Rotating your UCS

Thanks to LIZ for this tip. Hope it helps…

If you’ve had a drawing that isn’t completely based around 90 degree angles, this tip will halp you from tilting your head and straining you neck…

The drawing shown above has about 1/3 of the plan in an angle other than the 90 degree angle that makes drafting easier. This drawing was done before I knew how to rotate the UCS and match the view of the screen. So this drawing may look nice but is not correct. This could have been avoided if would have done what this tutorial is going to teach… So lesson learned…

Why is this helpful?
When you have the UCS rotated and the view to match, you are able to turn on ortho and draw correct lines that match the needed angle without having to set various polar angles and having to process over think perpendicular walls to that angle.

  • How do you do this?
    First set the UCS (User Coordinate System)
    UCS <enter>
  • 1st click specifies the new axis location for the UCS
  • 2nd click specifies the new angle of the X axis (as seen below)

The 3rd click specifies which side of the new X axis will the Y axis be facing. The cursor (cross-hairs) should now be aligned with the new specified angle (as seen below)

  • You can work this way and Ortho will draw lines accurately lined up with this new angle, but you may start to tilt your neck or got sick of the way it looks. To rotate the view to match the new UCS angle:
  • PLAN <enter>

in the command line you will see options and one should say <Current> just hit <enter> to accept this option and your plan-view will now rotate to match the “current” UCS.

To switch back to your normal UCS and rotate you view to match:

UCS <enter>

P <enter> (for previous)

PLAN <enter>

<enter> to accept <Current>


About AutoCAD Tips

This blog serves as a knowledge base for myself (and anyone else) so that I can reference tips & tricks that I have learned and also refer others to it as well. I hope that this blog helps you learn at least one tip to make your drafting/design experience better.
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44 Responses to Rotating your UCS

  1. unmesh says:

    thanks a ton for this!!!!

  2. cam says:

    or you could use the UCSFOLLOW command, set to be on by setting it to “1”. That way when you set a new UCS the view will automatically change to match the chosen UCS. I like to use the OBject setting most – it’s the most instantly gratifying.

    • Correct, definitely the best option (UCSFOLLOW=1). I have keyboard macros assigned (cheating with Autohook I’m afraid) and CTRL+0 rotates my UCS to any object I select, along with the view, so I never crane my neck. If the view is rotated wrong? Simples! CTRL+9 rotates it all clockwise in 90deg increments…

      Another command that may be of interest with rotated views is the TORIENT (found somewhere in your Express Tools). It allows you to orient text (batches of it) to align with your chose View.

  3. Autocad Newbie says:

    I know this may sound noobish but is there a way to change where to views are facing while on 3d? I’m trying to edit the front face of a cube but it leads me to a left view setting and vice versa.. It is interchanged… Can you help me set it back to standard or correct view?
    Thanks much.
    -Autocad Newbie

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      You can reset the UCS and your view by entering in the command line: UCS PLAN

      What this does is reset the UCS to the “World” location and then the PLAN command will make your view be perpendicular to the newly adjusted UCS.

      Hope this helps

  4. laud8 says:

    Dear Greg,

    I have a question and hope you can help me :)
    I am using 2013 LT. I change UCS in Layout but when i come back to Model i see that the UCS of the model changes too. Beforeusing 2013 LT version, i was using 2012 Full and never faced this problem before in 2012. Do you know how can i fix it?

    Thanks for your enlightments :)

  5. jay tamakuwala says:

    thnks a lot was in search for this for long time

  6. Maria says:

    This plan-view-ucs match is exactly what I was looking for, thank you!

  7. WilFel says:

    SO SO SO SO SO SO GREAT! and well explained. i almost gave up searching, was really getting desperate….! THANK YOU!

  8. waqas says:

    how to rotate only north west east south wheel
    and i am trying this the top view doesnt change what can i do plz help

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      After you set the UCS use in the command line:

      This will align your view to the newly adjusted UCS.

      When you are done with that view and want to return to the “World” UCS, use:

  9. samiullah says:

    sir i need to produce coordinates with leader.
    please show me how…

  10. Laura says:

    Helpful tutorial, thanks!

    I’m working in 2015 LT, and when I change the UCS cursor angle, the lines I try to draw aren’t showing up. (It’s not a layer issue…) Any clue on what’s going on?

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      I haven’t used LT for about 5 years now – after you change the UCS, Use PLAN [enter][enter] to align the new UCS with your screen. I am wondering if that may help. Also, since you are adjusting the UCS, I wonder if you are even able to adjust the Z value of the UCS with AutoCAD LT. If so, maybe this is why you aren’t able to see the lines.
      I’m sorry I dont have more to suggest or to try without having LT to to try for myself.
      I dont know if LT has the AUDIT command, if so maybe there is an error in your drawing.

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      one more idea. if you are drawing lines from an existing drawing, is the drawing a 3D drawing?
      if so, it could be that you are snapping to a 3D element and since lines can vary in 3D (different z values) from one end point to the next, maybe you are making a 3D line and LT is not letting you see this element.

  11. Durai Pandian.A.K. says:

    Thank you so much
    It works

  12. Roberta says:

    Hello, this worked for me perfectly before. But now when I do it, text and dimensions, look like if they have been mirrored. Any suggestion?

