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

By Miriam Schrier | CAD

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.



About the Author

Miriam has been working in the Sales and Marketing department since 2014. When not at work, she loves to spend her time experimenting around the kitchen. Fan of music, movies, food… and everything in between!