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Dimensioning a 2D Sketch

You dimension 2d or 3D sketch entities with the Smart Dimension tool. You can drag or delete a dimension while the Smart Dimension tool is active.

Dimension types are determined by the sketch entities you select. For some types of dimensions (point-to-point, angular, circular), the location where you place the dimension also affects the type of dimension that is added.

You can create features without adding dimensions to sketches. However, it is good practice to dimension sketches. Dimension in accordance with the model's design intent; for example, you might want to dimension holes a certain distance from an edge, or else a certain distance from each other.

There are several automated tools associated with dimensions and relations. You can let the SolidWorks application:

To add a dimension to a sketch or drawing:

  1. Click Smart Dimension on the Dimensions/Relations toolbar, or click Tools, Dimensions, Smart. The default dimension type is Parallel.

    Optionally, you can choose a different dimension type from the shortcut menu. Right-click the sketch, and select More Dimensions. Choose from Horizontal, Vertical, Ordinate, Horizontal Ordinate, or Vertical Ordinate. If you are editing a drawing view, you have additional choices of Baseline and Chamfer.

  2. Select the items to dimension, as shown in the table below.

    As you move the pointer, the dimension snaps to the closest orientation.

  3. Click to place the dimension.

To dimension the...



  • Length of a line or edge 

The line.


  • Angle between two lines

Two lines, or a line and a model edge.

Placement of the dimension affects the way the angle is measured.

  • Distance between two lines

Two parallel lines or a line and a parallel model edge. 


  • Perpendicular distance from a point to a line

The point and the line or model edge. 


  • Distance between two points

Two points.

One of the points can be a model vertex.

  • Radius of an arc

The arc. 


  • True length of an arc

The arc, then the two end points.

  • Diameter of a circle

The circumference.

Displayed as linear or diameter, depending on placement.

  • Distance when one or both entities is an arc or a circle

The centerpoint or the circumference of the arc or circle, and the other entity (line, edge, point, etc.).

By default, distance is measured to the centerpoint of the arc or circle, even when you select the circumference.

  • Midpoint of a linear edge


Right-click the edge whose midpoint you want to dimension and click Select Midpoint. Then select the second entity to dimension.

You can also dimension to midpoints when you add baseline or ordinate dimensions.

The dimension shortcut menu provides Display Options. The choices available depend on the type of dimension and other factors and may include the following:

  • Show Parentheses

  • Dual dimension

  • Show as Inspection

Related Topics

Arc Dimensions

Angular Dimensions

Circular Dimensions

Dimensions Between Arcs or Circles

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