  13. Luis Pastrana says:

    Hi Greg,
    Would you please help me with the following?
    I just opened a base cad file in 2013 version. I noticed that the model view has been rotated.
    How can I un rotate the model view to its original model view. I mean showing the truth north?
    Thanks in advanced for your help.
    Luis Pastrana

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      If the VIEW has been been rotated, you get back to the un-rotated home view by entering
      UCS [enter] [enter]
      PLAN [enter] [enter]

      If the objects have been rotated, you might be out of luck if you don’t know what the original rotation angle was. If this is the case, look for an object (or objects) that have the rotation angle and use this link that describes how to rotate objects and use other objects as a reference:


    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      One more thing to check since this is a reference…
      We recently had a drawing and one of the references was off and not aligned correctly. It was because that reference’s BASE had been moved. If you open the problem drawing and enter BASE in the command line, make sure that it is set to 0,0,0

  14. Luis Pastrana says:

    Thank you for your quick response and tips.

  15. prijo says:

    thanks a lot

  16. Rita says:

    Hi I rotate my drawing but the layout of my dimensions changed how can I avoid this problem?

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      Make sure that the variable DIMASSOC is set to 2. Here is a description: “2 Creates associative dimension objects. The elements of the dimension are formed into a single object, and one or more definition points of the dimension are coupled with association points on geometric objects. If the association point on the geometric object moves, the dimension location, orientation, and value are updated.”

      Afterwards, you may need to use the DIMREASSICIATE command to reapply where the dimensions and point to…

  17. gsquared-2e says:

    How do you get a product made in cad to rotate the same way on a page in wordpress?

  18. Matthew Wingrove says:

    Hello – This may be slightly Complex and hopefully there is a command that will help me:

    I am generating Strip Plans Sheets for a Road management Company. A strip plan is a Paper Space Layout (in this case an A0 sheet), which follows the road along (changing Plan UCS as it goes per viewport so that it tracks along the drawing of the windy road) from a chosen start point to a chosen end point (lets say from Roundabout 1 to Roundabout 2 5km away). The road is not straightened or indicative but true Topographical mapping.
    Now each Paperspace page has 3 equal sized viewport windows (similar in Layout to the Email (required), Name (required) and Website in your comments boxes below) each showing a stretch of Road at 1:500 scale, which follow the orientation of the road i.e. Sheet 1 would have a viewport 1 which starts at Roundabout 1 and goes South at a 1:500 scale, for around 500m (0m to 500m) orientated by UCS so that the Centre of Roundabout 1 is halfway up the viewport on the left hand side and position +500m is halfway up the viewport on the right hand side (showing the first 500m in a the top 500m Strip), Viewport 2 would have a slight Overlap (This is important so the works being undertaken on the road are a little bit clearer to the chaps on the ground), but will show +500m to +1000m in length (this is more often than not at a Different UCS Plan than the first Viewport so the +500m to +1000m centre of the roads are halfway up the 2nd Viewport on the left (+500m and the right +1000m). Viewport 3 follows the same information (+1000m to +1500m) and I then continue on multiple Paperspace sheets until we reach Roundabout 2.

    That sets the scene . . . All viewports are on a different UCS showing a 500m of road from left to right, in different sections, sometimes overlapping when It comes to Junctions etc.

    The data we produce (text and symbols) can easily be placed in model space, even automated from a Survey software we use. The text obviously comes out in UCS World. Now if I then go onto the first Paperspace sheet and view the Text data I have collected through the viewports they are all on a different slant (because of how different the UCS is between the 3 Viewports on this sheet as we go down the road). It is not as simple as double click on the viewport to get to modelspace, select all text items I want to cut into Paperspace to text up in Paperspace on top of the Viewport window as rotation will be off as we are going from one UCS to another, so I would have to move all items around individually and scale up by 2.

    What I want: Is there a command / routine to have it so Orientation of Text / Blocks viewed through a viewport at a different UCS is automatically orientated based upon the UCS angle of 0 of the working viewport and not the UCS World angle of 0 in the modelspace? This would mean three different Viewports all show the text/blocks in model space (rotating on their Justification) to the UCS of their respective Viewports.

    Cheers for your assistance (first time commenter)


  19. Jang-Chul-Hun says:


  20. prasad says:


  21. Beatriz Dourado says:

    Thanks!!!!! That’s exactly what I was looking for!

  22. David S says:

    In some drawings when I type UCS and hit enter, I can then enter the new X,Y coordinates for my desired UCS. In some drawings when I type UCS and hit enter, the input becomes a distance and an angle. Why? I want to find the setting so that I can set it to entering X and Y coordinates. Thank you in advance.

  23. shannon says:

    thank you so much :) big help !

  24. hussain says:

    u have any regarding electrical lisp.if you have pls tell me. i am expecting cable tray, lighting fixture etc..

  25. Durairaj says:

    Very good information.
    Thank you so much

  26. raj says:

    how to make dimension direction with ucs in 3d

  27. sohan says:

    after use this command… all diminsion are mirror.
    give solution/

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  29. Himel Ahamed says:

    this post is very useful me and thanks all who given details about this post.

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