I have a couple of quick tips on dimensioning tools and features that you may or may not know about. First is the “Dimension to Core” function in the dimension settings dialog box. If this is checked before (or after) placing a dimension that has been associated with a wall it will assign the dimension to link to the core elements of the wall only.
The next tip is automatically dimensioning the exterior of of your building envelope. Even with a complex building profile you can simultaneously dimension all exterior faces of your plan in one operation. First, set your dimension style to what you want to see in plan view, this can be done simply by selecting the “Face of Framing” dimension from the favorites. Next, select your exterior walls (see the post on Find and Select for the most efficient way to do this). Then open the Automatic Dimensioning dialog (Document > Document Extras > Exterior Dimensioning), set the dimension settings in the dialog to reflect the elements and geometries you are trying to dimension. The image below shows the settings that work well; note that “Dimension Structures” and “Dimension External Geometry” should not both be checked.
After clicking “OK” in the Automatic Dimensioning dialog box you simply have to give your dimension a reference line with a two click operation and an offset distance to place with a third click.
The Result is a fully dimensioned floor plan that needs little or no clean up. One thing to note is the “Dimension only the Core” in the dimension selection settings NEEDS to be selected before using the automatic dimensioning. Unlike an individually placed dimension, this is no longer an option for automatically placed dimensions after they have been placed.
Before I finish I will comment on the interior automatic dimensions; I don’t recommend this tool. I have never yielded satisfactory results without spending more time than if I just manually dimensioned the interior spaces. If anyone has experienced otherwise please share your process and maybe I’ll amend that statement and follow up with a recommendation on how to properly use the automatic interior dimension feature.