# Understanding Scaling

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Dear Forum,

I'm new to using ACAD so please excuse me if my question seems to be simple. I would appreciate if someone can explain to me the following excerpt that I got from one of the ebook tutorials that I read.

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I believe that is the old school method of creating everything in model space then scaling it all down to fit on the size of paper you intend on using when it comes time to print. BTW...it should read 11"x17" not 11'x17'. BIG difference!

Will the method work? Yes. Is it the recommended method? Not necessarily. Since the introduction of paper space layout and their respective viewports the process, in my opinion, has gotten easier. The only question remains whether or not to put dimensions and text in model space or in the layout. My preference is to put both in the layout but is not to say it is the only method. Text and dimensions can be placed in model space if one utilizes a feature called annotative scaling.

Will you be working in imperial or metric units?

What book was that taken from? It sounds familiar.

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If you decide on which units you will be working with, and strike out the references to the units you will not be working with, it all might make more sense.

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I myself would just set up my paper space for a 11"X17" create a viewport and set the scale at 1/4" and see if it fits if your working in imperial units do the same thing if you using metric.

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Now that I have had a chance to reread that excerpt from the ebook tutorial I would recommend buying a good after-market AutoCAD book written by an acknowledged author and forget about using the ebook.

Grab a sheet of 11"x17" paper then go get yourself an architect's scale. Find the edge marked 1/4 at one end and 1/8 at the other. Now measure the length and width of the paper using the 1/4 scale. You'll find that at 1/4"=1'-0" scale 11" is equal to 44' (feet) while 17" is equal to 68' (feet). No way in hell do the measurements come anywhere close to being equivalent to 528 feet x 816 feet as the author states. Another way of looking at that particular scale is if 1/4" = 1 foot then 1" = 4 feet. 11x4=44 and 17x4=68.

A sheet of paper measuring 8.5"x11" would, at 1/4"=1'-0", be equivalent in size to 34'x44'.

A sheet of paper measuring 24"x36" would, at 1/4"=1'-0", be equivalent in size to 96'x144'.

If you switch to a smaller scale such as 1/8"=1'-0" (1"=8') the above equivalent sizes would double. And if you went with a larger scale such as 1/2"=1'-0" (1"=2') the above equivalent sizes would be half of what is shown. Understand?

Should architectural drawings be your main interest then go out and buy a cheap plastic architect's scale at Home Depot or Staples. It will cost you between \$4 and \$10. Then learn how to use it.

Last thing. If you decide to follow the advice to use layouts your title block / border, along with one or more viewports, will be located in the layout while all of your geometry will be located back in model space. Think of the viewports in your layout as windows that allow you to see the objects that you have created back in model space.

Edited by ReMark
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The author got his feet and inches ticks wrong which should clue you in to how much this guy really knows. 528/44=12 and 816/68=12 so the guy was right about his math but he got his feet and inches mixed up.

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I am so glad were metric.

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I am so glad were metric.

Me too, and I grew up with Imperial, a massive pain in the butt!

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I started Surveying in the US Army (NATO) with meters and 6400 mils in a circle but had to switch to decimal feet for most things except Imperial for structures and Degrees-Minutes-Seconds for angles. Metric was way easier, but with software doing all the work now it's no real difference anymore.

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I am so glad were metric.

Metric is a conspiracy by the big corporate companies to make me buy new tools to fit their nuts and bolts and what not. I don't care if you tell me how long a centimeter is all you will get back from me is a long stupid stare... no wait those are what I give my wife when she explains to me why we have to buy a \$500 vacuum.

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Metric is a conspiracy by the big corporate companies to make me buy new tools to fit their nuts and bolts and what not. I don't care if you tell me how long a centimeter is all you will get back from me is a long stupid stare... no wait those are what I give my wife when she explains to me why we have to buy a \$500 vacuum.
I think a \$90 shop vac is good enough.

