About Modifying Dimension Geometry

About Modifying Dimension Geometry

You can modify dimensions with the editing commands and with grip editing.

Grip editing is the quickest and easiest way to modify dimensions. How you edit dimensions
depends on whether the dimension is associative.

Modify Associative Dimensions

Associative dimensions retain their associativity to dimensioned objects through
many editing commands if both the dimension and the associated geometry are selected
and operated on with a single command. For example, if a dimension and its associated
geometry are moved, copied, or arrayed in the same command, each dimension retains
associativity with its respective geometry.

In some circumstances, dimensions are automatically disassociated, including

  • If the associated geometric object is erased
  • If the associated geometric object undergoes a boolean operation such as UNION or
  • If grip editing is used to stretch a dimension parallel to its dimension line
  • If the association to a geometric object is specified using the Apparent Intersection
    object snap, and the geometric object is moved so that the apparent intersection no
    longer exists

In other circumstances, a dimension may become partially associated. For example,
if a linear dimension is associated with the endpoints of two geometric objects and
one of the objects is erased, the remaining association is preserved. The disassociated
end of the linear dimension may then be associated with another geometric object using


The Command prompt displays a warning message if a dimension is disassociated.

Modify Non-associative Dimensions

For non-associative dimensions, when you edit dimensioned objects, you must include
the relevant dimension definition points in the selection set, or the dimension is
not updated. Definition points determine the dimension location. For example, to stretch
a dimension, you must include the appropriate definition points in the selection set.
You can easily include them by turning on grips and selecting the object so that the
grips are highlighted.

The definition points for each type of dimension are indicated in the following illustrations.
The middle point of the dimension text is a definition point for all dimension types.

If no angle vertex is shown, definition points are placed at the ends of the lines
that form the angle. In the two-line angular example, a definition point is placed
at the center point of the dimensioned arc.


Definition points are created on a special layer named DEFPOINTS that is never printed
or plotted.

Use Dimension Line Grips

Hover over the grip on the endpoint of a dimension line to quickly access the following

  • Stretch. Stretches the extension lines to move the dimension line farther away or closer to
    the object being dimensioned. Use command line prompts to specify a different base
    point or copy the dimension line. This is the default grip behavior.
  • Continue dimension. Invokes the DIMCONTINUE command.
  • Baseline dimension. Invokes the DIMBASELINE command.
  • Flip arrow. Flips the direction of the dimension arrowhead.

Modify Exploded Dimensions

You can edit exploded dimensions as you would any other objects because an exploded
dimension is a collection of separate objects: lines, 2D solids, and text. Occasionally
you may need to explode a dimension to make changes such as creating a break in a
dimension line or extension line. Once a dimension is exploded, you cannot reassociate
the dimension into a dimension object.

Learning AutoCad

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