By Tom Ayers on June 21, 2023

Many of us know how to change units in SOLIDWORKS from the status bar in the bottom right. However, SOLIDWORKS allows users to define different unit settings and use alternate units such as fractions and dual dimensions. In this blog, we will explore how to define different SOLIDWORKS units and how to use alternate units.

Defining Different Unit Settings:

SOLIDWORKS allows users to define different unit settings depending on the type of project they are working on. To define unit settings, follow these steps:

  1. Open a new part, assembly or drawing document.
  2. Click on the “Options” button in the toolbar.
  3. In the “Document Properties” tab, select “Units.”
  4. Choose the desired unit system from the drop-down list. SOLIDWORKS offers several unit systems such as metric, inch, millimeter, centimeter, etc.
  5. Once the desired unit system is selected, choose the unit format from the drop-down list. For example, if you select the inch unit system, you can choose the decimal or fraction unit format.
  6. Click “OK” to save the changes.


NOTE: Dimensions that do not convert to, or reduce from, that denominator will be shown as decimals by default. If you want all dimensions to round to the nearest fraction, the option in the More column can be adjusted.

Using Alternate Units:

SOLIDWORKS also allows users to use alternate units such as fractions and dual dimensions. Here’s how to use them:

  1. In the “Document Properties” tab, select “Units.”
  2. Select the desired unit system and unit format.
  3. In the “Fractional” section, select the desired fraction display. SOLIDWORKS offers several options such as 1/16, 1/32, 1/64, etc.
  4. In the “Dual Dimensioning” section, select the “Display alternate units” checkbox.
  5. Choose the desired alternate unit system and unit format from the drop-down lists.
  6. Click “OK” to save the changes.

SOLIDWORKS Document Properties

Now, when creating technical drawings, SOLIDWORKS will automatically display the alternate units in addition to the primary units. For example, if you set the primary unit to inches and the alternate unit to millimeters, SOLIDWORKS will display both units on the drawing.

In conclusion, defining different unit settings and using alternate SOLIDWORKS units is a simple process that can greatly improve the accuracy and readability of technical drawings. By following the steps outlined above, users can ensure that their drawings are consistent and easy to understand.

Related Products

Browse the TriMech web store for SOLIDWORKS software to design, analyze and manufacture your products on your desktop.

Tom Ayers

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