FAQs

When opening a drawing in AutoCAD or other CAD programs, some or all of its text does not display or displays incorrectly. Text may look different when the drawing is opened on different systems. One or more of the following may occur:

  • Text is displayed in a different font. 
  • Text is displayed as blank spaces.
  • Text displays as corrupted letters or characters.
  • Text is barely visible until zoomed in.
  • Text is shifted and, or at a different scale or linetype.
  • Text does not fit the space or frame it was placed in.
  • Text overlaps other text in the object.

Possible Reasons

  • AutoCAD is substituting a font that cannot be found in the operating system or AutoCAD font folders. (Most possible)
  • Bigfont files are missing. (When your drawing has Chinese, Japanese, Korean)
  • The installed font on the system is corrupt and can’t be read correctly in AutoCAD.
  • The font is an OpenType font with Postscript outlines.
  • AutoCAD is substituting a font as specified in the font-mapping (FMP) file. 
  • The affected object is specific to Civil 3D, such as labels and COGO points.

Solutions

  • Install, or copy missing fonts from another System. (How to install a font into AutoCAD?)
  • Reinstall corrupted fonts
    1. Go to the Windows Font folder by opening the Control Panel -> Appearance and Personalization -> Fonts, alternatively go to Windows 10 Settings.
    2. Delete the affected font.
    3. Right-click the working font file and choose install from the menu.
  • Check for font substitution: Simplex.shx is a default font that AutoCAD often uses when it cannot find a needed font. To check this, open a drawing and then press F2 to bring up the text window. This shows the font substitution.
  • Substituted font file corruption: If the simplex.shx font is damaged and not displaying correctly, copy simplex.shx from a working system into the following folders. This applies even when it is not the intended font, or AutoCAD has used it to replace another. C:\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx\Fonts C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx\[release]\enu\Support
  • Verify font mapping settings:
    1. Find the path to the acad.fmp file in Options > Files > Text Editor, Dictionary, and Font File Names > Font Mapping File.
    2. Following this path, navigate to the acad.fmp file within the operating system and open it in a text editor such as Notepad.
    3. Compare the file with acad.fmp from a working system.
    4. Manually edit the font replacements as needed.
      • Copy and replace the acad.fmp file.

How to install a font into AutoCAD?

AutoCAD supports TrueType and SHX fonts.

Installing an SHX font into AutoCAD:

  1. Unzip the font file if downloaded as a ZIP file.
  2. Right click and select ‘Copy’ or do CTRL+C on the desired .shx file.
  3. Navigate to the fonts folder within the AutoCAD program located at:

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx\Fonts

Alternatively, if the fonts are kept on a server or a network, the file path can be added into AutoCAD instead:

  1. On the command line type OPTIONS.
  2. In the ‘File’ tab open the tree for ‘Supported File Search Path’ and click ‘Add’ then ‘Browse’ to add the location of the desired font location.
  3. Click ‘Apply’ then ‘OK’ to close.

Installing a TrueType font:

  • AutoCAD reads TrueType (.ttf) fonts that are installed in the operating system. TTF files do not go into AutoCAD’s own Fonts folder.
  1. Unzip the font file if downloaded as a ZIP file.
  2. Right click and select ‘Copy’ or do CTRL+C on the desired .ttf files and paste them into:

C:\Windows\Fonts

  1. Right click the newly pasted font and select ‘Install’.
  • Alternatively, if the file is on a server or a network location, it can be directly installed into AutoCAD after adding in the file path location:
  1. On the command line type OPTIONS.
  2. In the ‘File’ tab open the tree for ‘Supported File Search Path’ and click ‘Add’ then ‘Browse’ to add the location of the desired font location.
  3. Click ‘Apply’ then ‘OK’ to close.
  4. Navigate to the desired font then right-click on the .ttf file and select ‘Install’.

Note: Some fonts can be associated with a linetype, and the line type might need to be edited to use it

Installing OpenType fonts:

  1. Unzip the font file if downloaded as a ZIP file.
  2. Right click and select ‘Copy’ or do CTRL+C on the desired .oft files and paste them into:

C:\Windows\Fonts

  1. Right click the newly pasted font and select ‘Install’.

Additional locations:

AutoCAD will read font files that are in the same folder as a DWG being opened. It is also possible to setup a custom fonts folder and put its path into AutoCAD in Options > Files > Support File Search Path.

One or more SHX files are missing. What would you like to do? 

If the original font is missing and cannot be obtained, it is possible to replace the missing SHX font with another one.

  1. Open the affected drawing.
  2. When prompted, choose Specify a replacement for each SHX file.
  3. Choose a replacement font for each missing one and click OK. Repeat until all missing fonts are replaced.

How to Use Asian Big Font SHX Files?

If the drawing has Asian language, such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean, please check big font, and use bigfont.shx or chineset.shx to replace it. If the characters is Simplify Chinese, use gbcbig.shx to replace it. 

Asian alphabets contain thousands of non-ASCII characters. To support such text, the program provides a special type of shape definition known as a Big Font file. You can set a style to use both regular and Big Font files.

