A Standard Dimension is a group design object. It places dimensioning information on the current PCB layer. The dimension value is the distance between the start and end markers measured in the default units.
Standard dimension objects are available for placement in the PCB editor only. Use one of the following methods to access a placement command:
Choose Place » Dimension » Standard from the main menus.
Click the Standard Dimension button () in the drop-down on the Active Bar located at the top of the design space. (Click and hold an Active Bar button to access other related commands. Once a command has been used, it will become the topmost item on that section of the Active Bar).
Click the button on the Dimension drop-down () of the Utilities toolbar.
Click the button on the Utility Tools drop-down () of the Utilities toolbar.
Right-click in the design space then choose the Place » Dimension » Standard command from the context menu.
After launching the command, the cursor will change to a cross-hair and you will enter dimension placement mode. Placement is made by performing the following sequence of actions:
Position the cursor then click or press Enter to anchor the dimension start point.
Move the cursor to the required end point, then click or press Enter to anchor the point and complete placement.
Continue placing further standard dimensions or right-click or press Esc to exit placement mode.
Additional actions that can be performed during placement are:
Press the Tab key to pause the placement and access the Dimension mode of the Properties panel from where its properties can be changed on the fly. Click the design space pause button overlay () to resume placement.
Press the L key to flip the dimension to the other side of the board – note that this is only possible prior to anchoring the dimension's start point.
Press the + and - keys (on the numeric keypad) to cycle forward and backward through all visible layers in the design to change placement layer quickly.
Press the Tab key to access an associated propertiesdialog, from where properties for the dimension can be changed on-the-fly.
While attributes can be modified during placement (Tab to bring up associated properties panel), keep in mind that these will become the default settings for further placement unless the Permanent option on the PCB Editor – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog is enabled. When this option is enabled, changes made will affect only the object being placed and subsequent objects placed during the same placement session.
This method of editing allows you to select a placed Standard dimension object directly in the design space and change its location, orientation and position of its start and end points.
When a Standard dimension object is selected, the following editing handles are available:
A selected Standard Dimension
Click & drag A to move the start point of the dimension.
Click & drag B to move the end point of the dimension.
The dimension value automatically updates as you move the start or end points.
Click anywhere on the dimension away from editing handles and drag to reposition it. While dragging, the standard dimension can be rotated or mirrored:
Press the Spacebar to rotate the Standard dimension counterclockwise or Shift+Spacebar for clockwise rotation. Rotation is in accordance with the value for the Rotation Step defined on the PCB Editor – General page of the Preferences dialog.
Press the X or Y keys to mirror the Standard dimension along the X-axis or Y-axis.
If attempting to graphically modify an object that has its Locked property enabled, a dialog will appear asking for confirmation to proceed with the edit. If the Protect Locked Objects option is enabled on the PCB Editor – General page of the Preferences dialog and the Locked option for that design object is enabled as well, that object cannot be graphically edited. Double-click the locked object to select it then disable the Locked property in the Properties or List panel or disable the Protect Locked Objects option to graphically edit the object.
The following methods of non-graphical editing are available.
Editing via the Dimension Dialog or Properties Panel
This method of editing uses the associated Dimension dialog and Properties panel mode to modify the properties of a Standard Dimension object.
The Dimension dialog (the first image) and the Dimension mode of the Properties panel (the second image)
During placement, the Standard Dimension mode of the Properties panel can be accessed by pressing the Tab key. Once the Standard Dimension is placed, all options appear.
After placement, the Dimension dialog can be accessed by:
Double-clicking on the placed Standard Dimension object.
Placing the cursor over the Standard Dimension object, right-clicking then choosing Properties from the context menu.
After placement, the Standard Dimension mode of the Properties panel can be accessed in one of the following ways:
If the Properties panel is already active, select the Standard Dimension object.
After selecting the Standard Dimension object, select the Properties panel from the Panels button at the bottom right of the design space or select View » Panels » Properties from the main menus.
If the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option is disabled (default) on the PCB Editor – General page of the Preferences dialog, when the primitive is double-clicked or you right-click on a selected primitive then choose Properties, the dialog will open. When the Double Click Runs Interactive Properties option is enabled, the Properties panel will open.
While the options are the same in the dialog and the panel, the order and placement of the options may differ slightly.
Press Ctrl+Q to toggle the units of measurement currently used in the dialog/panel between metric (mm) and imperial (mil). This only affects the display of measurements in the dialog/panel; it does not change the measurement unit specified for the board, which is configured in the Units setting in the Properties panel when there are no objects selected in the design space.
The Standard Dimension properties can be accessed prior to entering placement mode, from the PCB Editor – Defaults page of the Preferences dialog. This allows the default properties for the Standard Dimension object to be changed, which will be applied when placing subsequent Standard Dimensions.
Editing Multiple Objects
The Properties panel supports editing multiple objects, where the property settings that are identical in all currently selected objects may be modified. When multiples of the same object type are selected manually, via the Find Similar Objects dialog or through a Filter or List panel, a Properties panel field entry can be edited for all selected objects. If values of a property are different for objects in the selection, the appropriate field will be shown as an asterisk (*) – a new property value will be applied to all selected objects.
A List panel allows you to display design objects from one or more documents in tabular format, enabling quick inspection and modification of object attributes. Used in conjunction with appropriate filtering – by using the applicable Filter panel, or the Find Similar Objects dialog – it enables the display of just those objects falling under the scope of the active filter – allowing you to target and edit multiple design objects with greater accuracy and efficiency.
Standard dimensions are group objects consisting of text and track segments. They can be converted to their set of primitive objects by choosing Tools » Convert » Explode Dimension to Free Primitives from the main menus. Once exploded, a dimension object can no longer be manipulated as a group object.