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Set the Scale for Dimensions

May 20, 2011

Set the scale for dimensions. Setting dimension scale depends on the method you use to lay out and plot drawings.

     Dimension scale has effects on the size of dimension geometry relative to the objects in the drawing. In addition to text height and arrowhead size, dimension scale affects offsets in dimension as well, such as the extension line origin offset. When you create dimensions, it's recommended to set the size and offset to values that represent their actual plotted size. However, the tolerances, measured lengths, coordinates, and angles cannot be applied to the overall scale factor.

      The method you lay out your drawing determines how to set the dimension scale. The method of creating dimensions in a drawing layout is shown as follows:

  •      Dimension in model space for plotting in model space. If you want to create dimensions that are scaled correctly for plotting, you have to set the system variable DIMSCALE to the inverse of the desired plot scale. For example, if the plot scale is 1/4, you have to set DIMSCALE to 4.

  •      Dimension in model space for plotting in paper space. If you want to create dimensions that are scaled automatically for display in a paper space layout, you have to set the DIMSCALE to 0. This method is useful when you encounter the following situations: the dimensions in a drawing need to be referenced by other drawings (xrefs); when you create isometric dimensions in 3D isometric views. To prevent the dimensions in one layout viewport from being displayed in other layout viewports, it's recommended to create a dimensioning layer for each layout viewport that is frozen in all other layout viewports.

  •      Dimension in layouts. You can create dimensions in paper space by selecting model space objects or by specifying object snap locations on model space objects. The dimensions created in a paper space layout do not need additional scaling: there is no need to change the default value of DIMLFAC and DIMSCALE.

Commands Reference

DIMSTYLE: Creates and modifies dimension styles

System Variables Reference

DIMLFAC: Sets a scale factor for linear dimension measurements

DIMSCALE: Sets the overall scale factor applied to dimensioning variables that specify sizes, distances, or offsets


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