Automatic dimension/measuring tool please
A tool to automatically dimension signs would be an advantage to those of us working in the sign industry who create visuals for clients. It would also assist in maintaining accuracy of the artwork created and automatic checking device. This with the removal of the artboard size limitation would create a full working drawing platform for the manufacture of large signs for the retail industry.
A couple of questions on this:
1. Would it be okay to have a separate spec creation service much like the upcoming Adobe XD service? On this service, anyone with a link, can select any objects, and view its dimensions (W/H), colors, fonts etc. Or should it be inside Illustrator.
2. Are you only going to create horizontal, and vertical dimensions? Or would you also like to have angular dimensions as well?
Please share more details about your workflow.
YES auto dimensioning! I miss this from autocad and I prefer to use illustrator but find myself going back to autocad for detailed drawings simply for the dimensioning capabilities.
Marcello Magnani commented
A dimension tool would be useful.
At least for linear path and angle.
i'd like a parametric one if possible (auto updating values changing the lenght of segments).
Marc Lawrence commented
Having a dimensioning tool available as standard in Illustrator would save me soooo much time!! It needs to have similar functionality as CADtools. I've been designing signs for 20 years and have been wishing this existed in Illustrator the whole time.
Oh, and eliminating the size max for the canvas would also be a HUGE improvement.... or at least increase the size. Please :)
Bryan Pagenkopf commented
In response to your questions:
1. This should be inside the Illustrator Software for the greatest Ease of Use (currently we purchase add-ons for Illustrator to perform this function but it is limited at best)
2. The tool would be best if it could
A. Measure Angular Dimensions as well as the standard Horizontal and Vertical
B. Allowed for users to Set the Unit of Measurement (Inches, Points, Centimeters, etc)
C. Allowed users to set how specific the measurement (nearest tenth, hundredth, thousandths)
D. Placed the Measurements on a separate layer so they can easily be hidden or set to not print with the rest of the layout.
Mark Rayner commented
As an Exhibit Builder this is a must! Adobe... where are u! Can't believe it would take that much effort to include dimensioning tools.
I think what a lot of users here are trying to say is this: in the sign and printing industries, a lot of customers are designing their parts in Illustrator or another vector graphics software, and send their designs as vector graphics files (often *.ai or *pdf). In my company, we produce circuits that could end up being used for medical devices or military equipment, so repeatedly exporting data or re-drawing between programs can lead to more mistakes.
I can't say that these others do things the same way, but at my company, we export objects to an AutoCAD dwg, apply dimensions, then re-import them to Illustrator. Our alternative is to draw dimensions manually, following a template. If we had the option to insert dimensions based on the files current units, many users would be glad that they don't need to use a work-around.
Also support for pixel units please
Larry Smith commented
Provide ability to create CAD style dimensions. This would assist in conformance and appearances of dimensions used in the engineering world
Mark Gould commented
In addition to dimensions, please consider more fully featured RULERS and STENCILS: - the ability to draw a straight line or curve around an edge. In a way similar, but better than what you've implemented in iPad Draw and Sketch. Beyond using any curve as a ruler edge, I'd like to see the ability to use any shape as a stencil, to draw inside, around the edge, or outside. See iPad Concepts and Mac Rebelle to see the way they've implemented this.
Ross Geography commented
this has been much needed for years - all the building blocks are there - great for designers and architects
for starters a simple line and arrows/ticks at both ends and some previewous for arrow/tick style and distance away from object like AutoCAD dimension styles - then even a simple text input that guesses based on a manually set scale (e.g. 10mm = 10cm, 1m, 5m) with a text override - some plugin companies are charging a TAX (unfair price) some such longed for functionality
jay maechtlen commented
Of course, CorelDraw has had dimensioning for years and years...
jay maechtlen commented
Unbelievable - that AI does't have dimensioning!
I also work in the sign industry and use Illustrator. For a while I would use the CAD tools plug-ins, but I always found them a bit clunky. And, with the price increase, it became not worth it.
To comment on your question, a separate spec creation services might not be ideal. I create shop drawings for people (like welders, machinists, and painters ) so they know how to fabricate the designs. Typically these drawings are printed out on paper. These drawing are printed at specific architectural scales ( Example: 3" = 1' -0") so with a scaled ruler, non listed dimensions can be measured with accuracy.
Angular dimensions would be great, also radius dimensions are helpful.
Adam DeHaven has written a fantastic Script that does dimensioning in Illustrator. It works from version 5 onwards. Maybe Adobe should give him a fat reward and simply incorporate it as standard. You can get it here (it's FREE!):
1. This should be inside of Illustrator. If you also want to add to XD, whatever, but it belongs inside of AI.
2. Horizontal, Vertical, angular (arc distance etc..)
3. Click once, click again.. it adds dimensions.. click a third time it adds the new dimension from point 2-3.. click again.. 3-4 etc..
4. Also, cumulative. Click once click again.. adds dims, click a third time, it adds from 1-3.. click again.. adds from 1-4 etc..
In the sign industry we use Illustrator to Visualize the project as well as manufacture from the drawings. Dimensions are paramount. When in the field doing a survey, we simply use a object of know length to give us our scale. Bring it the photo into illustrator scale it and start pulling dimensions. Cad Tools has worked OK. But the last renewal update was the final nail in it's coffin for us. We have not made any updates to Illustrator as our version of CadTools will not work. We have versions 7,8,9. I refuse to give them anymore $$ for something that should me built into a suite of products that I already Pay $149.00 a month for (3) users. Come on Adobe... make this happen.
Yes. I used to use Hotdoor cadtools for dimensioning, but it's too expensive for such basic functions that I need. It would be great to build this in to illustrator. Many, MANY of us use it for technical specs for packaging, softgoods, toys, you name it, where this would be necessary.
Bryte Morio commented
Other than the rulers, it would be very useful to have a dynamic dimensioning/measuring tool (similar to that found in other design packages like CorelDraw) with which both straight lines and curves that be directly measured.
The Dazzler commented
Yogesh, there is a similar tool in Acrobat Pro. We need horizontal, vertical, angular and diameter measures.
For many users Illustrator is used like a CAD program, with very detailed drawings and artwork being created.
Some examples are packaging (industry standard) product design, building plans, signage. We use it because it can be both technical and creative.
Please keep it in Illustrator.
Benjamin Kim commented
A functional dimension tool would be a great addition to illustrator!! I make print cards for a packaging company multiple times a day and have to manually add dimension to our print card. This is very labor intensive having to put guidelines, calculating which 1/16th to round to, drawing lines, picking arrowheads, then writing the dimension. Would be much simpler if i could select a point/line and measure to a 2nd point/line and have the measurement where I can extended freely.
Lets be honest there is hardly anyone that uses the current measuring tool. And needs lots of improvement. It doesnt function with smart guides.