Time-Saving Tips for Centerlines and Center Marks in AutoCAD


Perhaps you aren’t yet aware of a couple of easy-to-use, time-saving annotation features: Centerlines and Center Marks. Let’s take a look at how these can make a difference right away in your work.

Found in their own panel in the Annotate tab of the Ribbon, they’re about as easy to use as any object in AutoCAD.

Centerlines Center Marks Ribbon AutoCAD

Even the icons are smart, as they show you how each one works. Center Marks use Circles and Centerlines designate the center between two lines.

To add a Center Mark, just issue the command and select a Circle. Centerlines take twice as much effort, as you have to pick one line and then (*gasp*) another.

select center marks centerlines AutoCAD

Pretty simple, huh? That saves a lot of time itself, but here’s the cool part. Both objects are associative. So, if you move the circle, the center mark goes with it. Edit its shape, and the center mark adjusts to the new size. The centerline does the same thing.

Consider this scenario (which I’m sure has never happened). You’ve designed a plate with a couple of dozen 1/4” holes in it. The design criteria changes and all those holes are now 3/8”. Prior to these smart objects, this change is cringeworthy. Now? It’s done in seconds with only a handful of clicks.

Make Them Your Own

All the aspects of their geometry are controlled with system variables that set things like the extension lengths, gap sizes, etc. Also, if you need to, you can disassociate, re-associate, or reset either type.

Centerlines and Center Marks AutoCAD

Editing these objects is easy also. You can select each object to expose their grips, allowing you to alter their length or positioning.

editing centerlines and center marks AutoCAD

Should you need to edit more than what the grips allow, all the defining system variables are available from the Properties Palette.

centerlines centermarks properties palette AutoCAD

How Easy Is That?

As you’ve seen, using Center Marks and Centerlines is an easy way to solve some potentially painful problems. With just a couple of settings and a couple of clicks, you can save major time down the road.

Frank Mayfield

Frank has worked in various design and CAD Management roles with AutoCAD and Autodesk software since 1986 (v2.62). He is currently a Design Technology Consultant in Tulsa, OK. He also serves as Vice President on the AUGI Board of Directors and is a member of numerous Autodesk user panels. As a top-rated mentor for trial users of AutoCAD 2018 and AutoCAD LT 2018, he has provided live, real-time guidance and support for over 2,500 new users in more than 50 countries worldwide. He currently serves on the AUGI Board of Directors and is a member of numerous Autodesk user panels.

Try AutoCAD free for 30 days

Add comment

There are no comments

The AutoCAD Blog is all about helping you get the most out of AutoCAD. It's also the best way for you to connect with the makers of AutoCAD. Subscribe to keep up with AutoCAD