Asian Language Big Fonts Included in the Product
Font File NameDescription
@extfont2.shxJapanese vertical font (a few characters are rotated to work correctly in vertical text)
bigfont.shxJapanese font, subset of characters
chineset.shxTraditional Chinese font
extfont.shxJapanese extended font, level 1
extfont2.shxJapanese extended font, level 2
gbcbig.shxSimplified Chinese font
whgdtxt.shxKorean font
whgtxt.shxKorean font
whtgtxt.shxKorean font
whtmtxt.shxKorean font
Asian Language Big Fonts

How to Specify an Alternate Font?

If your drawing specifies a font that is not currently on your system, the font designated as your alternate font is automatically substituted. By default, the simplex.shx file is used. If you want to specify a different font, enter the alternate font file name by changing the FONTALT system variable. If you use a text style that uses an Asian Big Font, you can map it to another font using the FONTALT system variable. This system variable uses a default font file pair: txt.shx and bigfont.shx.

Read more

Linetype is a visual property assigned to geometric objects. Linetypes can be a pattern of dashes, dots, text, and symbols, or unbroken and continuous.

The current linetype setting defines the default appearance of all new geometric objects. You can see which linetype is current in the Properties panel of the ribbon Home tab when no objects are selected.

The standard linetypes that come with the product are stored in two different library files, the names of those files is dependent on which product or products have been installed:

  • AutoCAD and AutoCAD-based products – acad.lin and acadiso.lin
  • AutoCAD LT product – acadlt.lin and acadltiso.lin

A standard library of linetypes is provided with your product that can be used as they are or modified to suit your needs. You can also create your own custom linetypes.

Linetype Definitions

Linetypes are defined in one or more linetype definition files that have a .lin file extension.

The linetype name and definition determine the particular dash-dot sequence, the relative lengths of dashes and blank spaces, and the characteristics of any included text or shapes. You can use the linetypes as they are, modify them, or create your own custom linetypes.

The following is an example of a linetype definition. The numbers represent the lengths of dashes and spaces, and the 0 represents a dot.

*BORDER,Border __ __ . __ __ . __ __ . __ __ . __ __ .
A,.5,-.25,.5,-.25,0,-.25

A LIN file can contain definitions of many simple and complex linetypes. You can add new linetype definitions to an existing LIN file or you can create new definitions by editing a LIN file using a text editor.

After you create or modify a linetype, you must load the linetype into your current drawing before you can use it.

How to Create a Simple Custom Linetype?

You can define a custom linetype with different patterns of dots, spaces, and dashes by creating or editing a linetype definition (LIN) file using a text editor. Once defined, you can load and use the custom linetype in any drawing file.

Each linetype is defined on two lines in a linetype definition file.

The first line contains the linetype name and an optional description. The second line is the code that defines the actual linetype pattern.

The second line must begin with the letter A (alignment), followed by a list of pattern descriptors that define pen-up lengths (spaces), pen-down lengths (dashes), and dots. You can include comments in a LIN file by beginning the line with a semicolon (;).

Linetype Definition Format

The format of the linetype definition is

*linetype_name,description 
A,descriptor1,descriptor2, ...

For example, a linetype called DASHDOT is defined as

*DASHDOT,Dash dot __ . __ . __ . __ . __ . __ . __ . __ 
A,.5,-.25,0,-.25

The example indicates a repeating pattern starting with a dash 0.5 drawing units long, a space 0.25 drawing units long, a dot, and another space 0.25 drawing units long. This pattern continues for the length of the line, ending with a dash 0.5 drawing units long. The linetype would be displayed as shown below.

__ . __ . __ . __ . __ . __ . __ . __

LIN files must be saved in the ASCII format and use a .lin file extension.

Linetype Name

The linetype name field must begin with an asterisk (*) and should provide a unique, descriptive name for the linetype.

Description

The description of the linetype should help you visualize the linetype when you edit the LIN file. The description is also displayed in the Linetype Manager and in the Load or Reload Linetypes dialog box.

The description is optional and can include

  • A simple representation of the linetype pattern using ASCII text
  • An expanded description of the linetype
  • A comment such as “Use this linetype for hidden lines”

If you omit the description, do not insert a comma after the linetype name. A description cannot exceed 47 characters.

Alignment Field (A)

The alignment field specifies the action for pattern alignment at the ends of individual lines, circles, and arcs. The program supports only A-type alignment, which guarantees that the endpoints of lines and arcs start and stop with a dash. You must specify A-type alignment by entering A in the alignment field.

Pattern Descriptors

Each pattern descriptor field specifies the length of segments making up the linetype, separated by commas (no spaces are allowed):

  • A positive decimal number denotes a pen-down (dash) segment of that length.
  • A negative decimal number denotes a pen-up (space) segment of that length.
  • A dash length of 0 draws a dot.

You can enter up to 12 dash-length specifications per linetype, provided they fit on one 80-character line in the LIN file. You need to include only one complete repetition of the linetype pattern defined by pattern descriptors. When the linetype is drawn, the application uses the first pattern descriptor for the starting and ending dashes. Between the starting and ending dashes, the pattern dash specifications are drawn sequentially, beginning with the second dash specification and restarting the pattern with the first dash specification when required.

A-type alignment requires that the first dash length be 0 or greater (a pen-down segment). The second dash length should be less than 0 if you need a pen-up segment and more than 0 if you are creating a continuous linetype. You must have at least two dash specifications for A-type alignment.

