Annotation Scales Tutorial
Some types of CAD objects can be marked as 'annotative', which means they can be drawn at different sizes in layout viewports.
The CAD objects types that can be annotative are:
Annotative scaling may at first appear confusing, but is simply a matter of following the correct procedure.
This tutorial shows how to add annotative Text and Dimensions, but the procedure is similar for the other annotative object types.
You can enable or disable Simple Annotative Scaling by selecting View Settings > Visibility
Step 1: Start a New Drawing
- Select File -> New from the menu
- Go to Drawings Settings, and change paper to A3, scale 1mm = 1m (1:1000)
- Note that a new drawing has 'Simple Annotative Scaling' enabled by default.
Step 2: Draw Annotative Objects
- Set the current pen to RED
- In the centre of your paper, draw a rectangle from coordinate <-100, -60> to coordinate <100, 60>.
- Draw single-line text in the middle of the rectangle. In the text bar that appears when drawing the text, set the text height to 10mm.
- Note that the text will be marked as 'annotative', because 'Simple Annotative Scaling' is enabled, and the text was drawn with text height units set to 'mm'.
- Draw a linear dimension along one edge of the rectangle in the drawing.
- Make sure the dimension's text height is 10mm.
- Set the current pen to GREEN
- Draw rectangles around both the single-line text and the dimension's text (these will act as 'rulers' so that we can see how much the text is annotatively scaled)
Step 3 (Optional): Check the Annotative Property of the CAD Objects
- Select only the single-line text object, and press F4 to view its properties
- The 'Annotative' property should say 'Yes'
- Select only the linear dimension, and view its properties.
- The 'Annotative' property should say 'Yes'. If it does not, then change it to 'Yes'.
Step 4 (Optional): Check Annotative Scaling in the 'modelspace' (Drawing tab)
- Clear the selection
- In the properties bar, change 'Annotative Scale' to '2:1'
- The annotative objects in the drawing (the single-line text and the dimension) should be drawn double their normal size:
- In the properties bar, change 'Annotative Scale' to '1:2'
- The annotative objects in the drawing (the single-line text and the dimension) should be drawn half their normal size.
- In the properties bar, change 'Annotative Scale' back to '1:1'
- The annotative objects in the drawing (the single-line text and the dimension) should be drawn at their normal size.
Step 5: Add a Layout with Viewports
- Select 'Layouts -> Insert Layout' from the menu
- Accept the default layout name 'Layout 1'
- In the 'Layout Settings' dialog, set the paper to A0, and scale to 1mm = 0.5m (1:500), then click OK
- When asked if you would like the add a default viewport, click 'Yes'
- In the new layout, note that the annotative text and dimension are drawn at 1/5th of their normal height (relative to the other objects in the drawing), but also that they are drawn in the same size in 'mm on paper' as in the modelspace.
- Select the viewport and view its properties
- It should have a 'Scale' property of 1:200, and an 'Annotative Scale' property of 1:5
- Note: The 'Scale' is automatically calculated to fit the drawing into the viewport
- Note: The 'Annotative Scale' is automatically calculated to make the annotative objects appear the same size in mm on paper as in the modelspace.
Step 6: (Optional) Change Viewport Annotative Scale
- Select the viewport and view it's properties
- Change the 'Annotative Scale' property to '1:1'
- The annotative text and dimension will be drawn at it's normal size (relative to the other objects in the drawing):
- Change the viewport's 'Scale' property to 1:500
- Change the 'Annotative Scale' property to '1:2'
- The annotative text and dimension will be drawn at the same size in 'mm on paper' as they are in modelspace. You can check this by using 'Tools -> Measure' to measure the height of the text in the layout – it will be roughly 5m, which at a scale of 1:500 equates to 10mm on paper.
- New drawings have Simple Annotative Scaling enabled by default. However when opening a DWG or DXF which has annotative scaling, Simple Annotative Scaling is disabled.
- You can make CAD objects annotative by setting their 'Annotative' property in the properties bar.
- When creating or editing annotative objects in the modelspace (Drawing tab), be sure to set the current annotation scale to 1:1 in the properties bar (with nothing selected).
- Annotative hatch scaling works such that if an annotative hatch has a line spacing of eg: 2mm on paper in the modelspace, then it will have a linespacing of 2mm on paper in any viewports you subsequently add to a layout.
- One way to avoid issues with annotative scaling is to set the modelspace drawing scale to the “plot scale” (ie: the scale that you will be using to plot the drawing in the layouts). For example, in a drawing that will be mostly plotted at a scale of 1:25, setting the modelspace scale to 1:25 would mean that the annotative text, dimensions and hatches would look the same in a layout viewport with scale 1:25 as they do in the modelspace (assuming the viewport’s annotative scale is set to 1:1).