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Easily import text and dimension styles from other drawings

There’s no reason to recreate the wheel – or text or dimension styles, if you have them elsewhere. The easiest way to import a text or dimension style from another drawing is to use the DesignCenter.

Follow these steps:

  1. autocad-tips-import-text-dimension-styles-1Go to the View tab, Palettes, DesignCenter or type designcenter on the command line.
  2. From the Folder list (it looks a lot like Windows Explorer) navigate to the folder, then the drawing that has the text or dimension style that you need.
  3. Click the drawing’s Plus sign to expand it and choose the type of elements that you want to import, such as a text style.
  4. On the right, you’ll see a list of the text styles that are available in the drawing. Drag the one you want onto the drawing area.

You can also use the Content Explorer, although the set-up process is more complex. Here are the steps:

  1. Click the Plug-Ins tab, then click Explore.
  2. If the folder where the drawing you is not listed, click Add Watched Folder at the bottom.
  3. Navigate to the folder, select it, and click OK. AutoCAD scans the drawings in the folder; this process may take some time. The Content Explorer works best when you plan in advance.
  4. When the process of scanning is done, or if the folder you want is listed, you can do one of two things:
  5. If you know the name of the element, enter it in the Search box at the top of the Content Explorer.
  6. If you know the location and name of the drawing, double-click the folder and navigate to the drawing. Double-click the drawing to display its elements.
  7. When you see the element you want, such as a text style, drag it onto the drawing area to import it into your drawing.

Do you have any tips for importing text or dimension styles? Leave a comment!


Ellen Finkelstein

17 comments to Easily import text and dimension styles from other drawings

  • Wow!!
    You have no idea how long I have wished to know about this trick…
    Thank You does not even begin to express my gratitude…

  • T K M Galappaththyu

    Hi Ellen

    I interested with second method. Which version you used? How to open plug-ins?


  • Zulqarnain Yusufzai

    It really work. I like method 1. Thank you.

  • Gary Wong

    Thank you! It works very well for me. This web blog has been a great help since I am picking up AutoCAD again after abandoning it for a few years.

  • foridul beg

    Thanks… It really gone very helpfull to me….

  • Dean

    Great Tips!! I also use the STEAL plug-in off of the App Exchange…you can grab a multitude of items, styles, blocks, etc from another drawing.

  • Rachel

    That’s all find and dandy, but how do I get it to ‘redefine only’ or ‘insert and redefine’ in the same way as can be done for blocks??! It can’t possibly be that I need to manually go in and update my dimstyles, my leader styles, etc…?

  • Udav

    2 Rachel

    Tools -> CAD Standards -> Check.
    For Standard-file use dwg file (file -> save as -> *.dws) that contain all your right defined styles.

  • Mike

    Thank you, thank you!
    Maybe I missed something, but when I do a search inside AutoCAD for this, I don’t find an easy solution/answer to this task. (Actually I didn’t, that’s why I’m here!. But it should be easy!!!!!!! Come-on Autodesk!

  • Dillon Morrisette

    I enjoyed your article

  • Clay Wisner

    “designcenter” is an unrecognized command in autocad 2016

  • Thanks for this and many other tips. They help ma a lot.
    Nothing new, but could be beneficial to someone: drawing template (DWT) is a good practice to manage design with proper text, dimension styles etc.

  • Chris Adair

    DesignCentre not a recognised command in ACAD 2017

  • Andrew

    DesignCentre not a recognised command in ACAD 2016 onwards.

    Use ‘ADCENTER’ instead.

  • Doug

    Ctrl+2 can bring up your Design Center as well. Another easy method for this is to simply copy/paste into your new drawing. You can always select the text or dimension in the original drawing and simply paste it into your new drawing.

    Yet another method is to be in your new drawing and simply ‘insert’ the original CAD drawing with the data you want to copy over. Once asked for an insertion point, simply cancel the command but ALL of the drawing data has now been copied over. This includes text, blocks, dim styles, etc.

  • Doug

    Copy/paste works just as well from one drawing to another. You can also ‘insert’ the drawing with the wanted data and just cancel out of the command once it asks you for an insertion point. This will bring in ALL data from the original drawing, ie. text, dim styles, blocks, etc.

  • Ed

    For whatever reason Autodesk changed the command to ‘adcenter’

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