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 What’s the Word on AutoCAD?
Isaac Harper
Isaac Harper
AEC Industry Expert at CADsoft Consulting

You are about to enter… Another Dimension!

March 17th, 2016 by Isaac Harper

Dimensioning has been drastically over-hauled in AutoCAD 2016! Starting with a new layer control, you can preset what layer you want dimensions to be located on regardless of the current layer. With the new DIMLAYER system variable you can also create a new layer to be used.


Next item drastically increases productivity in dimensioning inside AutoCAD 2016 is its built-in intelligent feature that automatically creates the appropriate dimension with a preview based on the object you are hovering over during the creation process. For example, if you start the DIM command and hover your cursor over a linear object (e.g. Line…) A preview of a horizontal, vertical or aligned dimension will display. If the display looks correct, just pick the object (e.g. line) and them pick the dimension line location. The extension lines will automatically snap to the endpoints of the object you are dimensioning. Or… after picking the first line you can then hover the cursor over another non-parallel linear object and it will automatically switch to an angular dimension, you can then pick that object then place the angular dimension.  You can also force the type of dimension through the command line or the right+click shortcut menu during the process.

 Select objects or specify first extension line origin or [Angular/Baseline/Continue/Ordinate/aliGn/Distribute/Layer/Undo]:


If you hover over a curved object (i.g. Circle, Arc…) the preview will become a radius or diameter type dimension, or you can use the options on the command line or the right+click shortcut menu to change to another style. Then place the desired location.

Select arc to specify radius or [Diameter/Jogged/arc Length/Center mark/Angular]:


You will also see that a simple addition to the dimension command is that the options of modifying the text and angles have been removed and use the default values that are already applied, if you would like to change them, they are available from the right-click shortcut menus. In addition, the when editing the dimension text, you can now control the width of the text wrapping with the ruler above like Mtext.

Also using Baseline and Continue, dimensions automatically prompt you to pick the first extension line.

Another great feature of the new Dimensioning tools is if you place a dimension on top of an existing dimension you will get some options on how you want it modified. The cursor menu shows options to automatically move, break up or replace the existing dimension.



Shown in order as listed in the options above.

And lastly the new Dimension command is recursive regardless of what type of dimension you are creating, just end the command when you are done.

It takes a little bit of time to get the hang of them, but once you do you will feel like you have entered a whole new and better Dimension!

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