How to Add a Simple Linetype to an LIN File?

  1. Open an LIN file in a text editor that saves in ASCII format.
  2. Create a header line that includes an asterisk and a linetype pattern name. The name of the linetype pattern is limited to 31 characters.
    • *BORDER,Border
  3. (Optional) Include a description on the header line, follow the linetype pattern name with a comma and description text.
    • *BORDER,Border __ __ . __ __ . __ __ . __ __ . __ __ .
  4. Create a descriptor line that follows these rules:
    • All linetypes must begin with a dash.
    • Enter zeros for dots.
    • Enter negative real numbers for spaces. The value defines the length of the space in drawing units.
    • Enter positive real numbers for dashes. The value defines the length of the dash in drawing units.
    • Separate each dot, dash, or space value from the next with a comma.
    • Use a space between a dot and a dash.
    • A,.5,-.25,.5,-.25,0,-.25

How to Create a Simple Linetype From the Command Prompt?

  1. At the Command prompt, enter -linetype.
  2. Enter c and press Enter.
  3. Enter a name for the linetype and press Enter.The linetype name can include up to 255 characters. Linetype names can contain letters, digits, and the special characters dollar sign ($), hyphen (-), and underscore (_). Linetype names cannot include blank spaces.
  4. In the Create or Append Linetype File dialog box, select an existing LIN linetype file or enter a new file name in the File Name box. Click Save.If you select an existing file, the new linetype name is added to the file.
  5. (Optional) Enter text that describes the new linetype and press Enter.
  6. At the Enter Linetype Pattern prompt, specify the pattern for the tinetype and press Enter. Follow these guidelines:
    • All linetypes must begin with a dash.
    • Enter zeros for dots.
    • Enter negative real numbers for spaces. The value defines the length of the space in drawing units.
    • Enter positive real numbers for dashes. The value defines the length of the dash in drawing units.
    • Separate each dot, dash, or space value from the next with a comma.
    • Use a space between a dot and a dash.
  7. Press Enter to end the command.

Note: When you create a linetype, it is not loaded into your drawing automatically. Use the Load option of the -LINETYPE or the Load button in the Linetype Manager (LINETYPE command).

How to Add Text in a Custom Linetype?

Characters from text fonts can be included in linetypes. Linetype pattern descriptors that include embedded characters is similar to that for simple linetypes.

For example, a linetype called HOT_WATER_SUPPLY is defined as

*HOT_WATER_SUPPLY,---- HW ---- HW ---- HW ---- HW ---- HW ---- 
A,.5,-.2,["HW",STANDARD,S=.1,U=0.0,X=-0.1,Y=-.05],-.2

This indicates a repeating pattern starting with a dash 0.5 drawing units long, a space 0.2 drawing units long, the characters HW with some scale and placement parameters, and another space 0.2 drawing units long. The text characters come from the text font assigned to the STANDARD text style at a scale of 0.1, an upright rotation of 0 degrees, an X offset of -0.1, and a Y offset of -0.05. This pattern continues for the length of the line, ending with a dash 0.5 drawing units long. The linetype would be displayed as shown below.

Character Descriptor Format

The format for adding text characters in a linetype description is as follows:

["text_string",text_style_name,scale,rotation,xoffset,yoffset]

Scale, rotation, x-offset, and y-offset values must be expressed as signed decimal numbers such as 1, -17, and 0.01.

Text string

The characters to display in the linetype.

Text style name

The name of the text style to be used. If no text style is specified, the currently defined style is used.

Note: Embedded text characters are associated with a text style in the drawing. Any text styles associated with a linetype must exist in the drawing before you load the linetype.

Scale

The scale factor to be used for the text style relative to the scale of the linetype. The scale factor provided must be prefixed with S=, for example S=.5 indicates a scale factor of 0.5. The height of the text style is multiplied by the scale factor. If the height of the text style is 0, the value for S=value alone is used as the height.

Rotation

The rotation angle of the characters to be displayed in the linetype. The rotation angle must be prefixed with U=R=, or A=.

  • U= specifies upright or easy-to-read text.
  • R= specifies relative or tangential rotation with respect to the line.
  • A= specifies absolute rotation of the text with respect to the origin; that is, all text has the same rotation regardless of its position relative to the line.

The value can be appended with a

  • d for degrees (degrees is the default value)
  • r for radians
  • g for grads

If rotation is omitted, 0 relative rotation is used. Rotation is centered between the baseline and the nominal cap height.

Note: Drawings containing legacy linetypes that do not use the U (upright) rotation flag can be updated to the latest linetype definition by reloading the linetype from the LIN files. Custom linetypes can be updated by changing the R (rotation) flag to the U (upright) flag prior to reloading a linetype definition.X-offset

The shift of the text on the X axis of the linetype, which is along the line. The offset provided must be prefixed with X=, for example X=.1 indicates an offset of 0.1. If an offset is omitted or is 0, the text is elaborated with no offset. Use this field to control the distance between the text and the previous pen-up or pen-down stroke. This value is not scaled by the scale factor defined by S=value, but it is scaled to the linetype.Y-offset

The shift of the text in the Y axis of the linetype, which is at a 90-degree angle to the line. The offset provided must be prefixed with Y=, for example Y=.1 indicates an offset of 0.1. If an offset is omitted or is 0, the text is elaborated with no offset. Use this field to control the vertical alignment of the text with respect to the line. This value is not scaled by the scale factor defined by S=value, but it is scaled to the linetype.

