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AutoCAD 2016 Introduces Smarter Dimensioning Tools

1 Dec, 2015 By: Lynn Allen

Do you think of dimensioning as a dreary task? With these time-saving new tools, you might start looking forward to it.


If you prefer, you can leave your object snaps on and manually select where you'd like the dimension extension lines to go. Then it's simply one more pick to place the dimension line.

As you are dimensioning, you will see a variety of command options appear that allow you to customize your dimension (figure 3). Perhaps AutoCAD is placing a Radial dimension and you'd prefer Diameter; in that case, just indicate it at the Command line (or by selecting with your input device).

Figure 3. Prompts appear to help you get the perfect dimension.
Figure 3. Prompts appear to help you get the perfect dimension.

And if you're wondering how you're going to get Angular dimensions, relax, it's easy. Simply select two nonparallel lines and AutoCAD will assume you want an Angular dimension; just place and you're done!

While the new DIM mode lets you dimension continually without re-entering the command, it should be noted that all added dimensions fall under one command sequence. If you return to the Command line (with an Enter or Cancel) and execute an Undo, all dimensions created in the last DIM sequence will be deleted! If you want to Undo just the last dimension, you'll need to execute Undo while still in DIM mode.

There's one last dimension improvement that warrants a friendly reminder: Dimension text is now easily wrapped and controlled with the new width sizing control (figure 4). Simply drag the arrows to the desired width.

Figure 4. When you select dimension text, a width adjustment control appears above your selection, making it easy to wrap text.
Figure 4. When you select dimension text, a width adjustment control appears above your selection, making it easy to wrap text.

The new Dimension tool in AutoCAD 2016 is so easy to use, you'll be up and running in no time. Ditch the old tools and switch to this shinier, more productive means of getting your dreary dimension tasks done. Who knows — you might just start to look forward to dimensioning! Until next time, happy AutoCAD-ing!

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