- DimStyles and Our Dimensioning Tools
- DimStyle Options
- Creating a DimStyle Based on One of Our Default Styles
- Saving Your DimStyle into Our System
- Backing Up Your DimStyle
- Setting a DimStyle as Current
- Testing Your Saved DimStyle
- Changing the Units Shown in your Dimensions
In CAD, dimension styles (DimStyles) automate the appearance of dimensions in your drawing. When you create a DimStyle, you are creating a preset for the way in which linear length, angle degrees, and radius widths appear in your drawing. We've simplified the process of creating and saving a DimStyle. We offer two methods of automating the placement of dimensions: the Site Dimension and Detail Dimension tools.
When you use the dimensioning tools mentioned above, you will be using a DimStyle you've created and saved. Your DimStylewill be scaled correctly when you plot.
We recommend printing your DimStyles and including them in your CAD Standards binder.
DimStyles and Our Dimensioning Tools
Our Site Dimension and Detail Dimension tools will only pull the DimStyle that is saved into the Land F/X system, or our default DimStyles if you haven't saved one in. If you have your own existing dimension standards, you’ll need to save that DimStyle into your Land F/X Preferences.
You can simply set your custom DimStyle to current and save it into the Preferences, but this practice can often result in issues with scaling. Instead, we recommend quickly re-creating your DimStyle starting with our one of our default DimStyles. It’s easier than you think. See the Creating a DimStyle Based on Our Default One section below for instructions.
For most offices, the DimStyle for site plans and details will remain virtually the same in look and feel. Detail and site DimStyles are saved separately, mainly because you may have a different precision for each. For instance, details may have a precision to 1/4 inch (0.635 cm), whereas site plans may have a precision to 1 inch (2.54 cm).
You have up to four different options for units when creating a DimStyle for Imperial units, and up to six options when creating a DimStyle for metric units. You don't need to create all of these DimStyles – just those that apply to the units your office uses.
- Detail style with one unit representing 1 inch. Units are formatted to either architectural or engineering units, with the insertion scale set to inches.
- Detail style with one unit representing 1 foot. Units are formatted to decimal units, with the insertion scale set to feet.
- Site style with one unit representing 1 inch. Units are formatted to either architectural or engineering units, with the insertion scale set to inches.
- Site style with one unit representing 1 foot. Units formatted to decimal units, with the insertion scale set to feet.
- Detail style with one unit representing 1 millimeter. Units are formatted to decimal units, with the insertion scale set to millimeters.
- Detail style with one unit representing 1 centimeter. Units are formatted to decimal units, with the insertion scale set to centimeters.
- Detail style with one unit representing 1 meter. Units are formatted to decimal units, with the insertion scale set to meters.
- Site style with one unit representing 1 millimeter. Units are formatted to decimal units, with the insertion scale set to millimeters.
- Site style with one unit representing 1 centimeter. Units are formatted to decimal units, with the insertion scale set to centimeters.
- Site style with one unit representing 1 meter. Units are formatted to decimal units, with the insertion scale set to meters.
We recommend creating each of these DimStyles in a fresh DWG and then saving that DWG with the DimStyle. Having a separate DWG for each of your DimStyles will allow you to back them up quickly in the event that you lose them.
Typical Imperial units set to inches
Typical Imperial units set to feet
Typical metric units set to centimeters
Typical metric units set to meters
Creating a DimStyle Based on One of Our Default Styles
Whether you want to create a DimStyle for site or detail dimensioning, we recommend opening a new drawing to create it.
Do you already have a standard DimStyle that you want to use or save? You can simply set it as current to make it the active DimStyle that will be applied to our dimensioning tools. However, we recommend completing the following steps to re-create your existing DimStyle based on our default one, which will prevent potential scaling issues.
Note that you will be creating your DimStyle using the AutoCAD DimStyle Manager. You'll save it into our system after you've created it.
1. Open a new drawing.
2. Using our Scale tool, set your scale to the one you use most commonly. See our Set the Scale page for instructions.
3. Place a dimension anywhere in the new drawing using any of our dimensioning tools.
You'll see a message reading No user-saved dimstyle found. Use the default dimstyle?. Click Yes.
