Size of dimensions

Where to change the size of dimensions in Rhino 5 (In Rhino 4 global size)?

It should be in
Document properties > Annotations > Dimensions.
Yes. But where in that dialogue? I do not see a global parameter.

Thank you.

Niels Foldager

I very much appreciate if someone can help. I am in a hurry and have work that I cannot complete in time because of this.

I have used Rhino since version 1, and wonder why this is function is made so cryptic in Rhino 5, so that I cannot figure out how to do.

From other threads I understand that I am supposed to go to:

Document properties > Annotation > Dimensions > and, say, Default

Nothing happens when I change “Model space scale” or “Scale distances”.
(and I do not understand what these are).

The “Help” is of no help for me.

I was trying to see if I could answer you yesterday and played with the settings a bit but in the end I found that I didn’t really understood what it was that you wanted to do and so I dropped it. :wink: Can you describe the problem to solve and perhaps post a file?

Try these steps:

  • open properties panel, if it’s not already open.
  • select a dimension/annotation, you should see a dimensions icon/button in properties panel along with properties of the selected item (dimension/s). Change to your requirements, you can also save it with a new style name.

does that help?

Thank you to you and wim.

does that help?

Yes, thank you, that helps for now, as I now are able to change each dimension one by one (or select more than one) in the Property Overrides dialogue changing the “Model space scale”.

How to change, however, the size of dimensions globally in the file?

When I go to Document properties > Annotation > Dimensions > Default
and change “Model space scale”, nothing happens. That means, I have one file (imported Rhino 4-file), where this works, but in the actual file and other files born in Rhino 5, this does not work.

Would someone be so kind as to clarify these matters for me?

What is exactly understood by “Model space scale”?
And “Scale distances”?

Best regards,


I find this to be a very unreliable area of Rhino.

I just finished a project. The dimension style Inch Fractional was set to 1 model scale and the dimensions were the correct size to print. Today I opened the file and all the dimensions were minuscule.So I set the model scale to 12 for Inch Fractional and that made all the dimensions the right size again.

Yesterday, model scale 1 was correct. Today, model scale 12 is correct.

I really wish Rhino could achieve the reliability and simplicity of AutoCAD’s dimensions.

Sounds strange.

In Rhino 5 it is cryptic and complicated to just change the size of dimensions.
In previous versions of Rhino it was much easier.

And I still do not understand, was is meant by “Model space scale” and “scale distances”.
When I press “Help”, I get no help.

My take on this after a short test.

The numbers that you put into the fields in Document Properties > Annotations > Dimensions > [your style] > Layout sizes are sizes in document units that the dimensions will have on paper. It doesn’t matter if the dimensions were created in model space or in paper space by snapping to the model.

For example, on a A3 sheet, I want all dimensions to be 4 mm high.

If my model is 10 meters long, I want dimension that I create in model space to be readable when the entire model is visible and I therefore want them to be 320 mm, or 80 times as high. Thus I put 80 in Model space scale.

If you later find out that that doesn’t work and want to change both the size in paper and in model space with the same ratio, you can put a scaling factor in Scale distances.

What is rather weird with that latter setting is that it reverts to 1.0 after you have changed it - making it hard to get back to the original size a few days later. Or you can start adding factors to factors… :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:

If you ask me, in this dialog the organization of settings could have been better. For instance, the settings for Dimension arrows and Leader arrows appear to belong to a new ‘chapter’ but the sizes are still for the layout space. This properties page is completely new in the latest WIP so we’ll take that there…

In the picture below, the green dimensions are placed in model space and blue dimensions in layout space using the same dimension style.

So, back to you, Niels.
What do you want to change? The size of dimensions in paper space or in model space? Or both?