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The points, whose location you can see through their , are located on their own unique layer called Defpoints. Definition points are displayed regardless of whether the Defpoints layer is on or off. To give you an idea of how these definition points work, try the following exercises, which show you how to directly manipulate the definition points.

  1. With the grips visible, click the grip near the dimension text.
  2. Move the cursor around. Notice that when you move the cursor vertically, the text moves along the dimension . When you move the cursor horizontally, the dimension line and text move together, keeping their parallel orientation to the dimensioned floor plan.
  3. Enter Metric users should enter the dimension line, text, and the dimension extensions move to the new location to the right of the text (see Figure 9.8).
    FIGURE 9.8:

    FIGURE 9.8:


In step 3 of the last exercise you saw that you can specify an exact distance for the dimension line’s new location by entering a relative polar coordinate. Cartesian coordinates work just as well. You can even use object snaps to relocate dimension lines. Next, try moving the dimension line back using the Perpendicular Osnap.

  1. Click the grip at the bottom of the dimension line you just edited.
  2. Shift+click the right mouse button and choose Perpendicular from the Osnap popup menu.
  3. Place the cursor on the vertical dimension line that dimensions the balcony and click it.
  4. The selected dimension line moves to align with the other vertical dimension, back to its original location.

Changing Style Settings of Individual Dimensions

In some cases, you will have to make changes to an individual dimension’s style setting in order to edit that dimension. For example, if you try to move the text of a typical linear dimension, you’ll find that the text and dimension lines are inseparable. You need to make a change to the dimension style setting that controls how AutoCAD locates dimension text in relation to the dimension line. This section describes how you can make changes to the style settings of individual dimensions to facilitate changes in the dimension.

Moving a Fixed Dimension Text

You may remember that in an earlier exercise where you added a continued dimension, two dimensions’ text ended up overlapping each other. In situations like that, you will want to manually move an overlapping dimension text away from the dimension line, current settings. but as you saw in an earlier exercise, this cannot be done with the current settings.

In the next exercise, you will make a change to a single dimension’s style settings. Then you’ll use grips to move the dimension text away from the dimension line.

  1. Press the Esc key twice to cancel the grip selection from the previous exercise.
  2. Zoom into lower-right side of the balcony area so you have a view similar to Figure 9.9.
  3. Click the 5″ dimension to expose its grips. This may be a bit tricky since it closely overlaps the 3’·9″dimension. If you need to, use the slection Cycling feature to isolate the 5″ dimension. (See singling Out Proximate Objects in Chapter 12.)
  4. Click the Properties tool in the Standard toolbar.
  5. Scroll down the list further until you see the Keep Dim Line with Text option, then click this option.
  6. Click the arrow that appears next to it to open the drop-down list, then select the Move Text,  Add Leader option.

    The dimension moves away from its original location to a new one away from the 3′-9″ balcony dimension.
  7. Close the. Properties dialog box.
  8. AutoCAD uses the grip on the 5″ dimension to move it to a new location next to dimension extension lines as shown in Figure 9.9.
  9. Zoom back to your previous view.
  10. Now choose File > Save to save this file in its current state.

In the Properties dialog box, the Move Text,Add Leader option in the Fit options lets you move the dimension text independently of the dimension line. It also causes a leader to be drawn from the dimension line to the text.

As you can see from this exercise, the Properties dialog box gives you access to many of the settings that you saw for setting up dimension styles. The main difference here is that the Properties dialog box only affects the dimensions that you have selected.



In the previous exercise, you changed the format setting of a single dimension after it was placed. These settings can be made a standard part of your Architectural dimension style by using the Modify button in the Dimension Style Manager dialog box .

Rotating a Dimension Text

Once in a while, a dimension text works better if it is kept in a horizontal orientation, even if the dimension itself is not horizontal. If you find you need to rotate dimension text, here’s the way to do it.

  1. First, click the Undo button twice in the toolbar or type U return the 5″ dimension to its original location.
  2. Click the Dimension Edit tool in the Dimension toolbar.
    At the Enter type of dimension editing [Home/New/Rotate/Oblique] <Home> prompt, enter R.
  3. At the Enter text angle prompt, type 45 to rotate the text to a 45° angle.
  4. At the Select objects: prompt, click the 5″ dimension text again. Press button.
  5. Click the Undo button to undo the text rotation. You won’t want to save this change to your drawing.

The Dimension Text Edit tool (Dimtedit command) also allows you to align the dimension text to either the left or right side of the dimension line. This is similar to the Alignment option in the Multiline Text Editor that controls text justification.

.A.s you have seen in this section, the Grips feature is especially well suited to , editing dimensions. With grips, you can stretch, move, copy, rotate, mirror, and scale dimensions.

Understanding the Dimension Text Edit Tool

One dimension text-editing tool you haven’t used yet is the Dimension Text Edit tool.

