Dimension Elements in AutoCAD

Although dimensions may vary in type and appearance, most dimensions include dimension text, dimension lines, extension lines, and arrowheads.


Dimension Text

Indicates the actual measurement. You can use the measurement computed automatically by AutoCAD, supply your own text, or suppress the text entirely. If you use the generated text, you can append plus/minus tolerances, prefixes, and suffixes.

Dimension Lines

Indicates the extent of a dimension. Dimension lines usually have arrowheads at the end to indicate the dimension start points and endpoints. The dimension text is placed along the dimension line, which is often divided into two lines.


AutoCAD usually places dimension lines inside the measured area. If space is not sufficient, AutoCAD may move the dimension lines or text outside the measured area, depending on the placement rules set for the dimension style (see “Fitting Dimension Text and Arrowheads”). For angular dimensions, the dimension line is an arc.


Displayed at the end of dimension lines to indicate where the measurement begins and ends. AutoCAD uses the closed filled arrowhead symbol by default. However, AutoCAD provides many other symbols that you can use, including architectural ticks, oblique strokes, dots, and slashes. You can also create your own symbols.


Extension Lines

Extend from the dimensioned object to the dimension line. Extension lines are drawn perpendicular to the dimension line, though you can make them oblique.


Center Mark

Marks the center of a circle or arc. Centerlines extend from the center mark. You can use a center mark only, or a center mark and centerlines.



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