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Vertical Text Orientation


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I tried a few different searches but couldn't find a CAD standard.


Is vertical text supposed to read from bottom to top, or top to bottom? Source material would be AWESOME! (not necessary though, just looking for some insight)


Hope all is well and your week is ending nicely!

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I was taught bottom to top so when you turn the dwg(s) "paper sheets" in a binder to read, the binder will be at the top of the drafting table allowing you to flip the paper sheets up over the top of the table. However with computers things changes from 40+ years ago.

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I am confused as to which vertical text you are asking about :?


Is it text which is rotated 90 degrees or text applied vertically with one character on each line??


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  • 9 years later...

The answer is dependent upon the storage method or methods in use where you're at. Text is always kept horizontal and rotated as necessary. The rules or standards for that rotation angle are usually leftovers from when they/we used to use vellum and mylar large sized prints. Before mass use of online or digital storage, if they hung the drawings in swing out file cabinets the bindings are along the right edge (the top when hanging) then horizontal = left to right, vertical = top to bottom. This matches U.S. standards for reading. If they hang them from the left edge, then it will be reversed. If they are stored in drawers, laying down, then it is almost always bound along the left edge. Thus Horizontal = right to left, vertical = bottom to top. This is a general explanation, and is not a concrete rule. i.e. I've also seen places that had the bindings along the right side, and still had their text rotated to be read top to bottom, and at least one that did both.... If it's not based on any of that, then I have always found the easiest rule of thumb to remember is to follow the same rule you use when reading a novel, left to right, top to bottom. On the drawing "not rotated" = left to right, and when "rotated" = top to bottom. As with most standard dimension text which is either always horizontal, or always read left to right no matter what rotation the dimension itself is at. In dimensioning, the only text that should break that rule is angle dimensions (unless forced to stay horizontal).


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