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Creating dimensions

From: AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac

Video: Creating dimensions

When the time comes to dimension your work, you'll be pleased to know that the dimensioning workflow is identical between the Macintosh and Windows version of AutoCAD. The only difference worth noting is the location of your tools. In this lesson, we'll explore the topic of dimensioning by applying dimensions to a simple mechanical part. I am going to start by creating a Dimension Style. To do that, I'll open the Format menu and I'll select Dimension Style, this brings up the Dimension Style Manager. On the left side, I can see a listing of the Dimension Styles that are defined in this drawing.

Creating dimensions

When the time comes to dimension your work, you'll be pleased to know that the dimensioning workflow is identical between the Macintosh and Windows version of AutoCAD. The only difference worth noting is the location of your tools. In this lesson, we'll explore the topic of dimensioning by applying dimensions to a simple mechanical part. I am going to start by creating a Dimension Style. To do that, I'll open the Format menu and I'll select Dimension Style, this brings up the Dimension Style Manager. On the left side, I can see a listing of the Dimension Styles that are defined in this drawing.

Right now, I only have the Standard Style. Down here at the bottom-left, I have some buttons that I can use to manage my Dimension Styles. I can use the first two buttons to add or remove a style. If I click the icon that looks like a gear, I'll find some additional maintenance options. I am going to click the Add button and I'll call my Style, my-dimensions. I'd like the Style to be Annotative, and I'll click Continue. Now, on the Windows version, our Style settings are divided up into tabs.

On the Mac version, we use these buttons. The important thing to note is that the content is the exact same. I am going to click the Lines button so I can see the Lines settings, and I am going to change my extension line distance to 0.1, and I'll press Tab to accept that value. Then I'll go to Symbols and Arrows, I'm going to change the Arrowhead size to 0.1, and I'll press Tab. Let's take a look at the Text settings. I am going to change the Text height to 0.1.

Finally, I'll click Primary Units and let's change the Precision to two decimal spaces. When I am finished defining my style, I'll click OK and Close. Now, we can access our Dimensioning tools from two places. One place is the toolset palette. I am going to open this up and set the Annotation tool set current, and we can find all of the dimensioning tools right here. I'd like to create some linear dimensions first. So, I'll click the Linear icon, and I'll create a dimension from the endpoint here to the endpoint here, and I'll pull this out.

Let's create another. I am going to press the Spacebar to re-launch the command. I'll create a dimension from the endpoint here to the endpoint here, and I'll pull this out. Let's create another. I'll go from the endpoint here to the endpoint here. I'll create one more. I'd like to create a dimension from the Shift+Right-click. I'll use an object snap override and I'll select the Midpoint here to the Shift+Right-click, Perpendicular to here, and then I'll click to place the dimension.

Now let's create a Radial dimension. To do that, I'll hold on the Linear tool; this gives me access to the remaining dimensional options. I am going to select Radius, I'll select this arc, and I'll pull my dimension out to here. Let's add a couple of Diameter dimensions. I'll use the same menu to select Diameter. I will dimension the diameter of this circle. I am going to press my Spacebar to go back into the command and will dimension this circle as well.

Another place we can find dimensioning tools is in the Dimension menu. Grabbing your tools from here represents a more classical AutoCAD workflow. Let's apply a few Linear dimensions to the right-side view. I'll click Linear and I'll create a dimension from the endpoint here to the endpoint here. I'll press my Spacebar to go back into the command. I'll dimension the bottom of the part. I'll press the Spacebar again and we'll dimension this distance and I'll pull this out.

Chances are, after creating your dimensions you may need to make some adjustments. Fortunately, we have the same editing choices on the Mac that we do on the Windows platform. For instance, I am going to zoom in and I'll select this dimension, and then I'll click this grip and I'll drag this number out such that it's no longer sitting on the centerline. Another editing feature involves the right-click menu. Since this guy is already selected, I am going to right-click, and at the top of the menu, I can find several dimension properties.

I am going to set the Precision to be three decimal spaces. If you'd like to edit the text portion of a dimension, you can use the familiar DDEDIT command. I am going to type ddedit and I'll press Return. I will then select a dimension; this gives me access to the Text Editor. I am going to type 2X and I'll add a space because this dimension represents the diameter for both holes. When I am finished, I'll click Save, and as long as I am in the editor, I am going to backup and I'll click this dimension, let's expand the visor and I would like to add a symbol to this one.

Let's add a Diameter symbol, since this guy represents the diameter of the large circle. When I am finished, I'll click Save, and then I'll press Escape to cancel out of the command. Finally, we can also modify our dimensions by using the Property Inspector. I am going to select my Radial and Diameter dimensions. Then I'll come over to the Properties Inspector, I'll set this such that I can see all settings, and I am going to remove the unnecessary Center mark. When I am finished, I'll press Escape to deselect.

As you can see, when it comes to dimensions, transitioning from the Windows version of AutoCAD to the Mac is completely painless. Once you get used to a few relocated tools, you'll have no problem applying dimensions to your designs.

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AutoCAD 2011: Migrating from Windows to Mac

35 video lessons · 4030 viewers

Jeff Bartels
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