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Let AutoCAD Find the Perfect Scale Factor for Your Objects

22 Jun, 2015

We all know how to use a scale factor to scale our AutoCAD objects — but do you know how to scale to a specific reference value?  Join Cadalyst contributing editor and Autodesk Evangelist Lynn Allen as she explains how AutoCAD can figure out the perfect scale factor to get your objects to the desired size. Stop doing the math yourself and let AutoCAD do the work for you!

 

Video Transcript

Hello there, this is Lynn Allen. Welcome to another AutoCAD tip, courtesy of Cadalyst magazine. Coming to you from sunny Northern California. Thank you so much for joining me. Today I'm going to share with you a tip that I was reminded of when I was visiting one of my favorite AutoCAD blog, AutoCADTips1.com. Write that down. He does a great job on his blog.

This has to do with the Scale command, which we use all the time. Most of us go into the Scale command, and we give a scale factor, and we're done. But if you've ever been in a situation where you knew that you had a specific distance of length or width, whatever the situation is, that you wanted your objects to meet. But you couldn't figure out the scale factor was to get it there. You don't want to do the math. Then you are going to love the Reference option in the Scale command. Let me show you what I'm talking about.

On the screen, I have a table. It's a block that I borrowed from somebody. It's not the right size. I need the length of that table to be 5 ft. It's not quite right. So I don't want to figure out what I need to scale it by, because as we've pointed out before, I'm a lazy AutoCAD operator. I want the computer to do the job for me. That's why I'm using it, right? Computers are great at math. I want it to be 5 ft. in length.

So I'm going to go into the Scale command, don't type it in, be better than me. I'm going to pick my block. Pick the basepoint, just like we are used to. I'm going to use the Reference option. I want the distance from this end of the table to this end of the table; it tells me it's 2' 8 13/16" -- of course it is. I want that to be 5 ft. So I want to give the new length. I want it to be 5 ft. in length. Look at that, easy enough. I let the computer do the work for me. That makes me very happy. That's one way of using the Reference option.

Maybe you want an object or multiple objects on the screen to be a length of another object on the screen. For example, now I want the table to be the same length as this line. If you have a Reference object, you can also use that. Let me show you what I'm talking about.

Let's go back into the Scale command. Previous, pick the basepoint. We'll go back into Reference. Same deal. I want the distance from here to here, which we now know is 5 ft. But instead of giving it just another value, I'm going use the Point option -- in case you ever wondered what that meant -- and I'm going to grab the endpoint of this line and this endpoint. It will make sure that it's the exact same length as that line that I have on screen. That's another option available to you.

So I think you'll find that the Reference option inside of Scale can be very, very helpful to you. It's going to help you get your job done faster. Thank you so much for joining me. Be sure to visit AutoCADTips1.com. I'll see you back here in two more weeks.


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Comments

Re: Let AutoCAD Find the Perfect Scale Factor for Your...
by: Greg Battin
on:
June 23, 2015 - 3:24pm
I know that some might say "Just use the ALIGN command." While that might work but if you are referencing a line that is at an angle or if you don't want your object to move, this tip helps solve this issue. Keep in mind that the first point that you pick after you select the object to be scaled is your base point. So if you want your object to stay put this is a viable option. ~Greg Quote "Yikes...the chairs scaled too." - of coarse they did. At the very beginning, Lynn said that she is scaling a "block" did you expect different results with a block? If you want to scale the table and not the chairs you will need to make the table ALONE a block and then scale it
 
Re: Let AutoCAD Find the Perfect Scale Factor for Your...
by: James Adian
on:
June 22, 2015 - 4:26pm
Yikes...the chairs scaled too.
 
Re: Let AutoCAD Find the Perfect Scale Factor for Your...
by: James Adian
on:
June 22, 2015 - 4:24pm
Maybe you don not care about the scale/relative size of the chairs but using this scaling method also scales the chairs and any thing else that is a part of the block. This may look odd especially if there are other size instances of the same block.
 
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AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

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