How to Add Shapes in a Custom Linetype?

A complex linetype can contain embedded shapes that are saved in shape files. Complex linetypes can denote utilities, boundaries, contours, and so on.

As with simple linetypes, complex lines are dynamically drawn as the user specifies vertices. Shapes and text objects embedded in lines are always displayed completely; they are never trimmed.

Linetype pattern descriptors that include shape objects is similar to that for simple linetypes.

The syntax for shape object descriptors in a linetype description is as follows:

[shape_name,shape_filename] or [shape_name,shape_filename,transform]

The following linetype definition defines a linetype named CON1LINE that is composed of a repeating pattern of a line segment, a space, and the embedded shape CON1 from the ep.shx file. (Note that the ep.shx file must be in the support path for the following example to work properly.)

*CON1LINE, --- [CON1] --- [CON1] --- [CON1]
A,1.0,-0.25,[CON1,ep.shx],-1.0

Character Descriptor Format

The format for adding a shape to a linetype description is as follows:

[shape_name,shape_filename,scale,rotate,xoffset,yoffset]

Scale, rotation, x-offset, and y-offset values must be expressed as signed decimal numbers such as 1, -17, and 0.01.

Shape name

The name of the shape to be drawn. This field must be included. If it is omitted, the linetype definition fails. If shape_name does not exist in the specified shape file, the linetype is loaded and can be used but without the embedded shape.

Shape filename

The name of a compiled shape definition (SHX) file. If it is omitted, the linetype definition fails. If shape_filename is unqualified (that is, no path is specified), the support paths of the program are searched for the file. If shape_filename is fully qualified and not found at that location, the path is removed and the support paths of the program are searched for the file. If the file is not found, the linetype is loaded and can be used but without the embedded shape.

Scale

The scale factor to be used for the shape by which the shape’s internally defined scale is multiplied. The scale factor provided must be prefixed with S=, for example S=.5 indicates a scale factor of 0.5. If the shape’s internally defined scale is 0, the S= value alone is used as the scale.

Rotate

The rotation angle of the shape to be displayed in the linetype. The rotation angle must be prefixed with U=R=, or A=.

  • U= specifies upright or easy-to-read text.
  • R= specifies relative or tangential rotation with respect to the line.
  • A= specifies absolute rotation of the text with respect to the origin; that is, all text has the same rotation regardless of its position relative to the line.

Note: Drawings containing legacy linetypes that do not use the U (upright) rotation flag can be updated to the latest linetype definition by reloading the linetype from the LIN files. Custom linetypes can be updated by changing the R (rotation) flag to the U (upright) flag prior to reloading a linetype definition.

X-offset

The shift of the shape in the X axis of the linetype computed from the end of the linetype definition vertex. The offset provided must be prefixed with X=, for example X=.1 indicates an offset of 0.1. If an offset is omitted or is 0, the shape is elaborated with no offset. Include this field if you want a continuous line with shapes. This value is not scaled by the scale factor defined by S=value.

Y-offset

The shift of the shape in the Y axis of the linetype computed from the end of the linetype definition vertex. The offset provided must be prefixed with Y=, for example Y=.1 indicates an offset of 0.1. If an offset is omitted or is 0, the shape is elaborated with no offset. Include this field if you want a continuous line with shapes. This value is not scaled by the scale factor defined by S=value.

How to Load the Custom Linetype?

  1. Command line enter “Linetype”
  2. In the Linetype Manager dialog box, click Load.
  3. In the Load or Reload Linetypes dialog box, use one of the following methods:
    • Choose the linetypes to load.
    • Click File to open a linetype definition (LIN) file, and choose the linetypes to load.
  4. Click OK to close each dialog box.

How to Unload the Linetype?

In the Linetype Manager dialog box, choose the linetype, and click Delete.

These linetypes cannot be unloaded:

  • BYLAYER
  • BYBLOCK
  • CONTINUOUS
  • Linetypes currently in use

Note: Use the PURGE command to remove all unused linetypes from a drawing.

How to Set the Linetype Scale for New Objects?

The linetype scale controls the size and spacing of repetitions of the linetype pattern per drawing unit.

  1. In the Linetype Manager, click Show Details.
  2. Enter a new value for Current Object Scale.

How to Change the Linetype Scale of Selected Objects?

  1. Select the objects.
  2. Right-click in the drawing area, and choose Properties from the shortcut menu.
  3. In the Properties palette, click Linetype Scale and enter the new value.

How to Change the Linetype Scale for All Objects?

  1. In the Linetype Manager, click Show Details.
  2. Enter a new value for Global Scale Factor.

Note: The object’s current linetype scale is multiplied by the global scale factor to get the displayed linetype scale.

Read more

Designing with efficiency can require a bit of time and planning. As the drawings you work on become larger and more complex, you will likely need to draw more section and elevation views along with connection and foundation details. These design elements often utilize reusable content and may require them to be displayed at different scales based on the drawing.

