By Dennis Collin
On a previous blog I mentioned how users can quickly obtain area values of spaces from hatch objects via the properties dialogue rather than the standard area command. This previous post can be found here - Measuring Areas in AutoCAD - Part 1
However, a problem is that the area units are not always the units desired, for example, in construction and buildings areas are usually required in square metres as opposed to millimetres.
Whilst users can manually calculate the desired area of use an external application, there is a built in AutoCAD calculator which has a units convertor. This calculator can be accessed from the properties dialogue as illustrated in the image below.
Fig 1. Accessing Quickcalc from the Properties palette
When a property contains a numerical value and is selected, a little calculator icon appears and can be used to open the Quickcalc function. I usually minimise the number pad and scientific functions to reduce screen clutter. The unit conversion options can be selected via a dropdown menu and after selecting Area type will convert from square millimetres to square metres as desired. If necessary, the calculated value can be copied directly to a text object.
Fig. 2 Changing the target units within the AutoCAD Quickcalc function
If other area units are required, then Quickcalc will convert square millimetres to square feet instead. If the drawing gets modified, then the new area will have to be manually updated. However, AutoCAD does support the linking of such data with fields where it will update automatically, which I will cover in a future blog.