For those of you who dimension & annotate in paper space, you might sometimes run into the scenario where the object you need to dimension crosses multiple viewports.
As an example, I’ve got a simple bar here, 1'”x20”. I’m showing one end in each of two viewports to condense the display.
When I try to add dimensions, snapping to the corners of the bar, the short end works great but the long dimension displays the paper space distance instead of the actual length.
How to fix this? I actually got the tip from somebody who attended Wednesday’s See the Suite Advantage virtual event. (Recordings are now available on-demand.)
The suggestion is to replace the default dimension text with a field referencing the length of the object instead. Now, normally I don’t advocate overriding dimension text, but when you’re replacing it with intelligent text, I’ll make an exception.
Here’s how it works:
1. Double-click the dimension text to edit it, right-click, and select Insert Field.
2. In the Field dialog, set the Category to Objects and select Object under “Field names.”
3. Next to “Object type” in the dialog, click the “Select Object” button.
4. Here’s where it gets a little sneaky—and I can’t show it in a screenshot. You’ll just have to trust me (or better yet, try it yourself).
Click on the object you want to dimension, even though its viewport isn’t active. I know, it’s weird. But it works, just like it does when you’re selecting objects to dimension from paper space.
5. Back in the Field dialog, pick the property you want to reference (probably Length) and set the format and precision.
6. Click OK, and that’s it! You’re back in the drawing with an intelligent dimension that still knows what it’s attached to.
Admittedly this takes a little more effort than regular old associative dimensions, but once you’re used to placing fields, I think you’ll find it goes pretty quickly.