Frequent tipster Danny Korem discusses procedures to follow when coordinating with AutoCAD users working in other disciplines.
"While working in a design team environment, you will interact with a variety of disciplines and applications. Sometimes, drawings are created with design rules, standards, and regulations that are different from your own.
"I'd like to specifically address units. In the past, the first time we dealt with units was while plotting. Now, we have the option of setting units in some software versions. You should do so in all instances, instead of opting for the unitless setting. The best implementation would be to introduce the units within template files across all projects.
"As an architect, I create my data in centimeters while surveyors work in meters, the electromechanical people use millimeters, and so on. If we all opt for the appropriate units and save it, while cross-referencing files, AutoCAD will show the actual units and calculate the factor for the attachment(s). If we all save our files in the World Coordinate System, it will make it easier to cross-reference the files while the attachment insertion point is always 0,0,0."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: This tipster brings up a very important point. When working with others, even in the exact same units, it is imperative that the file units setting be set. There are two reasons for this setting: One is to make sure blocks are inserted at the proper scale. The other is to make certain xrefs are scaled correctly. We use AutoCAD to help us with our work — why make things more difficult for yourself and others? The units setting will automatically scale blocks or references accordingly to make sure the files' real-life size is maintained.
One inch is equal to about 2.54 centimeters. AutoCAD works in units, not real life, but it does understand the relationship between inches and centimeters. When units are properly set it will convert the size of your blocks or reference files for you — let it. Set it at the beginning or better yet, as this tip suggests, preset the units in your template file.