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.
Here we go, the first Beta version with the Dimension tool. Still very basic, but more features are to come. Please try the Beta 27.7 (available in the Beta section in your Creative Cloud Desktop application), test the tool and give the team your feedback here in comments. and refer to roadmap to see what will be added later.
Jean-Michel Le Goff commented
Oups, I'm sorry but my CC Desktop app tell me that I am "up to date" but with a 27.6
It looks like what you've got so far is a tool that describes the dimensions of the selected object, by generating line and text objects as entities in the page. Looking at the details of this feature request it looks like that may have been all OP asked for, but what I had intended to voice support for was a feature that would allow me to establish a dimension as a defined entity, then change that number to enforce a change in the shape of the design, which would propagate out through other elements that are defined relative to that initial one. I'm looking for this because I find these tools really useful in CAD software, but it often feels silly to be using tools like Fusion360 for things like graphic design, which lack many of the other features Illustrator is designed for.
Is this a direction that this tool is going to move towards, or should I expect that continued development of the dimension tool is going to remain strictly functional for automatically generating graphics describing the already prescribed dimensions of the art on the page?
I second the comment by @Bradley
@Egor please work on performance over features. also talk to the team about cleaning up user voice. Items that have little or less than 1k votes are getting completed over items that have 3k+ votes?
Performance is a problems that need to be fixed over more features.
--- 2023-04-26 ---
Just played with the BETA. that would work just would need an update tool but resetting the would not be that big of a deal. also should match the documents ruler so when i change dimensions from PX to IN it will update all the measurements.
David Creamer commented
@Bradley I don't think I made myself clear--sorry. If Adobe purchased the rights to CADtools, it would simply become part of Illustrator just like Teacup Software's Table plugin simply became part of InDesign. There would not be an extra fee beyond what the Creative Cloud costs. Of course, older versions of Illustrator would see the static objects but older versions would break any of the CAD editing features.
David: If only cad tools would be cheaper so everyone could afford it when i send them AI documents. or allow for them to edit them even if they do not have cad tools.
it also does not work on the cloud share live edit. I would hope adobe would make simple measurement tools to not fridge on cad tools. or maybe cad tools offer a smaller package allowing single tools like astute. I would be open to 5-10 a month but 20 a month is too high for me. and all i need is measurement tools. i have created my own with 9slice and graphic styles and all i need to do is edit the number, but that is still a one by one option.
Tiago Claro commented
613 votes from 2017. And this still a mirage... So disappointed.
Here we are in 2023 making dimensions one by one...
i asked for Astute to create something basic like this.
David Creamer commented
I would hope Adobe would purchase CADTools, not put them out of business! Hotdoor is a small mom-and-pop business. Adobe has purchased plugins (or at least the technology) in the past with InDesign's Table and Cell Styles from TeaCup Software.
I agree 100% with PGAV! I'm a graphic designer, but I work with architects. I'm frequently tasked with creating signage designs, with at least basic dimensioning (and drawn to scale).
I'm actually pretty surprised Adobe hasn't bought CADtools already. Or Sketchup (another discussion)
Yes, i agree, CADtools functionality should be the goal. It’s the best tool out there …
PGAV PGAV commented
We are a design firm consisting of Architects, Illustrators, Graphic Designers, Exhibit Designers, and many other disciplines. While our buildings have their own set of construction documents, all of our Environmental Graphics and Signage have to have their own set of construction documents that are given to the fabricators and Contractors for bidding purposes. They are not going to use an app to find the sizes of things. It has to be done by looking at a paper set, and it has to have dimensions and drawn to scale. The files are created in Illustrator, dimensioned with CADTools, and are imported into InDesign to create our Construction Documents. I would like nothing more than to eliminate CADTools, as it is a pain to upgrade every time there is a new version of Illustrator. But, CADTools is exactly what you should be looking to emulate, as that is what our Graphic Designers all what. This is a feature we asked for over 10 years ago, and I'm glad to see you are finally getting around to it. It is the most requested feature as far as I can tell. If you can't beat them, buy them. You have all the money.
Rebecca Sylvers commented
Adding another +1 to the CADtools functionality request — and more clarification in agreement with Derek Jenkins.
I'll add that designers who work in spatial design, like exhibitions, retail displays, and so on, are often working with architects who do the "hardcore" CAD-related work. We still need to be able to make basic elevations and plans to communicate information about how large our graphics are and where they should be placed.
It's important to be able to work with scale because files would get quite unwieldy if we had to work at actual size for complex large-scale applications.
Really excited that some progress is starting to be made to these ends!