There are three different approaches that can be used to show annotation objects at different scales:

  • Create multiple representations of the same annotation objects on different layers in model space and then control which objects are displayed by freezing and thawing layers
  • Create annotation in paper space on a layout at 1:1 scale, only works if you plot using layouts
  • Utilize annotative objects and styles to represent annotation objects at different scales while keeping layers simple

What Are Annotative Objects and Styles?

Annotative objects are annotation with one or more representations at different scales, and not separate annotation objects of which you change their height/scale or freeze/thaw their assigned layer to control final size and visibility within a viewport. Annotative styles are similar to non-annotative styles except they manage the creation of annotative objects which controls how the final height/scale of an annotation object is calculated.

The following annotation objects can be annotative:

  • Hatch
  • Multiline and single-line text objects and text styles
  • Dimensions and dimension styles
  • Geometric tolerances
  • Multileaders and multileader styles
  • Blocks and attribute definitions

Note: Table objects and styles are not supported as annotative objects.

Here is an example of a model using annotative objects with two different scales; 1/4″=1′-0″ and 1/2″=1′-0″.

When the model is displayed in a viewport, the scale of the viewport controls which representation of the annotative object is displayed. If the scale of a viewport doesn’t match that of the annotative objects in the viewport, then those annotative objects are not displayed. In the previous image, text, dimension and multileader objects are assigned the scales 1/4”=1′-0” and 1/2”=1′-0”. This is why not all annotation is displayed at the same time or in a viewport altogether; the first two viewports are assigned scales that match those of the annotative objects while the third viewport has a different scale.

What is Annotation Scale?

Annotation scale is used to determine text height or the overall scale of an annotation object.

The approach used to calculate an annotation scale depends on whether the object is placed in model space or on a layout.

In Model Space

When annotation objects are created in model space, the following must be considered:

  • Drawing or plot scale if plotting from model space.
  • Viewport scale of a layout viewport if plotting from a paper space layout.

The text height or scale of an annotation object in model space can be set to a fixed text height or be controlled by assigning the object an annotation scale. Annotation objects assigned a fixed text height or object scale remain proportionate in size to the current plot or viewport scale.

If the annotative property of an annotation object is enabled, the text height or scale of the annotation object adjusts based on the current drawing annotation or layout viewport scale with the result that it will remain at the same size automatically.

Directly on a Layout

Annotation objects created in paper space on a layout should be created at full size because layouts are commonly plotted at a 1:1 scale. For example, text created with a height of 1/8” in paper space will be output at 1/8” unless a scale other than 1:1 is used to plot the layout.

How to Add Annotation Scales to an Annotative Object

Once an annotative object has been created, you can add additional annotation scales to the object or remove scales that are no longer needed. New annotation scales impact how the object appears in Model space and in viewports on a layout.

The following steps explain how to add annotation scales to the annotative MText object created in the previous exercise:

  1. On the layout tabs, click Model.
  2. Select the MText object with the text string STORAGE created in the previous exercise.
  3. Right-click and select Annotative Object Scale > Add/Delete Scales.
  4. In the Annotation Object Scale dialog box, click Add.
  5. In the Add Scales to Object dialog box, select 1/4″-1′-0″ scale from the list and click OK twice to add the annotation scales.
  6. On the layout tabs, click SECTIONS AND DETAILS.

You should notice the MText object now appears in the STAIR SECTION 1 viewport and is displayed at 1/16″ paper text height based on the viewport’s scale of 1/4″=1′-0″.

How to Create Annotative Text in AutoCAD?

While the workflow of creating annotative text, dimensions, hatch and so forth is all similar, this article only focuses on creating annotative multiline text. Creating annotative and non-annotative (regular) text is similar; except for the use of an annotative text style and the final height of the text to be created. The height of text is calculated is based on the scale at which the text will be displayed.

The following explains how text height is calculated for placement in Model space based choosing to use non-annotative or annotative text:

  • Non-annotative text: paper text height x scale factor = text heightYou manually calculate the text height. For example, if you want to display text with a paper text height of 1/16″ (0.0625) in a viewport scaled at 1/2″-1′-0″ (factor of 24) you would create the text with a height of 1 1/2″.
    • 0.0625 x 24 = 1.5
  • Annotative text: paper text heightAutoCAD automatically calculates and displays the text at the necessary height based on the provided paper text height and assigned annotation scale.

How to Create an Annotative Text Style?

Annotative text styles are not required to create annotative text, but they do help to simplify the process much like their non-annotative text style counterparts. The main difference between annotative and non-annotative text styles is the Annotative property. When the Annotative property is enabled and the style is current, any text created is annotative. The Paper Text Height property specifies the final text height of the text, while the Match Text Orientation to Layout property defines if the text is oriented to the layout and viewport in which it is displayed.

Setting the Annotation Scale of a Viewport

The sample drawing used earlier already had annotation scales set for each of the viewports on the SECTIONS AND DETAILS layout which match the scale of each viewport. When you create a new viewport and set its scale, the annotation scale is automatically set to match the scale of the viewport. If the two scales don’t match, you can click the Viewport Scale Sync button () to match the annotation scale to the viewport’s scale. The Viewport Scale Sync button is blue when the two scales match.

