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Enter Distances in Fractions for Drawing Precision
Tip# 3273 By Mike Thorne On 27-Sep-2009
Rated By 2 users
Categories : Linear Objects
Software type : AutoCAD 2010
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Using fractions enters a true distance, unlike manually typing the distance and rounding it.

Mike Thorne sends us an alternate method for entering distances that can be more accurate than more common methods. "Try entering distances of inches in a drawing set up for feet by using fractions like 4/12 for 4". Using fractions enters a true distance, unlike manually typing the distance and rounding it to .33 or .3333 feet. This ensures the precision of your drafting."

Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: This is a method that can be used regardless of the units. The metric system handles other units more easily than the imperial system does, avoiding the rounding errors that can occur and accrue when rounding inches to decimals. The example above assumes your units are set to feet; one unit equals one foot. Since there are 12 inches in one foot, one inch is equal to 1/12 of a foot. That means that 4 inches is the same as 4/12 of a foot. AutoCAD does the math for you. The distance will be more accurate and you don’t have to memorize the decimal equivalent.


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User comments
Comment by McSwain,R.K.
Posted on 2009-09-28 14:53:50
If you run into a situation where your fraction is something like 4.5/12, then AutoCAD will not accept it at a distance prompt. You can either enter 'CAL to enter calculator mode (which will accept 4.5/12), or just more the decimal point to the right to get rid of the decimal (i.e.: 45/120)
Comment by Couch,David
Posted on 2009-09-28 15:10:02
This is a very good idea. However, how would you input somthing like 8' 4". I have tried a couple of combinations with no luck.
Comment by ACAD4Me,Mike
Posted on 2009-09-28 15:31:52
I ran into this years ago working with a GM subdivision that set units to feet (boneheaded, but they weren't about to change it). I suggested to one of their drafters to work with units set to feet and inches while doing the line work, then scale the drawing by 1/12 when it was time to add notes and dimensions. It saved him a ton of time looking at charts to figure out what 14'-7 13/16" would be in feet (14.651042'.
Comment by Anonymous
Posted on 2009-10-01 16:01:21
Hey Couch,David; If you want to input a whole number with a fraction just put a dash between the number and the fraction. So 9' 4" would be entered 9-4/12 That is how I figure it would work. I have never used AutoCAD set to feet for the units and right now I am working for a company that does not even use AutoCAD, we use CoCreate which when compared to AutoCAD is like drawing with a dull crayon!