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SOLIDWORKS Imperial Dimensions Fraction Setup

Article by Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE created/updated January 18, 2017

The drawings in SOLIDWORKS are usually made using drawing templates which are specifically designed for each company. In the drawing templates, the unit system is preset along with many other settings to eliminate the setup steps for engineers and drafters. With respect to dimension units, the companies make multiple templates so that the users select what units they want to create their drawing with. For the metric units, the number of decimal places could be pre-selected and whether leading zeros should be shown. However for SOLIDWORKS Imperial Dimensions, the setting will be different.

Fractions for Imperial dimensions

Although the imperial dimensions could be shown with decimal places same as metric dimensions, some users prefer to show dimensions with fractions or even round off the numbers to the nearest fractions. The following image demonstrate how we can set the dimensions to show with fractions. The decimals must be selected to None. The fractions could be adjusted to any fraction value is preferred, i.e. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, … . Then, under More the “Round to Nearest Fraction” must be checked. Otherwise it will not show the fractions properly. To find these settings, go to Tools > Options > Document Properties > Units

Set up 1/16th fractions for imperial dimensions.

Set up 1/16th fractions for imperial dimensions.

The following image demonstrates how dimensions would look with the setting for fractions as 1/16th, as specified is the figure above. Also note that when the fractions are selected the quotation sign representing inches is shown after the dimension number.

Showing imperial dimensions of a drawing in the form of fractions.

Showing imperial dimensions of a drawing in the form of fractions.

Dimensions in the form of Feet and Inches

In addition, SOLIDWORKS Imperial Dimensions can be shown in the form of feet and inches. To activate this capability, the same path as before should be taken but units must be set to ‘feet & inches’ and then under more the Convert from 2′ and 4″ must be checked off. The following image demonstrates this.

Set up imperial dimensions in the form of feet and inches.

Set up imperial dimensions in the form of feet and inches.

The following screenshot represents how dimensions would look if the units were set to feet and inches format. Note the feet and inches sign is shown after the dimension number to prevent confusion.

SOLIDWORKS Imperial Dimensions

Showing imperial dimensions of a drawing in the form of feet and inches

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Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE

Mehdi is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE) and works near Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

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