If you work with section or elevation views, and details at multiple scales, annotative objects and annotation scaling can simplify annotating your designs. This is demonstrated by how easy it can be to ensure annotation is displayed at the correct size no matter the scale assigned to a viewport.

Read more

Scale in AutoCAD is important because it impacts how things are installed and built to code in the field. If your drawings aren’t scaled properly, miscommunication and other unfavorable results occur. It’s crucial to accurately scale your drawings, especially since many of the components and systems need to go into an actual building.

How to Scale All drawing objects to Change Unit

If you start a drawing in one system of measurement (imperial or metric) and then want to switch to the other system, use SCALE to resize the model geometry by the appropriate conversion factor to obtain correct distances and dimensions.

  1. Click Home tab > Modify panel > Scale. 
  2. At the Select Objects prompt, enter all.
  3. Enter a base point of *0,0.Scaling will be relative to the world coordinate system (WCS) origin and the location of the drawing origin will remain at the WCS origin.
  4. Enter the scale factor. To convert from inches to centimeters enter 2.54 (there are 2.54 centimeters per inch). Or, to convert from centimeters to inches enter 0.3937 (the inverse of 2.54 centimeters per inch).

See Also: How to Convert Drawing Units from Inches to Centimeters?

How to Scale Selected Objects in AutoCAD?

Scale Objects Using a Scale Factor

  1. Click Home tab>Modify panel>Scale. or Command line enter “SC” or “SCALE”
  2. Select the object to scale.
  3. Specify the base point.
  4. Enter the scale factor or drag and click to specify a new scale.

With SCALE, you can make an object uniformly larger or smaller. To scale an object, you specify a base point and a scale factor. Alternatively, you can specify a length to be used as a scale factor based on the current drawing units.

A scale factor greater than 1 enlarges the object. A scale factor between 0 and 1 shrinks the object.

Scaling changes the size of all dimensions of the selected object. A scale factor greater than 1 enlarges the object. A scale factor less than 1 shrinks the object.

Note: When you use the SCALE command with objects, the position or location of the object is scaled relative to the base point of the scale operation, but the size of the object is not changed.

Scale Objects Using a Reference Distance

You can also scale by reference. Scaling by reference uses an existing distance as a basis for the new size. To scale by reference, specify the current distance and then the new desired size. For example, if one side of an object is 4.8 units long and you want to expand it to 7.5 units, use 4.8 as the reference length.

  1. Click Home tab>Modify panel>Scale. 
  2. Select the object to scale.
  3. Select the base point.
  4. Enter r (Reference).
  5. Select the first and second reference points, or enter a value for the reference length.

You can use the Reference option to scale an entire drawing. For example, use this option when the original drawing units need to be changed. Select all objects in the drawing. Then use Reference to select two points and specify the intended distance. All the objects in the drawing are scaled accordingly.

About SCALE Command

To scale an object, specify a base point and a scale factor. The base point acts as the center of the scaling operation and remains stationary. A scale factor greater than 1 enlarges the object. A scale factor between 0 and 1 shrinks the object.

The following prompts are displayed.

Select objects

Specifies which objects you want to resize.

Base point

Specify a base point for the scale operation.

The base point you specify identifies the point that remains in the same location as the selected objects change size (and thus move away from the stationary base point).

Note: When you use the SCALE command with annotative objects, the position or location of the object is scaled relative to the base point of the scale operation, but the size of the object is not changed.

Scale Factor

Multiplies the dimensions of the selected objects by the specified scale. A scale factor greater than 1 enlarges the objects. A scale factor between 0 and 1 shrinks the objects. You can also drag the cursor to make the object larger or smaller.

Copy

Creates a copy of the selected objects for scaling.

Reference

Scales the selected objects based on a reference length and a specified new length.

How to Scale Dimensions in AutoCAD?

Dimension scale affects the size of the dimension geometry relative to the objects in the drawing. Dimension scale affects sizes, such as text height and arrowhead size, and offsets, such as the extension line origin offset.

You should set these sizes and offsets to values that represent their actual size on paper. Dimension scale does not apply the overall scale factor to tolerances or measured lengths, coordinates, or angles.

Note: You can use annotative scaling to control the overall scale of dimensions displayed in layout viewports. When you create annotative dimensions, they are scaled based on the current annotation scale setting and automatically displayed at the correct size.

How to Scale Text in AutoCAD?

A drawing may contain hundreds of text objects that need to be scaled, and it would be tedious to scale them individually. Use SCALETEXT to change the scale of one or more text objects such as text, multiline text, and attributes. You can specify a relative scale factor or an absolute text height, or you can scale selected text to match the height of existing text. Each text object is scaled using the same scale factor, and it maintains its current location.

How to Scale Hatch Pattern in AutoCAD?

  1. Select the hatch inside the rectangle.
  2. To change the scale: on the Properties panel, enter a specific scale or use the up and down arrows to set the scale.

How to Scale Raster images in AutoCAD?

You can control the size of a raster image in a drawing to match the scale of the drawing.

