How to Draw a Revision Cloud in AutoCAD 2014 - dummies

How to Draw a Revision Cloud in AutoCAD 2014

By Bill Fane, David Byrnes

Drawing a revision cloud in AutoCAD 2014 could help simplify your life. In many industries, employees customarily submit a set of drawings at different project milestones or stages of completion and then submit them again later with revisions, such as corrections, clarifications, and requested changes.

Usually, the recipients of these drawings easily locate information that has changed, and a common drafting convention calls attention to revised items by drawing free-form clouds around them. The REVCLOUD command makes quick work of drawing these clouds.

Drawing revision clouds is easy, after you understand that you click only once in the drawing area. That single click defines the starting point of the cloud’s perimeter. Then you simply move the crosshairs around and the cloud takes shape. When you return to a spot near the point you first clicked, AutoCAD automatically closes the cloud.

The following command line example shows you how to draw a revision cloud. Enter REVCLOUD and press Enter:

Minimum arc length: 0.5000 Maximum arc length: 0.5000 Style: Normal
Specify start point or [Arc length/Object/Style] <Object>: Pick a point along the perimeter of your future cloud.
Guide crosshairs along cloud path... Sweep the crosshairs around to define the cloud’s perimeter.

Don’t click again. Simply move the crosshairs around without clicking. AutoCAD draws the next arc segment of the cloud when the crosshairs reach the minimum arc length distance from the end of the previous arc segment.

Continue moving the crosshairs around until you return to the point where you first clicked.


Here are a few tips for using revision clouds:

  • Create a cloud layer. Place a revision cloud on its own layer so that you can choose to plot with or without the clouds visible. In the days of paper and pencils, revision clouds were sketched on the back of the drafting vellum so that they could easily be erased.

  • Turn off Ortho mode. To more easily control the shape of a revision cloud, turn off Ortho mode before you start the command.

  • Include the revision number. Common practice is to delete revision clouds with each new release of a drawing, but your company’s policy may be to leave them on, tagged with the revision number. A block with an attribute is a good way to handle this requirement.

If the revision cloud’s arcs are too small or too large, erase the cloud, restart the REVCLOUD command, and use the command’s Arc Length option to change the minimum and maximum arc lengths. The default minimum and maximum lengths are 0.5 (or 15 in metric drawings).

If you make the minimum and maximum lengths equal (the default setting), the lobes are approximately equal in size. If you make them unequal, the lobe site will vary more, and you’ll create fluffier clouds. Fortunately, all these options are more than most nonmeteorologists need.