Sunday, September 2, 2007

SCALE command's hidden feature

Sometime you need to SCALE an object, or worse, a whole drawing from some unknown scale to at least a correct known dimension for one of it's sides or sections.
You could use DIST command to measure a known length, then do the math on a calculator and use SCALE command to get close enough to what it really needs to be.
Or you can just let SCALE command do it for you: the following tip is a feature of ALIGN command found in full AutoCAD but missing in LT.

  1. First identify a length you know needs to be somethng else: this could be a rectangle's side or a door or a bolt.
  2. Start SCALE command, Select the entity or portion of the drawing, or the entire drawing if that's the case, that you want to scale.
  3. When prompted for the Base Point, Select a point on the object(s) selected above.
  4. Instead of typing a scale factor, Type R (Reference) and select both ends of the dimension you want to correct (having running osnaps is best).
  5. Type in the new length that you want, or if you are simply trying to match a dimension on screen, Type P (Points) and click on either end of the destination dimension you are trying to match.
  6. Your entity(s) will now scale.

ROTATE command also has a Reference feature that works the same way, a great tool when you need to rotate an entity or entities to align with another angled object easily. Explore the topic in LT's Help.

Extra tip with both the above commands: check out the COPY option inside each, the action is applied to a copy but leaves the original intact.