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In AutoCAD 2011: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets, Jeff Bartels shows AutoCAD users how to become more efficient power users, reducing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task, increasing profit margins, and strengthening marketplace competitiveness. The course covers everything from shortcuts used in geometry creation, to program customization, to real world solutions to common problems. Interface customization, block and reference management skills, and express tool usage are also covered. Exercise files are included with the course.
When you're dimensioning a drawing it's important that your dimensions be legible. Sometimes though, if your file is loaded with geometry, you may have no choice but to place dimensions on top of other line work. In this lesson, we're going to learn a quick way to ensure our dimensions are legible no matter how busy a drawing may get. On my screen I have an architectural example. This is a drawing of a public pool. Now, as I zoom in, you can see that there is a fair amount of geometry and hatch in this file. Let's start by dimensioning the length of this diving board.
I'll move up and select the Linear Dimensioning tool and I'll select this endpoint and this one and then I'll pull out my dimension. I will then select this dimension. I'll grab the text grip and I'll push this value up slightly. Now, while I do this, I'm going to hold down my F3 key so my object snaps don't get in the way. There we go. When I'm finished I'll press Escape. Now I'm sure you'll agree that with everything else going on in this drawing my dimension is a little difficult to read. To fix this, I'm going to select the dimension and then I'll open up the Properties palette and inside the text group I'll click right here in the Fill color area. I'll click again to open the fly-out and I'll select Background.
This will mask everything behind the text portion of the dimension and as you can see, this is now much easier to read. Let's create one more dimension. We'll do the width this time. I'll move up and select Linear, we'll grab the endpoint here and the endpoint here, and I'll pull out the measurement. Just like before, this dimension is difficult to read so I will select it, I'll come over to the Properties palette, and I'll change the Fill color to Background. And now it's easy to read.
By applying a background mask to your dimensions you can be certain that your measurements are always legible no matter how busy your drawing may get.
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