Foreshortened Diameter Styles

SolidWorks supports two styles for foreshortened linear diameter dimensions.  The default style is the traditional zigzagged dimension line on the foreshortened leg.  The other style is the often preferred double arrow.  Only one style may be used on any particular drawing.  This is because the style is set in Document Properties.

Foreshotening styles

Instructions for SolidWorks 2008 and prior:

  1. Open a drawing.
  2. Goto Tools pulldown>Options>Document Properties tab>Arrows heading.
  3. The last section of the Arrows window is called Foreshortened diameter.  Here, simply select the style, and then OK to exit.

Instructions for SolidWorks 2009 or later:

  1. Opening a drawing
  2. Goto Tools pulldown>Options>Document Properties tab
  3. Click on the Dimensions heading and the Diameter subheading.
  4. The last section of the Arrows window is called Foreshortened.  Here, simply select the style, and then OK to exit.

The change will immediately become effective for all foreshorten linear diameter dimensions on the drawing.

Author: fcsuper

As a drafter, mechanical designer and CAD engineer, I've been in the mechanical design field since 1991. For the first 8 years of my career, I was an AutoCAD professional. I utilized AutoLISP and many other AutoCAD customization features to streamline drafting activities for 6+ drafters and designers. I authored several custom functions, one of which was published in the March 1997 issue of Cadalyst Magazine. Since 1998, I've been used SolidWorks non-stop. I've worked to utilize the SolidWorks' user environment to simplify drafting and design activities for 20+ engineers. I've created this website to provide current information about SolidWorks from a variety of contributors. More recently, I am now employed by Dassault Systemes as SOLIDWORKS Sr. Product Definition Manager to improve drawing, annotation and MBD related areas.

2 thoughts on “Foreshortened Diameter Styles”

  1. If you use these symbols to make a note, then you can copy the symbol into your dimension text. For example:
    ; {this is standard text line for dimension
    ; {this adds the symbol below the dimension.

    Unfortunately the coordinates throw the arrow off of center. Try these coordinates if you wish, they are based off of 0,0 while the original coordinates step it over -1.5 to the left. This one is not perfect, but I don’t have time to see why 0,0 doesn’t match up with Solid Works dimensions.

    *LHV,LH VERTICAL ARROWS
    A,LINE 0,0,0,-4
    A,POLY -.16,-3.36,0.16,-3.36,0,-4
    A,POLY -.16,-4,.16,-4,0,-4.64

    You will have to get the arrow to match your dimension arrow by adjusting these values. I’m also not sure what units these coordinates are. These new values create approx the same arrow as a Solidworks dimension arrow that is .05″ wide X .1″ long

  2. The server stripped the SolidWorks code for dimensions and symbols. Hope future readers can figure this out.

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