Mark T. Kenyon, who uses AutoCAD in his job in the oil and gas industry, expands on a tip published previously with this tip that explains how to convert object measurements from fractions of inches to a decimal format.
"When working in decimals, it is very easy to remember simple fractions like .500 for 1/2", .75 for 3/4", etc. However, how many of us can remember the decimal equivalent for 23/64" without pulling out the calculator or a decimal equivalent chart? Instead, you can key in the fraction as is; as long as the values are whole numbers, AutoCAD will do the math for you. This comes in handy when trying to offset a hole from the centerline (among other uses). No mental math, calculator, or special formula required — just value A over value B. Now if we could get Autodesk to enhance it further and allow the same technique to work with numbers that include decimal points, we would have it made — for example, converting millimeters on the fly and being able to key in 2489/25.4 to get the decimal equivalent in inches."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: This technique is a real time-saver, with many possible applications. For example, if you are working in feet and you need to draw a line 8" in length, you can draw it as 8/12. You can also use this method to scale objects if their values include a decimal. In the example given in the tip (converting 2489 millimeters to inches), multiply both numbers by 10 and enter 24890/254. The problem is that your object would be 10 times too big, so scale it again by 1/10. There is an extra step here, but you don't have to do the math yourself, and you can key this in along with the Scale command very quickly.