Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting up a metric dimension style, part of AutoCAD: Tips & Tricks.
- [Instructor] Welcome again to the world of AutoCAD Tips and Tricks, where we're going to be taking you through another tip and trick to make you more productive and more effective in your AutoCAD workplace. We've got a new drawing for you. It's ANNOTATION_MetricDimStyle.dwg. And you can download that from the website as usual to follow along with the Tip and Trick video. Now, as normal, my Tips and Tricks drawing titles tend to give away what we're going to cover, so we're going to look at annotation and creating a metric dimension style.
This is a metric drawing, so all of the measurements and dimensions are in metric millimeters. And we're going to create a metric dimension style utilizing one of the existing text styles that we've already got in the drawing. So we're going to zoom in on the top left corner here so that we can see some dimensions. Maybe pan down a bit like that. And you can see there we've got the grids J, I, H, and G, and there's some dimensions there. And you can see that those dimensions are using a particular font and a particular arrowhead type.
So let's have a look at creating a new dimension style. Quickest way to do this normally is to go to the Annotate tab on the ribbon. And you've got your nice Dimensions panel here so that you can work with all your dimensions. But just to the right there, you've got your little arrow. Click on it. And that opens up your Dimension Style Manager. Now, right now, we're using the current dimension style of Diagonal 2.5-millimeter Arial. You can see it highlighted there in the list on the left-hand side. We're going to create a new dimension style.
So I click there like so, and it comes up with "Copy of" the current dimension style. So let's be sensible here. Let's call this something like DIMS1. And we'll put an underscore there, maybe Metric for example, because it's a metric dimension style. We're not going to make it annotative, because obviously all of our dimensions are going to be in the model space. But we are going to use it for all dimensions. So I click on Continue. And it brings up DIMS1_Metric in the New Dimension Style dialog box.
Now, you've got a lot of bits and pieces here going on, and we need to tidy all of this up. Now, you'll notice, just grayed out at the top there on the ribbon, our current dimension layer is A ANNO DIMS, which is what we want to use when we're placing dimensions in the drawing. So, when we go to the Lines tab here, you want to select Color. I always go ByLayer. I set everything by layer. And it doesn't matter whether you're in that dimensions layer or not at a particular given time, but you know it will always adopt that particular layer when you're using the A ANNO DIMS layer as the current drafting layer.
Now, we're not extending beyond any ticks yet, because we're going to go back and do that in a moment. But the baseline spacing needs to come up. We're going to make that, say, let's say make that 50 millimeters, for example. The color, again, we'll do it all by layer. And all the extension lines and everything, make everything by layer. It just makes life so much easier later on. Extend beyond dimension lines, we're going to set that to, say, let's say 10 millimeters, for example. And the offset from the origin we'll say is going to be four.
Now what you can do here is tweak all of this and work your way through it. And if I'm doing that there, Extend beyond dim lines, that baseline spacing might then be a bit too big. So we'll make that 10 as well, like so. Symbols and Arrows, I'm going to change this now. I want this to be Architectural ticks. Now, as soon as I do that, if I go back to the lines now, you'll see that I can obviously extend beyond ticks. And I'm going to change that to say five millimeters. Go back to the text now. Text style, you can select one of the text styles you've already got.
I'm going to use Arial, which is the one we're using for this dimension style that already exists. Text color, though, we're going to use ByLayer. Fill color, we're just going to use the background. You can have none, or you can have a box. For example, if I said the fill color was yellow, and I drew a frame around the text, it will put a box around the text. Now you'll notice, the preview is looking a bit weird at the moment. Don't worry about that. What we'll do is, as we work through this, we'll tidy all of this up, and then we'll work out how it's all going to fit together. And vertical placement of the text, we want it above the dimension.
And we want it centered on the dimension. And we want the View Direction to be left to right. We don't want it right to left. Offset from dimension line, I'm going to set that to 2.5 millimeters. And we'll have everything aligned with the dimension line itself. So when we now get to the Fit tab, and before I go there just change that fill color to none. We don't want it yellow. And we've got the fit. Now we're going to use an overall scale there of 304.8. Now, that's a throwback to possibly where this drawing originated from. I'm going to use an overall scale of one, like that.
