Shining a light on AutoCAD DIMs

Scott Wilcox

Scott Wilcox

This week’s guest post is from AutoCAD and Civil 3D expert Scott Wilcox.

Visit Scott’s Blog ‘Frozen Layers‘ for more AutoCAD Quick tips.

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Over to you Scott.

Understanding how to apply the AutoCAD DIM commands

Shining a Light on DIMS

There are more than 80 variables that control the behavior and appearance of dimensions, and there are another thirty or so dimension related commands besides. Here are two DIM gems: DIMSPACE and DIMROTATED.

Related: AutoCAD help, commands for basic dimensioning


DIMSPACE allows spacing between dimensions to be adjusted, either by setting a gap distance between stacked dimensions, or by setting them to appear in a line.

At the DIMSPACE prompt, users select the base dimension, and then select the dimensions they wish to be lined up with the base dim. In the example below, the leftmost dim will be selected as the base dimension.

The DIMSPACE AutoCAD variable controls dimension annotation spacing

Adjusting DIMSPACE

After selecting the base dimension, the other dimensions are selected, and users are prompted for a DIMSPACE value. To line them up, enter a value of 0 (zero); AutoCAD will align the dims in the plane of the first dimension.

The end result: all dimensions are now in line!

The AutoCAD DIMSPACE variable has been adjust to line up the dimension annotations



DIMROTATED allows the creation of a dimension that is neither aligned nor linear.

Instead, the dimension follows at an angle the user inputs before the dimension’s creation. Once the angle is either input or defined by picking points, the user is prompted for the start and end points of the dimension, and the dimension is created.

As the image shows, there is a considerable difference in both appearance and distance reported by the two dimensions.

Applying the AutoCAD DIMROTAED command to create aligned dimensions


Thanks very much Scott.

Do you have a favourite AutoCAD dims tip? Leave a comment below.


5 Responses to “Shining a light on AutoCAD DIMs

  • Gerry Jamieson
    9 years ago

    Well I can say that your tutorial made a difference for this person today. Thanks for the hand up.

    A happy heart is good medicine.

  • Brian M. Curran
    9 years ago

    Thanks for sharing. I was not aware of these commands.

  • Mike V
    9 years ago

    Nice, been looking for this one for some time. Thanks!

  • metro
    9 years ago

    AutoCAD is the best program 3D design!