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adjusting 'normal scale' to suit display



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Maybe I don't get it, but whenever I have imported objects or have taken dimensions. The scale always gives me true life sizing. Just for sake of argument, I've built a 8.5 by 11 picture in P.S., set the vectorworks scale to 1:1, and set print area to 8.5 by 11, when imported, whether dxf or image, it has always fit perfect on the 8.5 by 11 print page. Are you sure all the layers are at the same scale?

Hope that helped,


Dual 1.8Ghz G5

3 GB Ram, Mac OS 10.3.9

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Originally posted by cpnick:

My 'Normal Scale' at 1:1 is about 85% of the actual size.

I'd agree with that. My screen displays about 85% of "100%" real size.

Brian, If you have a square 100mm at 1:1 at 100%, and you put a ruler on the screen, what does the square measure?

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Quote "Brian, If you have a square 100mm at 1:1 at 100%, and you put a ruler on the screen, what does the square measure? "

For what it's worth 95 mm x 95 mm for me.

But I've always regard it as relative, rather than the need to "truelife". I never create anything at 1:1 scale. Always worked in scale, and as long as it outputs to paper etc. correctly that's all that's mattered to me.

But I guess if it sayes it should be 1:1 then it should be. Isn't that how Autocad works.

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On my Powerbook (85% real size)the resolution is set at "native". I would have thought that "100%" would display correctly at that setting.

On the Dell I'm sitting at now "native" displays at about 95% . Changing it in either direction makes it worse.

For Architectural work It probably is all moot, but my (non contract) work involves designing objects that are often drawn at 1:1. It would be handy (for instance)to be able to see how the various line weights are looking before doing a test print.

As it's never worked I've just never really worried about it.


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Just to jump into this topic, My 19in CRT and 15in LCD both give differernt 'Real world sizes' as I drag the window from one to the other. Change the screen resolution for either and i can get very small to giant size rectangles from the same window. I think the last time that 100% was a real world setting was for a 13in CRT set to 600 by 480 or may be it was 800 by 600. But it really is best to think of all drawings as a scale drawing and 1:1 means that one inch on the printed drawing will be equal to one inch on your tape measure.

As for real line thickness on your screen- it aint't going happen. The screen display is made up of little squares or pixels and each one can be set to a color. But to draw a line the screen will make it one pixel, or two pixels, or three pixels ...... This is what we see on the computer screen. The lines can have no finer resolution than the screens pixel size.

What I have my CADD class students do is make a VW file with the layer at 1:1. draw twenty or so lines, and using the 'set thickness' choice from the attributes pallet, give each line a thickness that is a series of the possible choices.

EX- using the mm setting for the line thickness give the lines a setting of 0.03, 0.06, 0.12, 0.15, 0.18, 0.21 .....after getting to 0.30 change to a larger jump. 0.40, 0.50, 0.60, 0.70.... after all the lines are set to the line weights, copy them and paste farther down the page, now rotate that set of lines. SAVE this print sample.

When viewed on screen the lines will not show a change in thickness until it is large enough to go to the next pixel and the lines set at an angle will have a jagged stair step look to them.

Print the page at a resoultion of 300 dpi from your printer and they look great.

I have the students go one step further and use the text block to write the setting for eack line under that line. They have to get them lined up with the correct line using the align tools. Now they have a visual grib sheet of what different line weights look like on screen and what they will print as.

From this sample page they choose what line weights they want to set the five choices in the attributes pallet to for the type of drawing look they perfer.

I hope this helps


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Obtaining 100% real world scale on a CRT/LCD would be VERY difficult, as a fixed area on the screen is dependant on

a) Screen resolution.

b) Pixel Per inch (PPI) density. (72, 96, 110 etc)

c) Pixel Aspect Ratio.

d) physical screen size (One 20inch is not always the same as another 20inch...believe it or not.

For the program to display a fixed scale you would need the user to measure a line on the screen and then have the program scale all display information relative to that measurement.

In short, it's just not worth the time and effort! Accept that it is VERY CLOSE!

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Accept that it is VERY CLOSE!

The problem is that it really isn't very close. There needs to be a way of manually setting screen scale. Then you could increase/decrease in whatever increment necessary to suit what you're doing.

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Try this for a work around.

pick an area in the center of one of your drawings in 1:1 scale.

Zone in or out on it until the ruler at the top of the page matches +- your drafting ruler.

Save the view under 'saved views', name it "normal sacle" and select only restore view.... deselect all other options.....

no matter what layer, sheet, or other you are on, when you click this saved view on the navigation palatte, it will show on your screen as actual size (as it would print on the drawing paper)..... you will need to use the pan tool to find the area you are interested in looking at because 'restore view' takes you to the same spot on the page each time.... so select the middle of the page to work with when you 'save the view'.

this will not show actual line weights because of the screen pixels, but the drawing should be correct.

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