Setting Drawing Units in AutoCAD

Every object you draw is measured in units. You determine the value of the units within AutoCAD before you draw. For example, in one drawing, a unit might equal one millimeter of the real-world object. In another drawing, a unit might equal an inch. You can set the unit type and number of decimal places for object lengths and angles. You can also specify the units for blocks and other content you insert from AutoCAD DesignCenter. Drawing unit settings control how AutoCAD interprets your coordinate and angle entries and how it displays coordinates and units in the drawing and in dialog boxes.

Setting drawing units does not automatically set units for dimensions. You generally set drawing units and dimension units to the same type and precision, but you can set different values for dimension units.

To format drawing units

  1. From the Format menu, choose Units.
  2. In the Drawing Units dialog box, set the unit values for your drawing. As you change unit settings, AutoCAD shows examples under Sample Output.
  • Under Length, select a unit type and level of precision.
  • Under Drawing units for AutoCAD DesignCenter blocks, select the unit that you want AutoCAD to use to scale blocks, images or other content inserted into the drawing. If you do not want AutoCAD to scale inserted content, select Unitless.
  • Under Angle, select an angle type and precision.
  • To specify an angle direction, choose Direction, and then select the base angle in the Direction Control dialog box.

The angle direction controls the point from which AutoCAD measures angles and the direction in which they are measured. The default is 0 degrees on the right side of the figure, measured counterclockwise. If you select Other, you can enter an angle, or choose Angle to specify an angle using your pointing device.

3.  Choose OK to exit each dialog box.

Command line UNITS

System variables AutoCAD stores entries from the Drawing Units dialog box in ANGBASE, ANGDIR, AUNITS, AUPREC, INSUNITS, LUNITS, and LUPREC. AutoCAD stores entries from User Preferences in the Options dialog box in INSUNITSDEFSOURCE to assume source content units setting, and INSUNITSDEFTARGET to assume the target drawing units setting when Insert Units are not defined.


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