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Managing Dimension Style in AutoCAD

written by: Suvo • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 12/19/2009

Dimensions are important parts of any design because of the dimension values. Drawing is the communication language for designs. But sometime it becomes headache to maintain the appearance of the dimensions in autocad. We will learn managing dimension style in autocad here.

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    Many times you may face that you actually loosing lots of your time for increasing the size of arrow head or decreasing the font of the dimension texts etc. You may save some more of your autocad drawing time by properly using the autocad dimension style manager.

    What dimension style manager can do?

    By using dimension style manager you can create different dimension styles required for your drawing.

    In general by using dimension style manager, you can set the following dimension parameters:

    • Different style and thickness of dimension lines, extension lines, arrow heads and centre marks.
    • Dimension text colour, position and other appearance.
    • Placement of dimension lines and texts.
    • Overall dimension scale.
    • Format and precision of different dimension units.
    • Tolerance value.

    You can create multiple dimension styles for a single drawing and use any one of them at a time by set current option. If you copy any object of a drawing and paste it to another drawing, then all the dimension styles of the first drawing will also be added to the second drawing’s dimension style manager.

    How to create dimension style?

    Please type dimstyle or d in the command line of autocad and the dimension style manager dialogue box will appear.

    You will see only one dimension style (ISO-25 for metric drawing) at the left side of the dialogue box. Now to create your new dimension style you have to click on new and by default the new dimension style will start with copy of ISO-25, you can change the name and can give any other convenient name.

    Whether you would like to create the new dimension style for all the types of dimensions or for any particular type of dimension that can be specified by the third pull down menu (use for) of the intermediate dialogue box. For example, if you select diameter dimension instead of all dimensions in that field, then the new dimension style will only be applicable for diameter dimensions.

    After you click on the continue button of the intermediate dialogue box, you will be directed to a dialogue box with the following tabs:

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    Lines and arrows: Here you can specify everything about dimension lines, extension lines, arrow types, and arrow head etc.

    Text: In this tab you can specify everything about dimension text. You can set text height, style, colour, placement and alignment.

    Fit: The options available in this tab is mainly for fine tuning the appearance of the dimension for some critical cases, like if there is not having enough space to place the dimension text then how to place it etc.

    Primary unit: This tab of the dialogue box deals with unit format, decimal style, precision, scale factor etc. of primary unit.

    Alternate unit: Some times in drawing, imperial equivalent of the metric dimension value is displayed with [ ] enclosure. Displaying alternate unit is optional in autocad.

    Tolerances: You can set here the way tolerance should be displayed in drawing. Whether you want symmetric or deviation and how the tolerance values will be placed etc.

    After setting the entire required fields, click ok and you will be observing that the new dimension style is added at the left side. Now if you want you dimension style to be used now onwards, then click on it and click set current. Click close and come out of the dialogue box. Now for every new dimension will be according to the new dimension style.