despite following the tutorials, I am having trouble in AutoCAD Architecture 2011. I cannot copy basic line drawings of simple architecture from one file to another. I tile two AutoCAD documents open simultaneously and click on a geometry, let go, click again and hold and try to drag to the second document, but to no avail. What could be causing the problem?
A: There are a few possible solutions. At the command line, type "PICKFIRST" and press Enter. Make sure this variable is set to 1. If the value is set to 0 instead of 1, this would result in the problem described. Having PICKFIRST set to 1 (normally the default setting for "vanilla" AutoCAD) allows you to select an object first, and then launch an editing command (like Move or Rotate or Erase). Thus, you can work in both directions. Launch the Editing command first and then select objects, or visa versa. 
If PICKFIRST is not the issue, the problem might be something native to AutoCAD for Architecture, as there are some differences between that version and plain AutoCAD. Don't forget, you can also move geometry from one drawing to another by using Copy/Paste. Simply select your geometry and right-click, select copy, then click in your other drawing, right-click, and select Paste. Note that the Copy/Paste options are also available on the Home tab of the Ribbon. Copy/Paste should work regardless of your PICKFIRST setting.
 
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