Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using dimensions, part of Cert Prep: AutoCAD Certified Professional (2015).
- You will always have a requirement, in your AutoCAD drawings, to place Dimensions, so that people will know how big something is in order to build it, manufacture it, or work on the design, and take the design further. We're staying in our 9_Annotating_HOUSE_complete drawing. You will obviously be following along with 9_Annotating_HOUSE.dwg from your lynda.com Exercise Files. Now, what we're going to look at is just how to dimension in this particular video.
I'm not going to take you through all the different Dimension Styles, and how to create Dimension Styles, because that's not what this exercise needs. What this exercise needs is the ability for you to obviously utilize your AutoCAD to place Dimensions on a drawing. Now, you can do this in two ways. You can do it from the Annotation tab here, on the Home tab on the Ribbon, or you can actually use the Annotate tab here, on the Ribbon, and you'll notice we have an entire Dimensions panel. I'm going to stick with the entire Annotate tab on the Ribbon and the Dimensions panel, but, before I do that, I'm going to go to the Home tab on the Ribbon, go to the Layers panel, and make sure that my Dimensions are going to go on to their own separate Dimensions Layer.
Always, always, always place your Dimensions on a separate Layer. That way you can freeze them, switch them off, and, sometimes, there are so many Dimensions on a drawing, it can make the drawing almost unreadable, so what you need to do is have the ability to switch that Layer off to make sure that you have clarity when you're designing. Now, we're going to zoom in on the top wall of the house here, so I'm just going to pan upwards. There's the top of the house there. We're going to look at these windows here, and this door here, and also this wall here, so make sure you can see all of that on the screen, like so.
I'm then going to go to the Annotate tab on the Ribbon, like that. Now, you'll notice my Dimensions are using the current Layer, which is the actual Dims Layer, and we're going to look at some tools that are available in AutoCAD 2016, so we have this Dimension tool here, which starts the DIM command. Now, you may get this pop up. It's prompting you to Select an Annotation Scale. Now, I'm going to set that Annotation Scale in a moment, but it always prompts you, when you're placing Dimensions, if your Dimension Style is annotative.
I'm just going to OK that for the moment, and you'll see, up here, can you see my Architectural Dimension Style has that little symbol there, that little blue, sort of, squidgy symbol there? That means that it's an annotative Dimension Style, which means it'll follow the scale of the viewport in the D-Sized Layout tab down here. What we need to do is make sure that we go to the D-Sized Layout tab first, so just click on that, and that'll actually open up. Now, I'm in the middle of a command right now. I'm in the Dimension command, so I need to hit Escape, so you notice me clicking on that.
Nothing's happening, so I'm mid-command, so hit Escape a couple of times, then go back to your D-Sized Layout tab. Now, when we go in here, click on the viewport on the edge, and just check what your viewport scale is. Mine is 1:50 on the Status Bar there, so I go back to the Model tab, I then set my Annotation Scale here, also to 1:50, so when I click on it, I get a list of Scales, and make that 1:50. That way, you know that your Dimensions will be the right size to be scaled appropriately in the viewport.
Now I go back up to that Dimension command, in the Dimensions panel, and what I'm going to do is select an object and just hover over it, like so, so I can pick a point like that. I can just Dimension normally. However, can you see, when I hover over a line, like that, or a wall, it actually places the entire Dimension for me? Now, the reason it's doing that is this new Dimension command, which I'll hit Escape from now, actually allows me just to hover over objects and place Dimensions. You can, however, just place regular Dimensions here, so you've got Linear, Aligned, Angular, Arc Length, and so on.
I'm going to use Linear in this particular case, and what I'm going to do, I'm going to go from the corner of the wall there to that corner of the window. Now, I may need to zoom in a bit to see what I'm snapping to. I want that Endpoint there, or do I? I want to go for the opening; it's that point there, so there's my little Dimension there. Now that is actually 6 3/4 inches, and you can see I can specify the dimension line location, so I'm going to click there, like so. Now, you'll notice that has placed an automatic leader line on that particular Dimension, because it's very small and the Dimension won't fit in between the two extension lines of the Dimension, so if I place another Linear Dimension, let's say, on a window now, and let's say I actually Dimension the windowsill, just zoom in to make sure I get that Endpoint there, and you'll notice, this time, the Dimension actually fits between the extension lines.
If I hover over that Endpoint snap there, they line up together. That's how you place your Dimensions in your AutoCAD drawing. Now, you'll notice I'm using snaps, so it's two Endpoint snaps, and then a click to place the Dimension as well, so three clicks on the left-hand mouse button. You can, however, when I go back to that Linear Dimension, you'll notice there's a select object prompt there, on the dynamic input. If I just press Enter now, prompts me to select the object to dimension, so if I select that window and click, it just dimensions the window for me.
I align that in with another click there, so that's two clicks instead of three because I'm actually dimensioning a physical object instead of a distance between two objects in that points. Now, there's lots of other different Dimensions available to you, so if I click down here, and go for something like a Radius instead, and I hover over this arc here and click, I can actually dimension the Radius of that door, which is two feet six inches, as you can see, and, if I pan across a little bit more, I can do another Radius, just here, and I can select this one here, select that arc there, and that's six feet eight inches, so you can see that I can place lots of different Dimensions, and, if I just zoom out a little bit now, you can see how that can easily fill up your drawing, so make sure that you utilize, in the Home tab on the Layers panel, the ability to switch off or freeze that Dimensions Layer.
Now, I'm going to make doors the Current Layer, and then go back to the pull-down, because you shouldn't really freeze the current drafting Layer, so if I freeze the Dimensions Layer now, you'll see that they all disappear, click in the drawing area, just hit Escape to cancel any commands, so I can now work on the actual geometry. I can then go back to the Layer pull-down, and go back to the Dimensions Layer and click on the snowflake, turn it back to a sun symbol, and my Dimensions are back, so that is how you work with your Dimensions in your AutoCAD drawings.
Now, it's very, very easy to use. Make sure you set yourself, also, up with a Dimension Style, so you'll notice, in this case, we're using the Architectural Dimension Style in this particular case, so make sure that you set up a Dimension Style, a Dimension Layer, and then Dimension, neatly and tidily accordingly, and practice, practice, practice for your AutoCAD professional certification exam.
- Creating and publishing AutoCAD files
- Drawing shapes and lines
- Creating isometric drawings
- Transforming objects
- Creating and using arrays
- Organizing objects and layers
- Reusing content with blocks
- Adding text, dimensions, multileaders, and scales
- Creating layouts
- Setting printing and plotting options
Skill Level Appropriate for all
Q: Is this certification available for AutoCAD for Mac users?
A: AutoCAD certification is on the Windows environment only. Currently Autodesk does not have plans for an AutoCAD for Mac certification.
Q: This course was updated on 02/01/2016. What changed?
A: We added four new videos to the "Certification: What Is It?" chapter. These tutorials cover Certiport, the online certification service that now offers a variety of Autodesk certifications.