Dina Dembicki commented
Obviously I have no idea, which is why I'm asking. That was a good answer, thank you.
Another question then: does the CADtools plugin create the lines with arrowheads at each end and input the dimension, all automatically? And I take it there is native AI art involved with these dimensions (which is why it's in AI to begin with)? This would certainly be useful, no question about that.
The way they market AI is so illustration-centric, one can forget how functional it is on the non-creative side. I wonder how they decide which ideas to explore further... (whew different convo.)
I create graphics and signage along side of people working in CAD. Working in CAD doesn't give me the design capabilities of Illustrator. I could round trip the designs back into a layout in CAD, but it's an extra step and I find it nicer to keep everything in one (Illustrator) document and do all of my dimensioning, notating and creation of scale drawings there.
Derek Jenkins commented
Dina Dembicki, CADtools is an Illustrator plug-in. We designers who use Illustrator need tools for Illustrator, not just to SEE the size of something. We have annotate the dimensions on our artboard for clients. We have been needing tools, like CADtools (an Illustrator plug-in) to make annotating those jobs easier and quicker. Just because those functions being requested aren't useful to you, doesn't mean they aren't for a large portion of other users.
Dina Dembicki commented
Playing a little devil's advocate here... if you (users) need so much CAD-like functionality, why are you not using a CAD application? In Illustrator, if you know what size you need to make something you can draw a shape with particular dimensions. If you want the dimensions of a particular thing, you can select it and see the measurements in the tool bar. If you want to draw at a smaller dimension, you can scale to whatever percentage you need with one of the transform tools. When I endorsed this idea, it was about a simple drag and measure function, nothing so complex as what's being discussed here. One application cannot be all things to all people. But I get it. In my world we use AI for both creative execution and print prepress and these tools would probably be useful once in production.
+1 for the matching CADtools functionality.
Adham Elrayyes commented
Not sure if anybody uses it, but it seems to me that CADtools by Hotdoor is the holy grail of dimension and measuring tools. It would be nice to have Illustrator use some of that functionality, especially when it comes to:
- Measuring by points or segments
- Measuring angles
- Measuring curvature radius
- Measurement would follow the angle of the segment being measured
- Configuring unit type, decimals/fractions, precision, dual/multi-dimensions and scale
- Live dimensions (updates when the artwork is resized), with the possibility to turn it on/off
- Formatting arrow types, line thickness/color and font type/size
Looking forward to seeing how this feature will flourish and become an integral part of Illustrator.
Hello @Saurav Agrawal, that is amazing! Generally, I like functionality of Dimensions Illustrator Script by William Campbell (Mars Premedia), who elaborate good set of useful features.
I do not work on any complex technical drawings in Illustrator. My common use case of dimensioning is, to specify dimensions and positions of brand, symbols, text and other labels on objects, like for branding of vehicles according to brand manuals.
If it can help, here is, what I would consider as good basic feature set for dimension tool in Illustrator:
— an ability to set scale of the drawing (like 1 : 50, to multiply displayed dimensions values by 50)
— an ability to use scale for object editing (like new fields in control panel, where you can set scale and edit the width, height, stroke, type size and other dimensions scaled; it should be easy to use both dimensions, original size on the artboard and real/scaled too)
— an ability to select an object and set left / top / right / bottom position of measurement results, ideally from on-screen context menu for adding dimensions quickly
— smart keyboard shortcuts to adding new dimension labels is necessary, adding dimensions should be as quick as possible
— labelling distances between selected objects would be useful
— some kind of smart object with extension lines to measured object interacting with smart guides and glyph bounds/baseline would be great
— live dimension labels, where label value changes if you change associated object, would be nice, with a possibility to convert the live labels into static texts when the work is finished
— an ability to set different scale for different part of the drawing could be possible, as in one drawing there can be parts with different scale ratios
— an ability to label text objects would be nice too (specify font, cut, type size in points and upper-case size in millimetres, leading, tracking, colour swatch name and definition)
For consistent formatting of the displayed dimensions, there should be styles or user presets, which should allow to set, save, and reuse in any document:
— scale ratio (inherited from drawing, zone or set to fixed value)
— the unit, displayed unit label, decimal places for dimension label and decimal separator (comma, period)
— rounding to nearest multiply of a user-defined number
— the distance/offset of lines and labels
— the paragraph style for text labels to be used
— the layer, where dimensions should be placed
— the colour swatch, stroke weight or graphic style for lines and line endings
I am looking forward to the updates for this new tool. I would love to see improvements in typesetting too. Implementation of non-breaking space would help a lot even on technical drawings where I specify dimensions, units, or manufacturing details.