You can easily add formatted dimensions to documents with the Dimensioning tools. These tools can measure horizontal, vertical, oblique, and perpendicular distances; measure diameter, radius, angle, area, and perimeter; and mark the centers of arcs and ovals.
The dimensioning tools are grouped in a single palette. (See Tool Palettes.) The Linear, Chain, and Baseline tools allow you to create horizontal, vertical, or oblique dimensions, depending on the position of the cursor upon creation.
In addition, when using the Chain and Baseline Dimensioning tools, you define the first two points as you would for a Linear dimension. Then, just click on every point you want to add to the dimension, and the tool creates the dimension object automatically. The result of using the Chain or Baseline Dimensioning tool is one single object. The current limit for Chain Dimensions is 16.
Baseline dimensions are a series of measurements made from a common starting point. Chain dimensions are a series of measurements in a row.
Create dimension objects that conform to industry standards, including ANSI, DIN and JIS. You can also customize the standard settings — the size of lines, gaps, text, and tolerances—and then save these settings as new standards. (See Using Industry Standards for Dimension Objects.)
Click 1st Point, Click 2nd Point
Click the start point for the measurement, then click the end point and anchor the dimension object.
Click 1st Point, Click Next Point
Click the start point and then click the end point for the first measurement; anchor the first part of the dimension object. Click the next measurement point and anchor the next part of the dimension object. Continue until finished, then press Esc.
Click 1st Line, Click 2nd Line
Click the start point for the angular measurement, then click the end point.
Click Line, Click Point
Click the line to measure from, then click a point anywhere to take a perpendicular measurement from the line to the point.
Click Object Side
Click the side of the object to be measured.
Click anywhere on the arc or ellipse and then anchor the dimension object.
Click anywhere on the object to be measured and then anchor the dimension object.
Baseline and chain dimensioning tools create a single dimension object. Baseline dimensions contain several measurements from a common starting point. Chain dimensions are a series of measurements.
You can customize the measurement units, scale, arrow position, tolerance text, and other settings for dimension objects. Use the Dimensioning settings in the Properties bar. These settings are available when you select a Dimensioning tool or have selected a dimension object. Depending on the selected Dimensioning tool or object, the Properties bar will display various settings.
Indicates the size of the dimension object. You can change the text value of the dimension object by entering a value in this field. The actual object size does not change. If you want to change the actual size of the dimension object, select the Allow Change Size checkbox. Click Reset Value to recalculate the measurement.
Select a unit of measurement from the menu. If you have several dimension objects in a document, each dimension object can use its own unit of measurement. Use the document unit or a different unit of measurement from the menu. Selecting a different unit of measurement overrides the document unit for that dimension object.
Bilateral prints the tolerance amount with “± “ and the dimension text. Unilateral tolerance prints both tolerance amounts and the dimension text.
This controls the placement of the arrows. Select either Inside, Outside, None, or Auto (default). (See Style and Text Display Settings.)
This controls the length of witness lines. Select either None, Short, or Long.
You can choose from no decimals to six decimals, or even use fractions. Each dimension object can have a different precision.
Define the scale for the dimension object. If you select Define custom scale, the Custom scale dialog box opens. Each dimension object can have a its own scale. The dimension object scale is independent of the document scale.
Select this checkbox if you want to have a comma separator for digit grouping.
Select this checkbox to keep the dimension object outside of the object. This option applies to Radius and Diameter objects.
Select this checkbox if you want your dimensioning object to display two different units of measurement; e.g., inches and centimeters (cm). Choose the secondary unit of measurement from the menu.
This controls the placement of the dimension text. (See Text Display.)
Select a dimensioning standard from the menu: ANSI, BS-380, DIN, ISO, or JIS. The Standard refers to the length of lines, size of tolerance text, placement of the text, placement of the arrows, etc.
Click this button to add a custom dimension standard. (See New Standard Definition.)
Click this button to modify a dimension standard. (See New Standard Definition.)
Click this button to remove the selected dimension standard. (See To Delete a Custom Standard:.)
The Properties bar must be displayed to view the Dimensioning settings. If not open, choose Window | Show Properties Bar.
You can change the properties of multiple selected dimension objects as long as the dimension objects are of the same type.
When you are using a dimensioning tool, the pen ink of the dimension object appears black with a 1-pt stroke; however, once you complete the object, the pen ink switches to the current ink and stroke settings. By default, the dimension text is 10 pt and uses Arial. In addition, the current stroke color is applied to the dimension text.
You can change the current ink, stroke, and text settings for new dimension objects, and you can change these settings for existing dimension objects.
Select the object and use the Presets palette to select ink color, pen size, and arrows for the dimension object.
Dimension objects can still display arrows if all the preset arrows have been deleted from the Arrow tab in the Presets palette.
Make sure that no objects are selected in the document, and then use the Presets palettes to change the current stroke and ink settings for new objects and text.
The Properties bar allows you quick access to text formatting options for various dimension objects.
You can scroll the Properties bar if all the options are not visible. Arrows appear on the left and right indicating that other options are available.
Refers to the placement of dimension text in relation to the object.
Text is aligned horizontally in the dimension object.
Text is aligned with the angle of the dimension arrows.
Text runs above the dimension arrows.
Text runs below the dimension arrows.
Font & Size
Select a new font and font size for the text from the menus.
Click the buttons to apply a style to the text (Bold, Italic, Underline, and Frame).
You can also change the font, size, and styles by using the Text menu.
Select this option to keep the text between the arrows. Must be off to drag dimension text outside the witness lines.
Turn this option on to frame the dimension text.
Select this checkbox if you want the dimension text to use the fill color rather than frame color of the object.
With the exception of Linear and Object Side Dimensioning tools, dimension objects are not attached to the objects they measure, and, therefore, dimensions do not change when you resize objects you have measured. However, you can group a dimension object and the object that it measures. When you do this and then resize the object, the dimension changes accordingly.
Select the dimension object and the measured object and choose Object | Group.
If you want to use industry standard settings for dimension objects, open the Standards menu in the Properties bar. Select a dimensioning standard from the menu: ANSI, BS-380, DIN, ISO, or JIS. The Standard refers to the length of lines, size of tolerance text, placement of the text, placement of the arrows, etc.
Choose from five standard measurement systems:
Once defined, custom standards appear in the Standard menu in the Properties bar.
Enter a name for the new standard.
Select the unit of measurement that you want to use for all settings in the dialog box.
Set the size of the gap between the witness lines and measurement points on objects; the gap between the center extension and center point mark; and the gap between the dimension text and dimension arrows.
Set the length of the arrow lines (applies only when arrows are outside the witness lines); the length of center extension lines’ leader characters; and the length of the center extension line.
The size of tolerance text and space between tolerance text, as a percentage of the dimension text size and spacing.
You can quickly apply dimensions to selected ovals, rectangles, and rounded rectangles.
You can display any of the following dimensions, depending on which object is selected:
You can move the placement of dimensions.
You can delete specific dimensions.