When I press Tab now, you'll see all those dimensions start to come into play. I do need to go back to the text there, because I've left the Draw frame around text on. Let's undo that so that we can see that text a bit better. Go back to the Fit tab. We're using the overall scale of one. And we're going to go for best fit for text or arrows there as well. Primary Units. You can see that we're using decimal with a precision of zero. We want to round up to the nearest millimeter. We don't want fractions of millimeters. And you'll notice that any decimal separators you've got a choice of period, comma, or space.
So if we were using our numbering system for millimeters, we would use the period setting. And you can also switch off Zero suppression. So, for example, for Angular dimensions, we've get Decimal Degrees there. I might round that up a little bit more, possibly go to three decimal places perhaps. And you can see that now becomes 59.999. So if I put on the Zero suppression there and say Trailing and then set that to two decimal places, it rounds it down to exactly 60. It just rounds it up for you. And you can do Zero suppression Leading and Trailing also for your dimensions here as well.
Alternate units. We haven't got any. But if I want to display them, I could potentially display inches, millimeters, and so on. And I can obviously have the alternate units there so I can show metric and imperial units if I want to. In this case, we're not going to display any. We're just going to stick with millimeters. And if I'm using any tolerances, I switch on the settings here. So I might go to Limits and specify the values, upper and lower values. In this case we're not going to use any tolerances, so we'd set that to None. So everything's set up there now, and all I've got to do now is just go through the information and just check that everything's the right size.
Looking at the preview, can you see something that looks a bit weird there? And that's basically the fact that these arrowheads are a bit small. So we go back to Symbols and Arrows. And you can see that the arrow size is way small. It's 0.98. Now, this is a throwback to the original drawing, which was an imperial drawing which has been converted. So you might get some of these weird little numbers cropping in. So your arrow size, you need to make that bigger. I'm going to go for five. And that will make them bigger. And don't forget, you might need to resize all of these things when you've converted a drawing from a previous format as well.
Center marks I've left at None for circles. I don't tend to use them. Dimension Break size, you might make that, say, 3.5 if you're using dimension breaks. And you might change you jog height factor possibly as well. Now, when I okay this, that then goes into our list there, like so. And what I can do is, I can start converting dimensions that are using the old style, which is the Diagonal 2.5, and I might change it to DIMS1_Metric. Now, bear in mind that sometimes dimension styles are annotative, not annotative, and so on.
I'm going to close that now, because I've created the dimension style, and I'm going to select one dimension. And what I'm going to do is change the style up here in the Dimensions panel. And if I scroll down, you'll see there's my DIMS1_Metric there. And I select it. And you'll notice that it looks different. It does look different. And if I zoom in real tight, you can see that obviously my ticks are way too small. Way too small. So I go back to my style, DIMS1_Metric, Modify. And I go to Symbols and Arrows.
So that arrow size needs to be made way bigger. And it needs to be made way bigger, because at the moment, it's just five millimeters in my model space in my metric millimeters. If I change that to, say, 50, or possibly, say, 75, if I okay that now and then close, you'll see those ticks are looking nice. Now, again, you've got to be careful. Look, can you see the spacing? The text spacing off of the dimension limit is too small. So I need to resize some of these things and make sure that they work properly in the environment where you want to use them. So I need to just jump back in, DIMS1_Metric, Modify, and just jump back to Lines.
So, Extend beyond ticks. We need to change that to, say, 75. Baseline spacing will probably be more like 200. And over here, extend beyond dimension lines, we need to maybe make that a little bit bigger as well. Let's take that to 100. And the Offset from origin, we'll set that to, say, 50. And if I okay that now and close it, you'll see that things start to change. Can you see the little extension is there and so on? Now, one thing that we have missed, can you see, is the old dimension style has a nice big gap between the dim text and the dimension line.
I need to edit that one too. So I jump in here, review my DIMS1_Metric and modify. And that particular space is in the Text tab. And it's down here, Offset from dim line. It's at 2.5 millimeters, way too small. Let's set that to, say, 50. If I okay that now and close it again, that will update. And I've now got a really nice 3050 dimension with some nice little architectural ticks and some nice spacing off the dimension line. So that's how you create a metric dimension style.
Some of it is a little bit of trial and error, as you notice. You go through, and this is how I kind of change things. I test it on an existing drawing first. Set it up. Make a note of all the settings. And then apply it. And just keep working through until it looks the way you want it to look on your AutoCAD drawing.
Skill Level Intermediate
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