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Convert Architectural Units to Decimal Units
Tip# 3858 By Michael Gallina Jr. On 02-Apr-2012
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Categories : Units
Software type : AutoCAD 2012
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When architects and engineers share AutoCAD drawings, unit conversion is necessary.

Michael Gallina Jr. — a CAD manager, senior CAD tech, and render specialist — shares an AutoCAD tip on how to deal with drawings that are in different units.

"I use decimal units as a standard. When I get an architectural-units plan to insert into a civil drawing, I convert the units using one of these two methods:

  1. Scale by 0.0833333333 (or multiply by 12, if going from civil to architectural units).
  2. Scale by reference. Type scale, select object(s), pick a base point, type R for reference, then type 12, press Enter, then type 1 (for civil to architectural, type the reverse: 1 then 12)."

Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: Different industries work in different types of units. AutoCAD deals in units, but is indifferent as to what those units are — until it comes time to print or share files. In the United States, architects work in inches for units, while civil engineers work in feet, and these two groups often have to share files.

In addition to the tip above, another method is to use the InsUnits system variable, which tells AutoCAD which type of units you are using in your file. If the third-party file that you need to insert into your file also has the appropriate setting set, AutoCAD will automatically scale the file for you. Use the Insert command to insert the file as you would a block. Type InsUnits on the Command line and make the appropriate setting choice. The settings range from 0 (zero) to 20, but you will probably only need one of these:


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Comment by Heilers,Greg
Posted on 2012-04-02 19:59:51
Instead of typing 0.0833333333 to scale the drawing, use the fraction 1/12 for the scale factor