Perry Pattiz, a mechanical engineer, shares an AutoCAD tip to use when annotating drawings with two-dimensional units.
"When I use alternate dimensions, the dimension text string frequently becomes too long to fit in the desired area. For single instances, you can double-click the dimension and press the Enter key between the primary and alternate dimensions to move the alternate dimension underneath the primary dimension. For multiple instances, this can be made automatic by using the special code — X or P — as the suffix of the primary unit in the dimension style. The X or P in the code must be capitalized, and must be preceded by a backslash. The alternate dimension will appear below the primary unit every time. This saves me a lot of time and makes my drawings look much better."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: Working with alternate dimensions in AutoCAD is relatively simple to do: Just create a dimensions style that will display your annotations with the two units you want to show. In the Dimensions Style Manager, activate the desired style and go to the Alternate Units tab. Click the Display Alternate Units checkbox to turn it on, then enter the rest of the information. By default, the alternate dimensions will be displayed on the same line as the primary dimension. To make sure the extra text is on the second line, follow the tip above or check the Below Primary Value option in the Placement area of the Alternate Units tab. You can also adjust the system variables Dimpost or Dimapost, setting them to a value of X or P. To reset these variables, enter a period (.) for the setting.