Creating Dimension Styles

Dimension styles control a dimension’s format and appearance. They help you establish and enforce drafting standards for drawings and make changes to dimension formats and behavior easier to implement. A dimension style defines

  • The format and position of dimension lines, extension lines, arrowheads, and center marks
  • The appearance, position, and behavior of dimension text
  • The rules governing where AutoCAD places text and dimension lines
  • The overall dimension scale
  • The format and precision of primary, alternate, and angular dimension units
  • The format and precision of tolerance values

When you create a dimension, AutoCAD uses the dimension style that is current at the time you create the dimension. AutoCAD assigns the default STANDARD style to dimensions until you set another style as current. STANDARD is based on, but does not precisely conform to, American National Standards Institute (ANSI) dimensioning standards. If you start a new drawing and select metric units, ISO-25 (International Standards Organization) is the default dimension style. DIN (German) and JIS (Japanese Industrial Standards) styles are provided in the AutoCAD DIN and JIS drawing templates.

To create a dimension style

  1. From the Dimension menu, choose Style. The Dimension Style Manager is displayed. In addition to creating new styles, you can perform many style management tasks. See “Managing Dimension Styles.”
  2. In the Dimension Style Manager, choose New.
  3. In the New Dimension Style dialog box, enter the new style name.
  4. Select the style you want to use as a start point for the new style. If you have not created styles, you start with STANDARD. The starting style and the new style are not linked.
  5. Indicate the dimension type for which you want to use the new style. All Dimension Types is the default. You can also specify settings to be used for particular dimension types. For example, suppose the text color for the STANDARD style is black, but you want the text to be blue only for diameter dimensions. Under Start With, select STANDARD, and under Use For, select Diameter. New Style Name becomes unavailable because you are defining a substyle of STANDARD. After you change the text color to blue (using the steps that follow), Diameter is displayed as a substyle under STANDARD in the Dimension Style Manager. Whenever you use the STANDARD style for diameter dimensions, the text will be blue. For all other dimension types, the text will be black.
  6. Choose Continue.
  7. In the New Dimension Style dialog box, choose any of the following tabs to enter dimension settings for the new style:
    • Lines and Arrows: Sets the appearance and behavior of the dimension lines, extension lines, arrowheads, center marks, and centerlines (see “Formatting Dimension Lines and Arrows”).
    • Text: Sets the dimension text appearance, placement, alignment, and movement (see “Formatting Dimension Text”).
    • Fit: Sets options governing where AutoCAD places dimension lines, extension lines, and text. Also defines the overall dimension scale (see “Fitting Dimension Text and Arrowheads”).
    • Primary Units: Sets the format and precision of linear and angular dimension units (see “Formatting Primary Dimension Units”).
    • Alternate Units: Sets the alternate unit format and precision (see “Adding Alternate Dimension Units”).
    • Tolerances: Sets lateral tolerance values and precision (see “Adding Tolerances to Dimensions”).
  8. When you finish making changes on the tabs of the New Dimension Style dialog box, choose OK, and then close the Dimension Style Manager.

Command line DIMSTYLE

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