You can specify the raster image scale factor when you attach the image so that the scale of the geometry in the image matches the scale of the geometry in the drawing. The default image scale factor is 1, and the default unit for all images is “Unitless.” The image file can contain resolution information defining the dots per inch (DPI), relating to how the image was scanned.

If an image has resolution information, the program combines this information with the scale factor and the unit of measurement of the drawing to scale the image in your drawing. For example, if your raster image is a scanned blueprint on which the scale is 1 inch equals 50 feet, or 1:600, and your drawing is set up so that 1 unit represents 1 inch, then in the Image dialog box under Scale, select Specify On-Screen. To scale the image, you clear Specify On-Screen, and then enter 600 in Scale. The image is then attached at a scale that brings the geometry in the image into alignment with the geometry in the drawing.

If no resolution information is defined with the attached image file, the width of the raster image is set to one unit. Thus, when the image file is attached, the image width in units is equal to the raster image scale factor.

How to Scale Viewport in AutoCAD?

To scale each displayed view accurately for output, set the scale of each layout viewport.

When you work in a layout, the scale factor of a view in a layout viewport represents a ratio between the actual size of the model displayed in the viewport and the size of the layout. The ratio is determined by dividing the paper space units by the model space units. For example, for a quarter-scale drawing, the ratio would be a scale factor of one paper space unit to four model space units, or 1:4.

You can change the view scale of the viewport by using

  • The Properties palette
    • Select the layout viewport that you want to modify.
    • Right-click, and then choose Properties.
    • If necessary, click Display Locked and choose No.
    • In the Properties palette, select Standard Scale, and then select a new scale from the list.The scale you choose is applied to the viewport
  • The triangular scale grip in a selected viewport
    • Select the layout viewport that you want to modify.
    • Click the triangular scale grip near the center of the viewport, and click the desired scale from the list.
  • The Viewports Scale on the status bar
  • The XP option of the ZOOM command when model space is accessed from within a layout viewport

Note:

  • Scaling or stretching the layout viewport border does not change the scale of the view within the viewport.
  • When creating a new drawing based on a template, the scales in the template are used in the new drawing. The scales in the user profile are not imported.
  • You can modify the list of scales that are displayed in all view and plot scale lists with SCALELISTEDIT. After you add a new scale to the default scale list, you can use the Reset button in the Edit Drawing Scales dialog box to add the new scale to your drawing.

How to Scale Annotation Objects in AutoCAD?

Annotation scale is used to determine text height or the overall scale of an annotation object.

The approach used to calculate an annotation scale depends on whether the object is placed in model space or on a layout.

In Model Space

When annotation objects are created in model space, the following must be considered:

  • Drawing or plot scale if plotting from model space.
  • Viewport scale of a layout viewport if plotting from a paper space layout.

The text height or scale of an annotation object in model space can be set to a fixed text height or be controlled by assigning the object an annotation scale. Annotation objects assigned a fixed text height or object scale remain proportionate in size to the current plot or viewport scale.

If the annotative property of an annotation object is enabled, the text height or scale of the annotation object adjusts based on the current drawing annotation or layout viewport scale with the result that it will remain at the same size automatically.

Directly on a Layout

Annotation objects created in paper space on a layout should be created at full size because layouts are commonly plotted at a 1:1 scale. For example, text created with a height of 1/8” in paper space will be output at 1/8” unless a scale other than 1:1 is used to plot the layout.

How to Calculate the Scale of Annotation Objects in Model Space

If you print from model space, annotation objects must be scaled according to the scale of the intended output.

When calculating the scale for annotation objects for printing from model space, follow these guidelines:

  • Dimensions. Set the dimension scale factor to the inverse of the drawing scale. For example, if the intended scale is 1″ = 4′ (1:48 scale), set the dimension scale factor, DIMSCALE, to 48. Then, when the drawing is printed at 1:48 scale, the dimensions will be printed at the correct scale.
  • Text. Text height must be multiplied by the inverse of the intended scale. For 1/4″ text at a 1:48 scale, create the text with a height of 12″. The calculation is 1/4 x 48 = 12.
  • Linetypes. The linetype scale factor also needs to be changed based on the linetype definition and intended scale of the drawing. For example, if the intended scale is 1″ = 4′ (1:48 scale) and you want to use a dashed linetype that prints dashes that are 1/8″ in length, set the linetype scale factor, LTSCALE, to 12.
  • Hatches. Set the hatch scale based on the pattern used. Hatch patterns that start with AR commonly use the drawing scale factor as the appropriate value for the hatch scale.
  • Attributes and Tables. Use the same scaling as text objects.
  • Block Definitions. Blocks are usually created at a 1:1 scale. However, if they contain text or attributes they might need to be scaled using the same method as text.

How to Set the Plot Scale in AutoCAD?

When you specify a scale to output your drawing, you can choose from a list of real-world scales, enter your own scale, or select Fit to Paper to fit onto the selected paper size.

Usually, you draw objects at their actual size. That is, you decide how to interpret the size of a unit (an inch, a millimeter, a meter) and draw on a 1:1 scale. For example, if your unit of measurement is millimeters, then every unit in your drawing represents a millimeter. When you plot the drawing, you either specify a precise scale or fit the image to the paper.

