You are working on your first CAD project using the famous technical drawing program AutoCAD and you need to resize some blocks out of scale, in order to respect the drawing proportions and to be able to print the final work table.
However, you have noticed that the drawing tools of the aforementioned program are not as intuitive as you hoped and you cannot locate or cannot use the tool to scale the blocks of your drawing. Base point, reference point, end point … the confusion is on the threshold, I understand you very well. But fear not: in today’s guide you will find all the steps to understand how to scale in AutoCAD in a few simple steps.
If you’re ready to get started, get comfortable and take a quick read on the next chapters. Just a small clarification before starting: I will use AutoCAD 2022 for Windows, but the indications in the article are also valid for macOS and other recent editions of the software. In case you need to download AutoCAD for free in its latest version, the tutorial I have just linked will help you in doing this.
- How to scale on AutoCAD
- How to scale on AutoCAD with reference
- How to scale in AutoCAD without changing dimensions
How to scale on AutoCAD
The best way to practice with the resize tool is to freehand scale on one or more objects in the drawing. In this chapter, in fact, I will explain to you how to scale in AutoCAD.
First of all, select the object, block or set of elements you want to scale. Be careful not to also select uninterested objects in the vicinity. Now click on the icon Ladder (icon in the shape of a square with a smaller square inside) located on the tab Start> Edit.
Now you need to specify the base point, which is the point that AutoCAD will take as a reference for extending or reducing the scale. Then click on yours starting point and move the mouse cursor to see the result. The object you select will zoom in or out depending on how far you move the mouse.
To confirm the desired size, click a second time and the object will keep the last assigned size. As you have surely noticed, this scalar method is not precise but very hasty because the scale is calculated on the dynamic movement of the mouse instead of on a fixed or numerical reference (as I will explain to you in the next chapter).
Freehand scaling can be useful in drafting technical drawings or in case of sample drawings. For example, if you have to show your colleague how to scale image on AutoCADthis is certainly the method for you.
The same principle just discussed also applies to text, fills, outer blocks or entire layers. With the “Scale” tool you can resize any visible and unlocked object on your artboard.
How to scale on AutoCAD with reference
Once you’ve tried to scale one or more objects freehand, you’ll love learning how to scale on AutoCAD with reference. Then proceed with reading the following.
Select one or more objects you want to scale with a reference point, then click on the icon Ladder in the card Start> Edit and specify a base point anywhere in the design. Then press the button R. on the keyboard or click on the option reference which you can see in the command console.
You have thus entered the scale mode with reference. To proceed, all you have to do is specify a starting point of the area you intend to resize and a end pointthen type the value of the target unit for example: if in a drawing board of 1: 1 scale in centimeters you have a path of indefinite length and you want it to measure precisely 3 meters, just type 300 and press the key Enter.
By doing so, the path will increase the size precisely while maintaining the chosen reference position in order not to move in unwanted directions in the workspace. This method is very useful if you need to resize a graphic block within an existing context. If you had to resize it by hand, the risk is to intersect the paths adjacent to your object as well as make it appear with an inaccurate scale.
How to scale in AutoCAD without changing dimensions
Unlike objects, dimensions and text cannot be scaled at will without considering the readability factor. That’s right, if you make a dimension or a text smaller too much, it will become illegible and in the production phase, it is not permissible to print a table with these characteristics. That is why I will explain to you in this chapter how to scale in AutoCAD without changing dimensions.
The goal of this procedure is to scale the dimensions without affecting the size of the text embedded in them. The odds must always be legible even in the circumstances of quotations of a few centimeters. So, first of all select all the odds you intend to climb, then do right click and choose the menu item Property.
Now choose the option Annotative: Yesunder the heading Various on the property bar. We’re almost there, you just have to click on the icon Ladderin the tab start> Edit and apply the zoom in or zoom out that the dimensions need. You will notice that the scale will affect the dimension paths but will not change the readable text.
If you want to deepen your knowledge of AutoCAD, I invite you to also read my article on how to use AutoCAD where you can find more “tips” to make the most of the aforementioned technical drawing program.