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Understanding units

As a longtime AutoCAD user, I'm used to the idea that AutoCAD is unitless. That is, you can assign any arbitrary value to a unit you wish. Of course inches, feet, mm, and meters are most common, but I often get .dwg files where the unit is the micrometer (for small scale photomasks). Anyway, I am trying to do a landscape site plan in BricsCAD v17 and want the unit to be the foot. I also want to be able to create dimensions in feet and inches (ex: 19'-6") along with decimal feet (ex: 19.50'). This is because structures like barn, sidewalks, etc. are most comfortably (for me, anyway) drawn in feet and inches and surveying is done in decimal feet. I'd like to know how to set BricsCAD up to support entry in both decimal feet and feet and inches at the same time, and to allow me to set up dimension styles for both. Thank you.


  • To clarify, If I draw a line by clicking for the starting point, then enter @10.5,0 I expect to get a line 10.5 feet long. When I dimension the line, I want to have the choice of two dimension styles. One will display 10.50, and the other 10'-6".

  • You can use the 'Alternate Units' of a dimension style to dimension in two different units.

  • Thank you Louis. I was able to use alternate units. I then just changed the scale factor for the main units to 1/12 (0.08333) and was able to get the dimension display to work correctly.

  • I wish you could use any unit at any time, by typing the units, e.g. have your units set to inch, but be able to type @5mm<;0. It would seem to be a simple improvement to add to a CAD program, but, it does not work on my v14.

    You do have some flexibility when you deal with architectural units. I set my "insertion units" to be Inch, and my "linear units" (which controls how they display when you look at properties, etc). With these settings, if you type @5.5'<0 , it will accept it the same as 5'-6". The ' mark is what you needed on your original post.

    Note that there are limits to how big and small a single drawing can be. I don't know what the limits are. But, I imagine that you can't use astronomical units, and expect to draw things at the micrometer level.


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