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Units Options

Specify how units are displayed for the active part, assembly, or drawing document.

If you use small units such as angstroms, nanometers, microns, mils, or microinches, it is helpful to create templates as the basis for documents that use the units. The templates could include settings such as:

To set units for the active document:

  1. Click Options  or Tools, Options.

  2. On the Document Properties tab, select Units.

  3. Select from the options described below, then click OK.

Unit system

Select a unit system. Use the matrix below the options to specify configurable options for your selection.

  • MKS (meter, kilogram, second)

  • CGS (centimeter, gram, second)

  • MMGS (millimeter, gram, second)

  • IPS (inch, pound, second)

  • Custom. Lets you set the Length units, Density units, and Force.


The options you can select in the matrix depend on the open document and the unit system you select. The matrix is divided into:

  • Basic Units. Used for model and drawing dimensions.

    • Length. You can only specify Units if you selected the Custom unit system. You can specify  Decimal precision for all unit systems.

    • Dual Dimension Length. For all unit systems, you can specify the units and precision to be used if dual length dimensions are displayed.

 To display dual dimensions, select Dual dimensions display in the Detailing options.

    • Angle. Select angular units. If you select degrees or radians, you can set Decimal precision.

  • Mass/Section Properties. Used in the results of mass and section property evaluations.

Select Length, Mass, and Per unit volume units. Mass properties involving length (such as volume, surface area, center of mass, and so on) are based on this Length unit rather than the length unit specified by the document unit system. Units can be mixed; for example, moments of inertia are units of Mass*Length^2 and so can be grams*square inches.

  • Motion Units. (Assemblies only) Used in motion study results and features.

For all unit systems, you can specify decimal precision.

For a Custom unit system, you can specify units of Time, Force, Power, and Energy .

Defining Precision

Where applicable, you can specify precision as Decimals or Fractions.  The following rules apply:

  • Select up to 8 decimal places of precision.

  • For length dimensions under Basic Units, if the unit selection is microinches, mils, inches, or feet & inches, you can select Fractions instead of Decimals.

  • Under More:

    • If you specify Fractions, you can select Round to the nearest fraction.

    • If your unit selection is feet & inches, you can select Convert from 2'4" to 2'-4" format.

The format for feet & inches in the SolidWorks software is 2'-4". If you import a document in the 2'4" feet & inches format, you can convert the document to 2'-4".

Once you convert a document to 2'-4" format, you cannot convert back to the 2'4" format.


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