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I would like to make a suggestion of something I would find useful and others may too.  I realize that designer is geared to creating pictures and art but often I am making an actual 'design' of a item where I need dimensions added.   So I was wondering if any though was or could be given to adding a dimension tool that scales so I can make a 1 inch square and set the scale to 1 inch = 1 ft - take a dimension tool and pick two nodes and the drafting lines would be drawn and text showing the length using the scale would appear.

 

Just a thought.

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This is really more of a CAD feature so not entirely within scope of an illustration program - I wouldn't expect it to have a particularly high priority right now, but it certainly wouldn't be an unwelcome enhancement.

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Serif DrawPlus X8 did exactly that, and was really useful for doing garden plans and such. It also had an extra line type of "Dimension" which allowed you to draw lines which had arrows at either end plus showed the length of the line on the line itself. This made it easy to hand over sketches to builders

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I agree this would be a great feature and would help my work a lot and I don't think it would actually be a hard thing to implement.

One can actually draw in scale using a simple equation:

F = VAL * A / B

where A and B are actually the scale (A:B, and usually either is 1 thus you'd only need to either multiply or divide), and VAL is the actual value we want to represent in scale. The result (F) is the size to use to draw in the given scale.

An implementation would add a field called "Scale" in the top toolbar (it would always be visible no matter what panes you're using) with a default value of 1:1. Any values like X, Y, width, height, length (for lines), etc. would just use this simple formula to convert values displayed and input so we don't have to be wasting so much time doing the math ourselves. thus, for example, I may draw a line of 11 cm using the "1:1" scale and if I set the scale field to "1:50" only the UI would change tell me it is a 550 cm line; on paper it would remain an 11 cm line. Also, changing the length of the line to 100 cm in the same "1:50" scale would still reflect the value of 100 cm but on paper the line would change to 2 cm (math would be automatically done for us). The idea is not to have the object retain the scale it was build with but provide a simple helper for scaled drawings and illustrations.

I'd also love to have those "Dimension" lines @Francispmc mentioned. Those would actually need to retain the scale (in order to provide lenght automatically) but I'd go for having the actual text fully editable.

 

UPDATE: There is a feature in AD that I just got to know that the input fields of the "Transform" pane can to a bit of math. You can, for example, type "550/50" to have a line drawn with 550 cm in a scale of 1:50. It can also add (+), subtract (-) and multiply (*) thus you can also achieve scales like "5:1". We'd still have to do the math back to find out the unscaled size but it may already be a little bit of a help.

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