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Design Master Blocks and Text Not Scaling Correctly

Posted on May 20th, 2014. Last updated on March 7th, 2024.

Q: The Design Master graphics and text are too big or too small for my drawing. How do I make them scale correctly?

A: Design Master uses the standard CAD system variable DIMSCALE to determine the scale of the current drawing. DIMSCALE is used to size text, leader arrowheads, most device blocks, and other drawing elements that are not to scale. Design Master entities are designed to look right collectively as long as DIMSCALE is set correctly.

To make your Design Master entities scale correctly for your drawing, you will need to adjust your DIMSCALE value, then update the Design Master entities on the drawing using the steps outlined below.

NOTE: Do not use the CAD SCALE command to rescale Design Master entities. The changes will not be saved and will likely be undone later.

  1. Enter DIMSCALE at the command line to check the current value.
    NOTE: Generally, DIMSCALE should not be set to 1.
  2. Enter the value you think the DIMSCALE should be. Common drawing scales and their respective DIMSCALE values, depending upon the base unit of the drawing, are listed in the table on the right.
    Higher DIMSCALE values will make entities larger; smaller DIMSCALE values will make entities smaller.
  3. Insert a new Design Master entity on the drawing. The block and callout will come in at the new scale.
    If the new scale looks right, proceed to the “Updating Design Master Entities” section below.
    If the new scale does not look right, repeat these steps until it does.

Updating Design Master Entities

Once your DIMSCALE has been set correctly, to update the size of devices and text already on the drawing, run the Coordinate Drawings and Database command.

Ribbon: DM->Utilities->  ->Coordinate Drawings and Database

Pulldown Menu: DM->Utilities->Coordinate Drawings and Database

If you have inserted any schedules on the drawing, their text and blocks will change the next time you update them.

Ductwork lines and labels will change the next time you draw or recalculate them.

Common DIMSCALE Values
Drawing Scale DIMSCALE
1/32″=1′ 32 384
1/16″=1′ 16 192
3/32″=1′ 10.7 128
1/8″=1′ 8 96
3/16″=1′ 5.3 64
1/4″=1′ 4 48
3/8″=1′ 2.7 32
1/2″=1′ 2 24
3/4″=1′ 1.3 16
1″=1′ 1 12
1″=500′ 500 6000
1″=200′ 200 2400
1″=100′ 100 1200
1″=60′ 60 720
1″=50′ 50 600
1″=40′ 40 480
1″=30′ 30 360
1″=25′ 25 300
1″=20′ 20 240
1″=10′ 10 120

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If your Design Master entities come in skewed or in a different location than the one you specified, try resetting your drawing view to “Top” and reinserting.