Using the Dimension Tools

Reference Number: KB-01002
Last Modified: July 14, 2021

The information in this article applies to:

Home Designer Professional or Home Designer Architectural or Home Designer Suite


How do I use the different dimension tools in Home Designer?


Select CAD> Dimension to access the Dimension Tools. For information on specific dimension tools and methods, see the following list:

Not all of the dimension tools listed in this article are available in all of the various versions of Home Designer.

If you're interested in upgrading to a higher version of the software that has one of the tools listed here, please contact our Sales team to discuss your upgrade options.

Keep in mind that with the exception of Angular Dimensions, dimension lines only locate objects that are parallel, or nearly parallel to one another, and should be drawn orthogonal (at right angles) to the objects being located.

Once created, Manual, Interior and Auto Exterior Dimension lines can be selected and edited.

Manual Dimensions 

*Available in all Home Designer programs.

To display the distance between two objects, select CAD> Dimension> Manual Dimension and drag a dimension line near or through the objects.

Manual dimension locating the distance from a base cabinet to the exterior framing of a wall

Manual Dimensions locate objects as specified in the Dimension Defaults dialog.

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Interior Dimensions

*Available in all Home Designer programs.

Use the Interior Dimension tool to draw Interior Dimension lines between parallel walls in floor plan view.

Interior dimension line created between two parallel walls

Interior Dimensions locate either the wall surface or the main wall layer, depending on the settings set within the Dimension Defaults dialog. It does not dimension between surfaces in the same wall.

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Auto Exterior Dimensions

*Available in all Home Designer programs.

The Auto Exterior Dimension tool generates dimensions around a plan's exterior in floor plan view.

Auto exterior dimensions created for a basic structure

  • The dimension lines locate walls and openings as specified in Dimension Defaults dialog.

  • Auto Exterior Dimensions do not generate properly if there is a gap in the exterior walls.

  • These dimensions can be edited individually.

  • There are a maximum of three rows of automatically generated dimensions per exterior wall direction.

      1.  The innermost dimension line locates exterior walls, interior walls, and all openings in exterior walls.

      2.  The second dimension line locates exterior and interior walls.

      3.  The outermost dimension line is the overall exterior dimension. 

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Auto Interior Dimensions

*Available in all Home Designer programs.

Auto Interior Dimensions can be created by first selecting one or more rooms in your floor plan, then clicking on the Auto Interior Dimensions edit tool located in the bottom left corner of the program.

Auto Interior dimensions created for two defined rooms

Auto Interior Dimension lines are generated inside of the rooms they measure and locate the interior surface of walls, openings, and other objects.

Auto Interior Dimensions do not recognize the No Locate setting for walls. If a wall is specified as No Locate, Auto Interior Dimensions will locate it anyway.

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End to End Dimensions

*Available in Home Designer Architectural & Home Designer Pro.

Use the End to End Dimension tool to dimension between any two defined objects in floor plan view.

  • Select CAD> Dimension> End to End Dimension ,   then drag the dimension from the first object to the second object. The dimension line snaps to each object, ignoring any other objects located between either end.

  • End to End Dimensions locate objects as specified in the Dimension Defaults dialog. 

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Point to Point Dimensions

*Available in Home Designer Pro.

The Point to Point Dimension tool dimensions between any two locations.

  • If you click or release the mouse within 3" of an object using the Point to Point Dimension tool, that object is located.

  • If no object can be found near the beginning or end of the dimension line, a point marker is created. Point markers have no text and display as a "+" at either end of the dimension line.

  • Point markers can be selected and edited. If the objects or point markers located by a Point to Point Dimension line are moved, the dimension updates to reflect the change.

  • Objects and point markers located by a Point to Point Dimension line can be accurately relocated by specifying new dimension values. 

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Angular Dimensions

*Available in Home Designer Pro.

The Angular Dimension tool displays the angle between any two straight edges, including lines, walls, the sides of boxes, the straight sides of polylines, cabinets, and soffits.

  • Click the first line, then drag and release on the second. The line start and end points should be as close as possible to the objects.

    Do not pull the angular dimension past the object as you might with a normal straight dimension line.

  • Angular Dimensions can be selected and moved by dragging from a handle along the arc in its middle.

    The dimension moves to maintain the location of its own arc center. If one of the dimensioned objects is moved, the angular dimension adjusts, but may have to be moved manually to a  more visible position.

  • Any straight line or side within a CAD block can be dimensioned, as well. Edges nested up to four levels deep within a CAD block can be dimensioned.

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Display Temporary Dimensions

Temporary Dimensions display when an object is selected and show the distance between the selected object and other objects.

  • Select View > Temporary Dimensions to turn on or off the display of temporary dimensions. This toggle affects all views and is saved between launches of Home Designer.

  • As with other dimension lines, Temporary Dimensions only locate objects that are parallel or nearly parallel to one another.

  • Starting in Home Designer 2022, temporary dimensions will display for a selected object even when manually drawn dimension lines are created. Prior versions will not display temporary dimensions for the object if manual dimensions exist.

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Moving Objects Using Dimensions

Most objects can be moved by changing an automatic, manual or temporary dimension value that locates it. This technique can be applied in nearly any situation where dimensions are present, including angular dimensions.

  • Your pointer indicates which dimensions can be used to relocate the selected object by changing to a pointing hand icon. Click on the dimension when the pointing hand icon is present, and then enter the new value you wish to use.

  • Another way to tell is to select an object and drag it in the desired direction. As you drag, note which dimensions update. These dimensions are the dimensions that can be used to move that object.

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