Formatting Dimensions in Drawings

The dimension palette appears when you insert or select a dimension so you can easily change the dimension's properties and formatting. You can change the tolerance, precision, style, text, and other formatting options in the palette without going to the PropertyManager.


By default, model dimensions are black. This includes dimensions that are blue in the part or assembly document (such as the extrusion depth). Reference dimensions are gray and appear with parentheses by default. You can specify colors for various types of dimensions in Tools > Options > System Options > Colors and specify Add parentheses by default in Tools > Options > Document Properties > Dimensions .


Circular handles appear on dimension arrows when dimensions are selected. When you click on an arrowhead handle (on either handle if there are two for the dimension), the arrows flip outside or inside. When you right-click on a handle, a list of arrowhead styles appears. You can change the style of any dimension arrowhead individually by this method.

Flipping the arrows
Changing the arrowhead style

Hide and Show Lines

To hide a dimension line or extension line, right-click the line and select Hide Dimension Line or Hide Extension Line. To show hidden lines, right-click the dimension or a visible line and select Show Dimension Lines or Show Extension Lines

Radius and Diameter Displays

You can change a dimension to diameter, radius, or linear display. On screen, right-click a radius or diameter dimension and select:

display_as_diameter.gif display_as_radius.gif
Display As Diameter. This example is shown without the second arrow. Click Use document second arrow to display both arrows. Display As Radius
Display as Linear. Sets the dimension to linear style (for diameter dimensions only.)
You can right-click and select the above options only when you first create the dimension. If you edit the dimension later on, right-click the dimension and select Display Options, then select an option above.


When you insert or select dimensions, handles appear so you can drag the dimension to slant the extension lines. dimslant.gif


You can select dimensions by clicking anywhere on the dimension, including dimension and extension lines and arrows.

Hide and Show Dimensions

To hide and show dimensions:

  • Click Hide/Show Annotations Tool_Hide_Show_Annotations_Annotation.gif (Annotation toolbar)
  • Click View > Hide/Show > Annotations Tool_Hide_Show_Annotations_Annotation.gif
  • Right-click a dimension and select Hide to hide the dimension.

To hide and show dimension names in annotation views:

  • Click View > Hide/Show > Dimension Names
  • Click Hide/Show Items > View Dimension Names (Heads-Up View toolbar).