Details Scaling Incorrectly / Detail Out of Scale When Placed Into a Sheet
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Details Scaling Incorrectly / Detail Out of Scale When Placed Into a Sheet


You attempted to insert a detail into a sheet, and its scale is wrong. The detail scale is excessively small or large.



This detail scaling issue occurs when:

  • Your DWG units are set incorrectly, and/or
  • Your detail drawing contains proxy objects and the proxy display in the Options dialog box is set to Object detect and command invoke


...and, in some cases, when:

  • Your detail units setting differs from the units setting in your Paper size.

An important note on detail scaling:

When placing details, you're inserting them into a Paper Space sheet. So any scaling issue you have with details will have to do with the units that are set in that sheet. This is one reason we highly recommend that your detail sheets be separate DWGs from your plans. That way, you can scale your details separately from the scale and unit systems you've set in Model Space.



To address this issue for the present problematic detail, as well as to prevent the issue in the future, complete ALL of the following steps.


Step 1: Verify that Your Detail Units are Compatible With Your Paper Size Units

If your details have a different units setting from your Paper Size units, your details will always come in at the wrong scale. It's imperative that, for example, if your details are in feet or inches, your Paper size also needs to be in inches. Similarly, if your details are in metric units, your Page units setting needs to be in millimeters, centimeters, or meters.


To verify and, if necessary, correct, these settings, open the Page Setup Manager:


Output ribbon, Page Setup Manager button

Output ribbon, Page Setup Manager button








Type PageSetup in the Command line

PageSetup in the Command line

File menu, Page Setup Manager option




In the Page Setup Manager, highlight the problematic Layout sheet and click Modify.

Page Setup Manager




Page Setup dialog box

In the Page Setup dialog box, select your paper size from the Paper Size menu.





Then verify the unit settings under Plot Scale, and make sure they match the unit settings in your detail drawing.





For example, if your detail drawing is set to Imperial units, verify that this setting is in inch units


Step 2: Fix the DWG Units

A known AutoCAD bug involving DWG units can affect the scale of your details when you insert them. In this case, a hidden setting in your CAD installation will be set to Scale content from other drawings.


Here's how to correct this issue:


Type -DWGUnits in the Command line. Press Enter.

Type DWGUnits




set a unit for length

The Command line will prompt you to set a Unit for length. The dialog box pictured to the right will also open.


Type one of the two following values to set your units:

1: Inches, or

3: Millimeters


Then press Enter.

Note: Although you'll see 6 options for units at this point, you should ALWAYS be choosing INCHES for Imperial, or MILLIMETERS for metric.


You should also be considering your PAPER units when you select these units.





Press Enter two more times.




You will see prompts for Linear display format, and Linear display precision, but you can ignore these.



You will now receive the prompt:

Scale objects from other drawings upon insert?


Type N (for "No"), then press Enter.

This step is the crucial step in this solution. Make absolute sure that you answer NO to this question!


Answer NO





You will now receive the prompt:

Match INSUNITS to drawing units?






Type N (for "No"), then press Enter.



You'll now see the prompt:

Scale objects in current drawing to reflect change in units?




Type N (for "No"), then press Enter.


Scale objects in current drawing to reflect change in units, No


You should now be able to insert your detail at the correct scale.


For a quick reference, here's a screenshot of the commands described above:


screenshot of the commands

To avoid this issue in the future, you need a separate CAD template file (.dwt) for each unit setting you intend to use (inches, feet, meters, etc.). For information on creating a .dwt template, also known as a QNEW template, see our Drawing Templates documentation.


Step 3: Change Your Object Detect Settings

This step, along with Nuking your drawings, will prevent the detail scaling issue from happening in the future.


Manage ribbon, options button

Manage ribbon, Options button




type Options in the Command line





right-click in the Command line and selecting Options from the menu

Right click in the command line and select options

Tools pull-down menu




When the Options dialog box opens, select the Open and Save tab.



To prevent similar errors in the future, we recommend the following settings in the two pull-down menus beneath Object ARX Applications in this dialog box:


Object ARX Applications in dialog box

  • Under Demand load ObjectArx app, select Command invoke.
  • Under Proxy images for custom objects, select Do not show proxy graphics

The DWG Units error occurs when the Download Object ARX apps option is set to Object detect and command invoke. To prevent the error, make sure you have the settings listed above, including Command invoke in this menu.




And Finally: Run the Nuke Tool on Your Drawings

We also recommend that you get in the habit of running the Nuke tool on your drawings – especially those you receive from colleagues, consultants, and clients. The Nuke tool will prevent this issue – and a host of others – by cleaning all proxy objects out of detail sheet files. If you are not comfortable running the Nuke tool, you can complete a manual drawing cleanup instead.


Detail Blocks and the Nuke Tool

It's especially important that your detail sheets have ZERO proxy objects (the problematic items that the Nuke tool, described above, eliminates). Each detail sheet should be a clean .dwg with just a title sheet. Thus, it's integral that you run the Nuke tool on all your detail sheets. Cleaning your detail drawings in this way will greatly reduce the possibility of your blocks appearing at the wrong scale.


Additionally, because details are WBLOCKed out of other drawings, and may include an external reference (Xref), your details can contain all those many useless proxy objects. So if you open a detail sheet and it's full of proxy objects, it's time to Nuke!


For information on other common detail scaling issues, visit our Correcting Scale With Detail Callouts documentation section.

Note: Detail sheets should always be single standalone drawings, with only details placed, and only on one layout. Having a design file, and Xrefs, and multiple layouts, compounds the detail scaling problem outlined on this page. The Xref can be the source of the proxies responsible for this issue. Also, the multiple layouts are difficult to rebuild if the drawing becomes so corrupted it needs to be rebuilt. Learn the essentials of proper sheet setup by watching our Sheet Setup and Metric Sheet Setup webinars. You can also read all about sheet setup on our Setting Up Your Layout & Title Block Templates page.

Last modified on Monday, 18 April 2022


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