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How to change AutoCAD drawing units from imperial to metric (and vice versa)

Trying to change the drawing units in your AutoCAD drawing from Imperial (feet/inches) to Metric (millimeters/centimeters), or vice versa? There are two methods as to how this can be done. Follow any one of them and you will get the job done in two shakes of a lamb’s tail.

Using the INSERT command:

  • Create a blank drawing using a template that is in the target units.
  • At the command line, enter “INSERT”.
  • In the Insert dialog box, browse to the original DWG file.
  • Check the box to Explode.
  • Click OK and specify an insertion point.

AutoCAD 2019 Insert Command Dialog

Using the SCALE command:

  • At the command line enter “SCALE”.
  • At the Select Objects prompt, enter “All“, then hit Enter.
  • Enter “0,0” for the base point.
  • When prompted for scale factor, enter the appropriate scale factor for the units to be converted, based on the following:

Scale Factors:

Inches to Millimeters = 25.4
Millimeters to Inches = 0.0393701

Inches to Centimeters = 2.54
Centimeters to Inches = 0.393701

Feet to Millimeters = 304.8
Millimeters to Feet = 0.00328084

Feet to Centimeters = 30.48
Centimeters to Feet = 0.0328084

Note: For the SCALE command method, adjust the dimension text and arrowhead height in the dimension style as needed.


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