While it may sound as though this tool allows you to edit dimension text, its purpose is to allow you to quickly position dimension text to either the left right,or center of the dimension line. To use it, choose Dimension Text Edit·from the toolbar, then click the dimension text you want to move. You’ll see the prompt.

Click on a dimension and the Select dimension: Specify new location for dimension text or [Left/Right/Center/Home/Angle):

You can then enter the letter of the option you want. For example, if you enter I button the dimension text moves to the left side of the dimension line.

Editing Dimensions and Other Objects Together

Certainly it’s helpful to be able to edit a dimension directly using its grips, themselves to changes in the drawing. As long as you include the dimension’s definition points when you select objects to edit, the dimensions themselves will automatically update to reflect the change in your drawing.

To see how this works, try moving the living room closer to the bathroom wall. You can move a group of lines and vertices using the Stretch command and the Crossing option.

  1. Click the Stretch tool in the Modify palette, or type S button and then C button. You will see the following prompt:
    At the Select objects to stretch by crossing-window or -polygon … Select objects:  Specify first corner:
  2. Pick a crossing window, as illustrated in Figure 9.10. Then press button to confirm your selection.
    FIGURE 9.10

    FIGURE 9.10


  3. At the Specify second point of displacement: prompt, enter @2′<90 to move the wall 2′ in a 90° direction. The wall moves, and the dimension text changes to reflect the new dimension, as shown in Figure 9.11.

When you selected the crossing window comers, you included the definition points of both vertical dimensions. This allowed you to move the dimension extension lines along with the wall, thereby updating the dimensions automatically .

Adding a String of Dimensions with a Single

AutoCAD 2000 offers a method for creating a string of dimensions using a single operation. The Qdim command lets you select a set of objects instead of having to select points. The following exercise demonstrates how the Qdim command works .

  1. Zoom out so you have an overall view of the Unit floor plan.
  2. Choose Dimension > Qdim or click Quick Dimension on the Dimension toolbar.
    At the Select geometry to dimension: prompt, place a selection window around the entire left-side wall of the unit.
  3. Press button to finish your selection. The following prompt appears:
    Specify dimension line position, or
    [Continuous/Staggered/Baseline/Ordinate/Radius/Diameter/datumPoint/ Edit] <Continuous>:
  4. Click a point to the left of the wall to place the dimension. A string of dimensions appears, displaying all the dimensions for the wall.
  5. When you are done reviewing the results of this exercise, exit the file without saving it.

The prompt in step 4 indicates several types of dimensions you can choose from. For example, if you want the dimensions to originate from a single baseline, you can enter B.J in step 5 to select the Baseline option.

The Qdim command can be a time-saver when you want to dimension a wall quickly. It may not work in all situations, but if the object you’re dimensioning is fairly simple, it may be all you need.

Removing the Alternate Dimensions

In the beginning of this chapter, you set up the My Architectural dimension style to include an alternate dimension. You can remove those alternate dimensions by turning off the alternate dimension features. Here’s how it’s done.

  1. Choose Dimension > Style or enter D button
  2. In the Dimension Style Manager dialog box, select the style that uses the Alternate Units. In the Styles list box, click Modify.
  3. Select the Alternate Units tab.
  4. Click the Display Alternate Units check box to remove the checkmark.
  5. Click OK, then click Close in the Dimension Style Manager dialog box.

The dimensions that use the style you just edited change to remove the alternate dimensions. You can also perform the reverse operation and add alternate dimensions to an existing set of dimensions. Follow the steps shown here, but instead of removing the checkmark in step 4, add the checkmark and make the appropriate setting changes to the rest of the Alternate Units tab.

Using Osnap While Dimensioning

You may find that when you pick intersections and endpoints frequently, as during dimensioning, it is a bit inconvenient to use the Osnap popup menu. In situations where you know you will be using certain Osnaps frequently, you can use Running Osnaps. You can do so in the following two ways:

  1. ClickTools > Drafting Settings. In the Object Snap tab of the Drafting Settings dialog box, male sure the Object Snap On check box is checked and then select the desired default Osnap mode. You can pick more than one mode, for example, Intersection, Endpoint, and Midpoint, so that whichever geometry you happen to be nearest will be the point selected.
  2. Another way to accomplish this is to type osnap at the command prompt, and then enter the name of the Osnap modes you want to use. If you want to use more than one mode, enter their names separated by commas; for example:

Once you’ve designated your Running Osnaps, the next time you are prompted to select a point, the selected Osnap modes are automatically activated. You can still override the default settings using the Osnap popup menu (Shift+click the right mouse button). You can toggle the Running Osnaps on or off by clicking the OSNAP label in the status bar, or by pressing F3. The toggle feature is especially helpful in crowded drawings where you may accidentally select an Osnap location while panning or zooming or selecting points for other operations.

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