Most final drawings are plotted at a precise scale. The method used to set the plot scale depends on whether you plot model space or a layout:

  • From model space, you can establish the scale in the Plot dialog box. This scale represents a ratio of plotted units to the world-size units you used to draw the model.
  • In a layout, you work with two scales. The first affects the overall layout of the drawing, which usually is scaled 1:1, based on the paper size. The second is the scale of the model itself, which is displayed in layout viewports. The scale in each of these viewports represents a ratio of the paper size to the size of the model in the viewport.

Set a Specific Scale

When you plot, the paper size you select determines the unit type, inches or millimeters. For example, if the paper size is in mm, entering 1 under mm and 10 under Units produces a plotted drawing in which each plotted millimeter represents 10 actual millimeters.

The illustrations show a light bulb plotted at three different scales.

Scale the Drawing to Fit the Page

When you review drafts, a precise scale is not always important. You can use the Fit to Paper option to plot the view at the largest possible size that fits the paper. The height or width of the drawing is fit to the corresponding height or width of the paper.

When you plot a perspective view from model space, the view is scaled to fit the paper even when you enter a scale.

When you select the Fit to Paper option, the text boxes change to reflect the ratio of plotted units to drawing units. This scale is updated whenever you change the paper size, plotter, plot origin, orientation, or size of the plotted area in the Plot dialog box.

Read more

If you have a drawing or logo in raster format, you can vectorize it to quickly grab an editable and scalable copy for further manipulations. For website illustrations, the smaller file size of vector images is a major benefit, and they look much better given that people browse the web at a multitude of different resolutions.

What is PNG?

PNG (Portable Network Graphics) is a commonly used image file format. It is a lossless compressedive image format designed to replace the GIF format. PNG supports 256 colors and transparency, and can be edited and saved multiple times without loss of image quality. PNG files can store high-quality images with a small file size and good image details.

What is SVG?

SVG stands for “Scalable Vector Graphics”. It is a vector graphics format based on XML. Vector graphics are created from a series of points connected by lines. Each element of the vector graphics, such as color, shape, size, outline, and screen position, is an object. SVG is a way to describe 2D vector graphics based on XML. It can provide high-quality rendering of vector graphics and has strong interactivity due to support for JavaScript and Document Object Model.

What are the Advantanges of SVG Format Compared to PNG?

SVG format has the following advantages compared to PNG:

  1. Vector graphics: SVG is based on vector graphics, which means it can be scaled without losing image quality. PNG is a pixel-based image format, and when scaled, the image quality may be lost.
  2. Transparency: SVG supports transparency, allowing you to create images with transparent backgrounds or semi-transparent objects. PNG also supports transparency, but it uses a different method to achieve it.
  3. Editability: SVG is based on XML, making it easy to edit and modify the image using text editors or graphics software. PNG is a binary format, and editing it requires specialized software.
  4. Small file size: Vector graphics are more efficient in terms of file size compared to pixel-based images. Therefore, SVG files are usually smaller than PNG files of the same image quality.
  5. Interactivity: SVG supports JavaScript and CSS, allowing you to add interactivity and animations to the image. PNG does not support interactivity or animations.

In short, SVG has better scalability, transparency, editability, and file size efficiency compared to PNG, while also supporting interactivity and animations. However, PNG is still widely used for its simplicity and compatibility with older systems.

What are the Differences Between SVG and PNG for Cricut?

Advantages of SVGs:

  • Scalability
  • Interactivity
  • Easily editable
  • Compact file-size
  • SEO friendly

Advantages of PNGs:

  • Lossless compression
  • It supports a large number of colors
  • Support for transparency
  • Perfect for editing images
  • Sharp edges and solid colors

Why Use SVG Files in Cricut?

As SVG files can be changed to fit any size, they are very useful when it comes to Cricut projects. For example, if you have a T-shirt project, you will need to adjust the artwork’s size so that it fits the shirt. Well, if your artwork is saved as an SVG file type, you can simply adjust it based on the size of the T-shirt you are working with.

Another great benefit of using SVG files in Cricut is that SVG files retain layer data, including transparent backgrounds. This means that your artwork doesn’t require any extra work once you import it. It’s all cut up and ready to go.

Top 3 PNG to SVG Converter

Adobe Express

Adobe Express is an intuitive JPG or PNG to SVG converter with extensive functionality. Thanks to many picture editing options, it can help you fine-tune every part of your photo without problems.

Inkscape

Inkscape is an open-source vector graphics tool fitted with a variety of features, including object creation and management, rendering, text support, fill, and tracing. This is probably the best SVG converter for design professionals, who are active in a wide variety of industries that require SVG file converting.

RealWorld Paint

When you create a vector image with RealWorld Paint or upload a rasterized photo, you can save the file as SVG, and the software will take care of all the calculations and changes in the background.

Top 3 PNG to SVG Online Conversion Website

Adode Express Online

The free PNG to SVG converter tool from Adobe Express lets you upload your PNG image and convert it to SVG in seconds.

Pixelied

Pixelied online converts PNG to SVG images in seconds without losing its quality and installing any software or plugins!

Vector Magic

Vector Magic online easily Convert JPG, PNG, GIF Files to PDF, SVG, EPS Vectors
Quickly get your artwork ready to print, embroider, cut, and more with the world’s best full-color auto-tracer!

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