Our DimStyle for the scale you set will generate, allowing you to create your DimStyle based on that existing one.
4. Open the DimStyle Manager:
ACAD Manage ribbon, Dimstyle... button
or type DimStyle in the Command line
ACAD Dimension menu,
Dimension Style... option
5. Highlight our default DimStyle for the scale you set and click New.
In our example, we'll be creating a new DimStyle based on the LandFX-SDIM20 style.
5. The Create New Dimension Style dialog box will open.
Type a name for your DimStyle, then click Continue.
Because you highlighted our default DimStyle before clicking New, the DimStyle you're creating (or re-creating) will be based on our default one for the scale you set.
6. Configure your chosen settings for your DimStyle in the various tabs such as Lines, Symbols and Arrows, Text, etc. For details and instructions, see our DimStyle Settings documentation.
Once you've configured all your dimension settings to your standards, click OK to save your changes.
7. Place a dimension in your drawing. If it looks the way you want it to, you've successfully created your DimStyle. You can now follow our steps to save your DimStyle into our system.
If the dimension you placed doesn't look right, open the DimStyle Manager again.
Highlight the DimStyle you just created, and click Modify.
Continue to configure your DimStyle settings as needed. As soon as you've saved your DimStyle and placed another dimension that looks right, you're ready to save your DimStyle into our system.
For information on specific DimStyle settings under the tabs in the New Dimension Style dialog box, see our DimStyle Settings documentation.
Saving Your DimStyle into Our System
Once you've verified that your DimStyle is correct, you can save it into our system. Prior to saving, however, you will need to verify a couple of extremely important settings from within the drawing where you created your DimStyle.
Important Considerations Before Saving
1. Open the DimStyle Manager. Highlight the DimStyle you're saving, and click Set Current. You can then close the DimStyle Manager.
You'll need to have your DimStyle set as the current style before you can save it into our system.
2. Ensure that the correct Preference Set is selected.
Open the General Preferences screen.
From the Preference Set menu, select the Preference Set to assign to the DimStyle you're about to save.
The DimStyle will be applied to your dimensions whenever you have that Preference Set active.
3. Verify that you have the correct units (Metric or Imperial), scale, and drawing units (Architectural, Decimal, etc.) set in the Plot Scale dialog box.
The Units and Drawing Units settings, as well as the scale (example: 1" = 20 FT), should match the units you set for your DimStyle.
How to Save Your DimStyle
1. With your newly created style as the active style, and the drawing containing your DimStyle open and active, open the General Preferences screen and click Save Dimstyle.
2. The Save Dimstyle dialog box will open.
You'll have four options for Imperial, and six options for Metric. Click the Save button for each category you want your DimStyle to affect. If the style applies to all unit settings and applications, click Save for all of them.
Here are a couple of examples:
- DimStyle for Site plans
- Imperial units
- Architectural drawing units
- One CAD unit will be one inch (insertion scale is set to “inches”)
In this case, click the Save button next to Site (in.).
- DimStyle for Site plans
- Metric units
- Decimal drawing units
- One CAD unit will be one meter (insertion scale is set to “meters”)
In this case, click the Save button next to Site (m).
When you click one of the Save buttons, the box to the left of the button will be checked to let you know the style has been saved.
Now when you use the Dimension tools, you'll be placing a dimension with your chosen size of the ticks, text, offsets, etc.. The dimensions will be scaled automatically for the scale you've set.
You can always revise the saved DimStyle at a later date. Open the original CAD drawing where you created the original DimStyle and revise it as necessary. With this drawing open, go to Preferences and save the DimStyle again.
You can have different DimStyles for different Preference Sets. Thus if you have clients that require a different DimStyle, make a Preference Set for their projects and retain your office standard DimStyle.
If you're saving multiple DimStyles, follow our steps to set each DimStyle as current just before you save it.
Backing Up Your DimStyle
You've made your DimStyle while in a fresh drawing. If you haven't already, use our Scale tool to verify that your drawing is set to your most commonly used scale, and that your units are set to the correct denomination (inches, feet, centimeters, or meters) for your DimStyle.
