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2D details library with text

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HI all, I am looking for some advice, I have been tasked with creating a details library of our most commonly used standard details. These are 2D and ideally would like them to contain text. I have read lots of posts on the subject and one common theme is that people say ' draw in the scale that you expect to use them in a viewport' Dependant on the scheme we are working on this scale may change and paper size and layout flexible so this isn't an option for us. 


I thought I had cracked it yesterday when I found I could custom scale my markers in the VP. So whatever callouts I use in the design layer (viewing at at any scale) would come out at the correct size. Wahooo, but short lived 


As always it would be nice to have text come out consistently the same size. So I would like my 'standard detail text' to be the same as project specific ones that I annotate on the sheet layer without having to anticipate.  


The plan was to create symbols from all of the details. 


Anyway around this? I do not want to draw all of our details on design layers with different scales. 


Cheers in advance. 🙂 

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You should investigate the concept of Page-Based Symbols.


If you need a piece of text or any other resource to be constantly the same size, regardless of the layer scale that it is being drawn in, then Page-based Symbols are the way to go. That means that a piece of 12pt text will always display at 12pts, regardless of where you put it in your drawing. Hatches, Fills and Linetypes are also examples of resources that can be made to not scale in this way. Markers and dimensions are also page-based resources and will always be a consistent size regardless of the layer scale you are drawing in.


Page based symbols are indicated by Green labels in the resource manager. They can be made by clicking the Page-based radio button in the Create Symbol Dialogue box when you make it, or can be converted to page based symbols by Right-clicking on the item in the resource manager, clicking Symbol Options and defining it there.


Come back with any questions!

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Thanks Mark, I had looked at symbols but didn't know that the page based retained text size.


My problem is if I wanted to go and plonk that symbol into a design layer (perhaps it wasn't exactly what I wanted and it needed tweaking)

I made it in 1:20 (to get everything looking correct) Text size vs size of details and dims etc.  

 I drop it into a details layer (viewing at 1:1) along with all my other dimensions I have made for the project, then I am no longer in the correct dimensions and its all out of whack. 


really what I need is for Vectorworks and Autocad to have a baby. 😕

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There is alot of material about design layer scale on this forum and it is a common "misunderstanding" that AutoCad users have about what they actually mean.


Here is what I wrote a couple of weeks ago!



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Here's the problem I see with page based symbols.  The attached screenshot shows two details.  1 world based, 1 paged based.  The page based symbol was placed back into a design layer at the same scale that it was drawn.  As you can see, the  leader lines of the callouts go crazy.  They also don't appear to place on the sheets correctly. 


The world based symbols behave better.  But you need to know what scale was used to produce them.  They will also need to be viewported onto a sheet.



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Using page based symbols for construction details is a bit problematic as the detail would typically have real world objects in them which, when inserted would scale up or down to suit the VP/DL scale you are working in. You would then have to re-scale the page based symbol back to a real world dimension.

This has got m thinking though and a possible workaround using page based symbols could be:

  • Create the detail at 1:1 scale i.e. on a 1:1 design layer with all the text objects, (including callouts, dimensions etc) the font size you want on your final drawings. My standard font size is 14pt so I would make all my text objects 14pt. (The text may look out of scale in the symbol but stick with me here...)
  • Create the symbol as a page based symbol with 'convert to group' selected.
  • After inserting the symbol go modify>scale objects> and scale to the required real world size. Be sure to have the 'scale text' option unchecked. If it is inserted into a 1:5 design layer then it will need to be scaled down to 1/5th the size as per example screen shots below.
  • The detail should now be at the correct real world size and your text at your standard font size.

    Note that text width may need adjusting and also real world plug-in objects, like the wide flange steel column in the example below, would still insert at it's actual size despite being in a page based symbol.


I'd be interested in any thoughts on this option as I'm just about to start looking at creating detail symbols for our office library.


Example screen shots:




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