Copying Existing Dimension Styles in AutoCAD 2008

By David Byrnes

If you’re lucky enough to work in an office where someone has set up dimension styles that are appropriate for your industry and project, you can copy it and thereby avoid having to create your own dimension styles. (A dimension style — or dimstyle for short — is a collection of drawing settings called dimension variables.)

Bear in mind, however, that dimension styles copied from pre-AutoCAD 2008 drawings are not going to be annotative. If the ready-made dimension style that you need lives in another drawing, you can use the DesignCenter palette to copy it into your drawing, as described in the following steps:

1. Open the drawing that contains the dimension style you want to copy (the source drawing).

2. Open the drawing to which you want to copy the dimension style (the destination drawing).

If you already had both drawings open, make sure that you can see the destination drawing. If you can’t, then either open the Window menu and choose the destination drawing in order to bring it to the foreground or tile the windows.

3. Click the DesignCenter button on the Standard toolbar.

The DesignCenter palette appears.

4. In the DesignCenter palette, click the Open Drawings tab.

DesignCenter’s tree view pane on the left side of the palette displays a list of drawings that you currently have open in AutoCAD.

5. In the tree view pane of the DesignCenter palette, click the plus sign (+) next to the name of the source drawing that you opened in Step 1.

A list of object categories that you can copy, including Dimstyles, appears in the tree view pane.

6. Click Dimstyles in the list in the tree view pane.

The display in the content pane at the right changes to show the individual dimension styles that are stored in the source drawing.

7. Click and drag the desired dimension style from the content pane of the DesignCenter palette into the window containing the destination drawing that you opened in Step 2.

If the name of the dimension style that you copy duplicates the name of an existing dimension style in the destination drawing, AutoCAD will not overwrite the existing dimension style. In that case, you must first rename the existing dimension style in the destination drawing by using the information in the next section.

If you want a dimension style to be available in new drawings, copy the style to a template drawing and use that template to create your new drawings.