We recommend setting up an 8.5-by-11-inch sheet and having a viewport to Model Space set to a representative scale. This scale should match the scale you have set using the Scale tool.
It's a good idea to place several dimensions in the drawing and then save this drawing as an example of the DimStyle for your standards. This practice serves two purposes:
- You can immediately test whether your DimStyle meets your standards.
- The saved drawing will serve as a backup of your DimStyle. If you somehow lose your DimStyle, you can retrieve it by simply opening the drawing and saving the DimStyle again.
To test your DimStyle, we recommend drawing the following two objects in Model Space:
- A circle
- Two lines meeting at a 90-degree angle
Why? Because you can then place dimensions into this drawing in order to test your DimStyle – and then save it with a set of visual identifications, as well as print it and include the DimStyle in your CAD Standards binder.
Place your dimensions using either the Site Dimension or Detail Dimension tools. Check all the dimensions for aspects of your DimStyle, such as the arrow or tick type and size, text style and size, extension line lengths, precision, etc. For the sake of examples, the image below shows the Radius Dimension, Linear Dimension, and Angular Dimension. However, we recommend you place all available dimensions.
If you're creating a Detail Dimstyle, you'll need to place a Detail Template and then place these items and dimensions within that template.
Setting a DimStyle as Current
Before you can use a DimStyle or save it, you'll need to set it as current.
Open the DimStyle Manager. Click the DimStyle you want to use or save, and click Set Current.
The DimStyle you selected will be activated, allowing you to use or save it.
If you need to save multiple DimStyles, you'll need to repeat this step for each one just before you save it.
Testing Your Saved DimStyle
Having trouble saving a DimStyle to make it the default for either site or detail dimensions? Solution >
We recommend testing your DimStyle to make sure you've created it correctly. Here are a few important items to check:
Create a new CAD drawing for each DimStyle you want to save.
Include an 8.5-by-11- inch sheet so you can easily print to review the size of the dimension elements, such as the arrow size, the text size, the offsets, etc. If you're creating a Detail DimStyle, place a Detail Template in the drawing.
Verify that your units and scale are formatted correctly.
Check that you have the correct Units (Imperial or Metric), scale, and Drawing Units (Architectural, Decimal, etc.) set in the Plot Scale dialog box. When setting your DimStyle scale while using Land F/X dimstyles, the scale of items that will display in Model Space should reflect how they would appear at full size. For example, if you want a 1/8" arrow size, this is the value you would enter in the DimStyle settings.
Ensure that the correct Preference Set is active.
Open the General Preferences screen, and verify that the correct Preference Set is selected in the menu. Remember: If you have the wrong Preference Set active when saving, your DimStyle will be applied to that Preference Set, and not the one to which you would like to apply it.
Test all the dimensions.
Test your DimStyle by performing a sample of each dimensioning offered in our Site Dimension or Detail Dimension tools, such as Linear, Aligned, Baseline, Continue Dimension, Angular, Radius, and Center Mark. Examine aspects of the style such as the arrow or tick type and size, text style and size, extension line lengths, precision, etc.
Print the drawing containing your DimStyle.
Print this drawing to review what the final product will look like. You can then add the printout to your CAD standards binder.
Ensure That Your Style is Not an “Override” to Another Style
In the AutoCAD DimStyle Manager, the current style should not be an “override” of another style.
The DimStyle Manager indicating that the current style is a Styles Overrides – this is INCORRECT.
The DimStyle Manager indicating that the current style is not an override – this is CORRECT.
Changing the Units Shown in Your Dimensions
In some cases, you might find yourself needing to place a dimension in Architectural Inches in a drawing where you're working in Decimal Feet, or vice versa. If this is the case, you can follow our instructions to:
- Change Dimension Units to Architectural Inches When Working in a Decimal Feet Drawing
- Change Dimension Units to Decimal Feet When Working in an Architectural Inches Drawing
Issue: When I place a site dimension, it comes in incorrectly. For example, it has a slash (/) instead of dimension text. The dimension itself may be coming in as an exploded series of objects rather than as a block.