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Modifying dimensions

From: AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

Video: Modifying dimensions

AutoCAD dimensions are very flexible. We can position them wherever we want, and reposition them if necessary if we need to make room for new dimensions. We can even break the rules a little bit when it comes to our dimension style. In this lesson we're going to learn how to modify our dimensions to suit our needs. On my screen I have a mechanical example and this drawing contains several dimensions. First of all, let's say I'd like to move this dimension. I can do that by using grips. I'll select the dimension, and then I'll select this grip right over the dimension text and I can move and reposition this wherever I like.

Modifying dimensions

AutoCAD dimensions are very flexible. We can position them wherever we want, and reposition them if necessary if we need to make room for new dimensions. We can even break the rules a little bit when it comes to our dimension style. In this lesson we're going to learn how to modify our dimensions to suit our needs. On my screen I have a mechanical example and this drawing contains several dimensions. First of all, let's say I'd like to move this dimension. I can do that by using grips. I'll select the dimension, and then I'll select this grip right over the dimension text and I can move and reposition this wherever I like.

Notice, I can also reposition the text and if I drag the text outside of the extension lines, AutoCAD automatically creates a leader. I'm going to click to place the dimension right here, and then I'll press Esc to deselect. Let's make another change. I'm going to zoom in on the top and I would like to line-up these two dimensions. To do that, I'll select this dimension, and then I'll select the grip at the end of this Arrowhead and I'll use my running object snaps to snap this to the end point of this Arrowhead, and then I'll deselect.

We can use grips to reposition any of the dimensions in our drawing. I'll select this Diameter Dimension, I'll select the grip. Notice that as I pull this guy around, the text will automatically jump to the other side of the Leader, so that wherever I place this, it will always look correct. In fact, if I pull this up far enough, AutoCAD will automatically add an extension line. I'm going to zoom out and I'll place my dimension right over here. Let's zoom in on this side, and in this case, maybe I'd like to add some text to this dimension. Normally, when we edit text, we double-click on it.

Here's the problem. If I double-click on this, AutoCAD pops up the Property Changer, which isn't going to help me. So, I'm going to deselect this, and we'll try something else. If you want to edit text that's part of a dimension, we're going to use a command called ddedit. This is the manual way to launch the Text Editor. I will then select the text. This brings up the Text Editor in the Ribbon. Notice that I have several of the settings that we see when we create multi-line text. I'm going to click the Right Arrow key to move my Cursor after the dimension value.

I'll add a space and then I'll type typical, I'll press Enter, and then I'll type 4 Holes. Notice the dimension text is blue. This is a visual cue to let me know that this value is being derived from the dimension itself. When I'm finished making my change, I'll click outside the Editor and then I'll press Escape to exit the command. Let's pan this down and let's take a look at this dimension. I'd like to make some changes to this one. I'll click to select it and instead of using grips, I'm going to right-click, and notice that there are several options at the top of the menu that are associated with dimensions.

Let's take a look at Dim Text position. I'm going to come over and select Move text alone. This allows me to reposition this dimension text independent of the dimension geometry. I can place it here, I can click on it, grab this grip, I can move it over here. I can pretty much place it wherever I like. Now, let's look at how we can re- associate this dimension text to the dimension. It's still selected, so I'm going to right-click. I'll go back to Dim Text position, and I'll select Move with dimension line.

Now this dimension is acting just like it did when I first put it in. I'd like these to line-up. So, I'm going to click right here to place it. Then I'll select it, I'll grab the grip at the end of this Arrowhead and I'll place it to the end of this Arrowhead. I'm going to zoom out, let's pan over a little bit, and let's take a look at this dimension. I'll select this and I'll right-click. Notice, I can modify my precision. Remember I said that we could break the rules a little bit when it comes to our dimension style. Well, right now, the dimension style is dictating that this dimension be two decimal spaces.

I can use this menu option to change it to six decimal spaces. So, as far as this dimension is concerned, it's taking on all of the dimension style settings with the exception of precision. I'm going to select this again, and I'll right-click. Notice I can also use this menu to flip arrowheads. I can create a new dimension style from an existing dimension, or I can assign a different dimension style to this dimension. I'm going to press the Escape key a couple times to close these menus and deselect my entity. Then I'm going to double-click the Scroll Wheel to get a Zoom Extents.

Probably the most powerful tool we have for editing dimensions is the Property Changer. I'm going to zoom in on this dimension and I'll select it. Then I'll come over to the Property Changer, and there is a lot of settings here. I'm going to click these triangles to collapse these groups. Notice that these group names match the tabs that we see in the dimension style. This means that I can modify any of the dimension style settings for a specific dimension only.

Now, currently this guy is to two decimal spaces. I'm going to open up the Primary Units group, and we can see the Precision rate here as well. I'll select this, click the fly-out, and I'm going to change this to four decimal spaces. I'll close this group and I'll open up the Text group, and I'd like to change the Text height to 0.25. I'd like to change the rotation angle of the text to 25 degrees. Then I'll move outside the Palette, let it collapse and I'll press the Escape key to deselect.

Now, this is just an example. There is one realistic change I'd like to make. Take a look at this radial dimension. Notice that AutoCAD has added a center mark, just like it did with this radial dimension and these diameter dimensions. Now, in this case, I'd rather not show this center mark, I'd like to turn it off. So, let's zoom in a little bit closer, and I'll select this dimension, I'll go to the Property Changer. Inside the Lines & Arrows group, I'm going to come over to the Center mark setting, I'll click the fly- out and I'll set this to None.

As you can see, AutoCAD dimensions can be easily modified. With a little effort, we can position or customize them to suit any situation.

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This video is part of

Image for AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training
AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training

100 video lessons · 20289 viewers

Jeff Bartels
Author

 
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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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