By the way, the guy that wrote (pirated) the Ebook also thinks 1/4" = 1'-0" is the same as 1:50. There are only 48 quarter inches in a foot. So, the model to paper ratio of 1 paperspace unit = 50 modelspace units {1:50) is bogus. What you really get using 1:50, is 1 paperspace unit (1 inch) = 50 modelspace units or 50 inches, or 1/4" = 1'-6". Quite a difference. Throw the Ebook away. You got taken.

Edited by Dana W
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+1 Apparently you were sent the FBook.

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1:50 in metric is roughly equivalent to 1/4"=1'-0" in imperial. It is not assumed to be exactly equivalent.

Along the same lines, but speaking of paper sizes, a metric A4 sheet size of 297x210 is roughly equivalent to the imperial "A" sheet size of 8.5x11. The actual size of an A4 sheet in imperial units is 11.7"x8.3".

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Metric is a conspiracy by the big corporate companies to make me buy new tools to fit their nuts and bolts and what not. I don't care if you tell me how long a centimeter is all you will get back from me is a long stupid stare... no wait those are what I give my wife when she explains to me why we have to buy a \$500 vacuum.

I always have a chuckle when those in the USA say they will never get used to metric, never adopt a metric system, imperial is always better, etc.

Come on guys - you use a metric system everyday.

Your money has been metric (decimal) at least since you started minting your own in 1792.

You don't seem to have any problem using that.

PS. Here in the UK we had an imperial monetary system until the 1970's (12 pennies to the shilling, 20 shillings to the pound, etc) then we changed to a decimal system.

So the USA had a metric system in everyday use long before the UK did.

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1 meter = 1000 mm = 100 cm = 10 dm

How hard can it be. xD

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Hi ReMark,

Thank you for your help. With regards to the 11' x 17' instead of 11"x17" also makes it confusing. I took this snapshot verbatim from the ebook itself. Anyhow, thanks for noticing. The book is confusing in terms of giving dimensions in imperial since the book switches the symbols for feet & inches.

Kindly see the attachment regarding the book cover.

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I have the 2009 version of that book on my shelf.

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PS. Here in the UK we had an imperial monetary system until the 1970's (12 pennies to the shilling, 20 shillings to the pound, etc) then we changed to a decimal system.

So the USA had a metric system in everyday use long before the UK did.

That's one of the reasons we were able to out evolve you to the point where we can drink cold beer.
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1:50 in metric is roughly equivalent to 1/4"=1'-0" in imperial. It is not assumed to be exactly equivalent.

Along the same lines, but speaking of paper sizes, a metric A4 sheet size of 297x210 is roughly equivalent to the imperial "A" sheet size of 8.5x11. The actual size of an A4 sheet in imperial units is 11.7"x8.3".

No such thing as "roughly" in math. But then if you really want feet that are 33.333333% too big...

If you use 1:50 scale, as long as you label the drawing scale as 1:50 you're fine. If you label it 1/4" = 1'-0" not so good.

The way the book is written, especially that paragraph about 1/4" = 1'-0" (1:50) is so confusing that the writer may very well be correct in what he is saying, but there is no way to know by the way he states his point that he is exemplifying a comparison between the two scales rather than saying they are the same. It is written as if he is implying that the two scales are equal.

One can say quite correctly that 1:50 is the metric equivalent of 1/4" = 1'-0", but one must understand that equivalent means very close, but not quite the same.

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Metric is a conspiracy by the big corporate companies to make me buy new tools to fit their nuts and bolts and what not. I don't care if you tell me how long a centimeter is all you will get back from me is a long stupid stare... no wait those are what I give my wife when she explains to me why we have to buy a \$500 vacuum.
I know how you feel. Even worse, just after I upgraded to a few hundred bucks worth of six point sockets (twice as strong as the hobbyist 12 point socket) for my air wrench, the really good bolts now come like THIS! arrgh.

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