Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using measure to obtain accurate drawing information, part of AutoCAD: Tips & Tricks.
- [Instructor] So here we are again, in the lovely world of AutoCAD, and what we're going to look at now is the ability to measure in AutoCAD itself. And not only measure to a particular point, but measure accurately, precisely, subtracting areas from another, working out angles, and so on. Now what's really really nice about AutoCAD is you've got this thing called Object Snaps. You switch it on down here, in your status bar, there's my Objects Snaps right there. So if I click on that, can you see it's grey, and it's off, which means I would not be able to measure accurately.
If I click on it again, switches the Snaps on. I can also decide on which snaps by clicking on the little fly out menu there. So you can see that my running Object Snaps currently are Endpoint, Midpoint, Center, Intersection, and Extension. Don't switch them on all at once, that will gradually drive you insane, because AutoCAD will try to snap to everything when you're working in the drawing area. Just switch on the optimum amount of Snaps that you need. Which in my case, is those five. I then click there on the little fly out arrow again, that closes the menu down.
Now my Snaps are on for a reason. To allow me to measure, accurately in AutoCAD using the Measure tools. So the drawing you'll need, is the one you can see right in front of you right now, if you want to follow along with this video. And it's 06_UsingMEASURE.dwg. Now what I'm going to do, I'm in the Model Tab in AutoCAD, I'm just gonna zoom in on this room here. Now you'll notice this looks very much like a residential building, because you've got things like this weird curved fireplace here, for example.
And that's why I want to zoom in on that particular room. So I'm gonna get it nice and central, maybe even zoom in one more notch. That just about covers it, the command line kinda gets in the way. So I'm gonna roll back on the wheel on notch like that. So I can see what I'm doing. Now the lovely thing about AutoCAD is all of these Measure tools are in one place. They're in the Home tab, on the ribbon, on the Utilities panel here. Now you can see that my Utilities panel is a bit squished. That's purely due to the resolution I record the videos at.
Yours I'm sure will expand out and look like that. Now all of your Measure tools are right here. Click on the fly out underneath Measure, and you've got all of your tools that you can measure distance, a radius, an angle, an area, and if you're working in 3D, the volume. So I'm going to measure, first of all, a distance. Now I've got my Object Snaps on. So that means I can measure any distance I want to. I'm gonna go from the inside corner there of the room, and I'm gonna go to this inside corner here.
And if I click there, you can see that that distance is 5702.30 millimeters. Now that's a bit of a weird number, but that sometimes how things happen. This might be an internal survey of perhaps an old imperial built drawing. I'm working in millimeters at the moment, and this might have been built using feet and inches. Hence the weird dimension there. So what we can do there, is we can just hit Escape a couple of times. Just to cancel that out. Let's do another distance. So again, Utilities panel, Measure, Distance.
If I come across here, like so, interior corner to interior corner. And again, 5702.30. So at least we know that the walls are consistent vertically. Now you'll notice this time, because it's actually on the screen, there's a little menu that comes up. Tells me the distance, gives me all the other options of the Measure tools. Things like Radius, Angle, Area. I can also just hit Exit, closes it all out for me. Now one of the really neat tools that you have in AutoCAD is the ability to look at what is in the command line here.
So if I click on this little arrow here, what I'll do is Command History. And can you see, there's the distance there. If I want to highlight it, I can then right click it. I can copy that, paste it to the command line again if I want to. But more importantly, I might want to copy that to something like Excel or Word, perhaps, and use it in a report, maybe. So there's tools available to you that allow you to take that information out as well. Now let's have a look at another really interesting one that I really like, and that's the Area tool when you're measuring.
Things like Angle are really easy, I just click there, Measure, and Angle like so. So if I wanna measure an angle, I pick that line, followed by that line, tells me it's 90 degrees. Pretty obvious it is, but it's 90 degrees. And I can hit Escape there. Another Angle, for example just for arguments sake, let's go to this one here. So if I do say that line there, and that line there, again, it's the same angle, and I get the same menu. I can hit Exit if I want to, like that. Now Areas are really cool though, because I can measure an entire area.
Now I'm going to cheat, I'm going to ignore the two columns that come into this lounge area here. But what I'm going to do is calculate the area of the room, and then I'm going to subtract the area of the fireplace as well. Now I can do that very quickly and easily just using the tools available to me in AutoCAD and the Measure tools themselves. Now what I can do there, is obviously work out the areas if I wanted to, by measuring and then doing it on paper. But you don't have to do that.
You can take away areas if you want to. You can calculate an area by picking an object, or perhaps having a boundary there. Now what I'm going to do, I'm going to cheat. I'm going to go here, and I'm on layer zero, that's fine, and what I'm going to do is draw a little Polyline that forms the outer edge of that fireplace. Now the reason I'm going to do that is it is then an object. And you'll see why I've done that in a moment. So let's create a Polyline. There's the Polyline command on the Draw panel. I'm going to to go to that interior corner I'm gonna zoom in a bit as well so I can see what I'm doing.
Come to that corner there, like so. I then right click and I select Arc. I then right click again, and select Second point. Which allows me to go to that mid point of the arc and then as I pan up, can you see that follows that arc for me, and then I can right click and I can close my Polyline. Now I was still Arc mode there, so that's kinda made a little bit of a mess. So be careful with that one. Okay just undo a few steps, and we'll do Polyline again. Polyline is a little bit quirky like that.
So just be careful when your doing these outlines. You don't want to get the kind of wrong shape and then obviously mess up your area calculation. So Polyline there, like so. Start point, come in here like that, across to there, right click, Arc, right click. Second point on the arc is the Midpoint, and then come down here to the last point of the arc there. Then you right click and select Line. Come out of the Arc mode, click there, and you're done. Right click and close the Polyline, and there's your Polyline shape there of your fireplace.
So if I zoom out now, and just quickly do this area. It's really neat, really quick. So Utilities and I come to Measure, and I select Area. Now read your prompts, very important. I'm running AutoCAD 2017 as well. Which means I can click on the prompts down in the command line. So I'm going to go to add Area first, like so. So I'm gonna add an area, and it asks for the first corner point. Now I'm gonna cheat a little bit, I'm just gonna go from corner to corner one, and just make sure I get the inner corners like that.
So I might need to zoom in, just to make sure I snap to the right point each time, which is that end point or intersection there. Now as you can see, it's kinda gone over the line a little bit, don't worry about that. It'll work all of this out in the wash. So there we go, there's one area. Now what I do is I right click now to confirm that area. And select Enter on the shortcut menu. So there's that area there. Now can you see I want to subtract an area. So I'll click on that on the command line. And then I select Object, like so.
And I pick on my Polyline, and it color codes it for me. So it shows me now that it's taking away the brown area from the green area. So I just right click to confirm, and there's my area there with a perimeter. Now if I wanna check all of that, I can quickly click on the arrow, and there's all my calculations there. Calculating those areas using the Measure tools in AutoCAD. So as you can see there, look we've got an area there, and an area there like so. And as you come down you can see all the calculations, and it's worked all of that out for me.
So the total area of the room is there, the two seven. I then take away the area of the fireplace, which begins with three two four. And there's the total area of the room, minus the fireplace. How quick and cool is that? I can quickly calculate an area. All of that is on the command line there on the menu there. And what I can do is I can copy and paste that if I need to. So I'll just hit Escape now, or what I can do is click on that arrow again, and it closes down the command line like so. When I hit Escape a couple of times, the colors all disappear. That's using Measure and the Measure tools in AutoCAD to your advantage.
Skill Level Intermediate
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