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How to Scale Drawings, Dimensions, Leaders, Texts in Autocad/Choose Correct Scales for your Drawings

In the earlier versions of AutoCAD, Scaling, Dimensioning, Leaders and Texts used to be very difficult and confusing. Drawings are created based on a 1:1 unit usually in "M" or "mm" for the metric system. However, when you want to plot on paper you need to plot to a particular scale like 1:100. The texts, dimension arrows and dimension texts will thus be plotted to scale and in this case also at 1:100. Thus in autocad model space the texts, dimension objects must also be drawn at their intended plot scale, so in this case, if the text to be plotted is to be 3mm high, then the autocad model space, the text shold be drawn at 3 x 100 = 300mm high.

Two ways are used here. Draw or set the Text Height = 300 mm or Draw the Text Height = 3 mm but the scale factor for text and dimensions be factored by 100, either one works. For this method, you would need to preset the text and dimension styles to suit each plot scales. Thus if you intend to have several plotscales, say 1:50, 1:100, 1:150.. etc, then just set equivalent texts height and dimensions as 3x50mm, 3x100mm, 3x150mm, where 3 is the size of the text when printed on paper. Similar result can be achieved by using scale factors of 50 100, 150, and text height be set to 3 mm. These methods are confusing for many and harder to manage. 

With later versions such as AutoCAd 2012, 2013, however, the method of scaling texts and dimension objects are simplified by making text and dimensions "associative". All you need to do is set your "text style" for regular, bold, titles, subtitles, to be used as needed and by choosing scale of intended plot, these texts and dimensions will be drawn & plotted to their required scale automatically in model space and paper space.

In both cases above, you will need to first determine what would be your Intended Plot Scale of your drawings. Common Plot Scales to use: 1:10, 1:20, 1:30, 1:50, 1:75, 1:100, 1:150, 1:200, 1:250, 1:300, 1:500, 1:1000.



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Authur- Philip Goh (B.Sc, MIEM, P.Eng. MICE, C.Eng) MEC Engineers, Civil & Structural Engineer HP: 016-8672189, Email: Widget: email cloaker