Scale Objects with a Reference

Let’s say that you download an AutoCAD block like the table as seen below. When you open the block, you notice that it is not scaled correctly. Let’s also say that you want to scale it to a certain length.

In the example below, I have a block of a table. I opened it in the block editor and now I am going to Scale the block so that its length is 6 feet long. I don’t actually need to know the current length of the block. I just need to make a line that is the length that I want the table to be. I made this line at an angle to show you that the reference does not need to be in line with the table.

Here’s the steps:

(Note: this tip works in all workspaces like modelspace and paperspace. I used the block editor in this example instead of exploding the block.)

  • SCALE <enter> (or SC <enter>) to start the SCALE command.
  • Select the objects that you want to scale
  • <enter> when finished selecting
  • Specify a base point
  • R <enter> to use the “Reference” option
  • Pick 2 points on the object that is going to be scaled that you want to be scaled to the desired length.
  • P <enter> to use the “Points” option
  • Pick 2 points that establish the final length. In the example picture, I picked the diagonal line that is six feet long.

After the second point is picked, the table is scaled to the desired length. I then deleted the reference line.

The first 2 points that you pick establish the “before” length (reference) and the last 2 points that you pick scale the first 2 points picked.


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.
This entry was posted in BASICS, Modifying, TIPS. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to Scale Objects with a Reference

  1. thx a really helped! :)

  2. Jordaan Clarke says:

    Thank you for this tutorial, really clearly explained and the diagram at the bottom is great. Saved me hours of fumbling around.

  3. Jhulia of Brazil says:

    very good !! helped a lot and it’s clear!! thanks !!

  4. Joshua says:


  5. Thank you thank you thank you!!!! :D **

  6. vijay says:

    really thanks it is more help to me…

  7. Mohammed sarfuddin says:

    how to set, paper unit should shows 1″ but messuring unit should shows 1′ in a drawing.

  8. Finally, my problem is solved :)

  9. anjan barai says:


  10. Folayemi says:

    thanks, helped a lot!

  11. NeloNath says:

    Thanks! Needed this! :D

  12. shamsu says:

    Thanks Bro…..

  13. Pingback: Importing PDF into AutoCAD DWG the hacky way | Simple solutions

  14. Many many thanks to all who do this type of great job.

  15. oday says:

    i have a big size blocks and it’s make my computer very slow,,how i can make resize for it? ,for example i have block with 5 Mpa how i can make it more small?

  16. Abeer says:

    Thaaaaaaank Yooou <3

  17. Amara K says:

    YAAASSSSS! thanks a bunch. this really helped

  18. Ryan Moore says:

    Great tip Thanks!!!

  19. Marios says:

    Thanx a lot

  20. ZCE says:

    Very good, I know it could be made, but how.
    Thanks again !!!

  21. kaushik aslaliya says:

    thnk you

  22. Elliot says:

    In previous Autocad editions you could scale the whole job by reference. Simply old dimension then clicking on new dimension lengths. This would be great for importing jobs from others that were drawing on weird scales. That is not working for me on 2015?? The scale is going way smaller than desired new reference lengths?? Hard to explain, but is antone else having this problem??

  23. gayatri says:

    thnk u sooo much…. it helped n i learnt it

  24. Ali says:

    Is there any way to run Scale>reference instantly by the use of an alias? (for example: type “sr” in command line and directly determine the reference distance to scale an object)
    Is it possible to make an alias for a combination of commands and there options?

  25. Hamza Mushtaq says:

    hoping you’ll be fine would you please tell me that how can i match the scale of two diffrent drawings , let suppose i have a rectangle of 4’x5′ and another one is of 2’x7′.so now i want to match the scale of these two rectangles as they look in the same size weather both will of 4’x5′ or 2’x7’….

  26. Jules says:

    Thankyou for solving a simple problem that I was about to spend too long trying to solve. The easy to follow instructions, had me back on the job, doing actual work in minutes.
    Thanks again.

  27. Hadeer El-sayed says:

    Great Thanks

  28. Nicks says:

    Thanks a lot…

  29. salim says:

    Great Thanks

  30. zk says:

    life saver! Thank you

  31. Sifiso says:

    Very thorough explanation.
    Thanks a lot

  32. Kara Thomas says:


  33. hansken says:


  34. PTL says:

    Thanks a lot, i tried it and regconized that if you know exactly length of object after scale, you could typed it^^ usefull

  35. christopher jones says:

    fantastic tip saved me a lot of train

  36. allu says:

    thanks a lot……….. it really worked a magic for me….. :) :) :)

  37. preston says:

    Can you please describe two methods one might use to enlarge a pattern that is smaller than desired if CAD is unavailable

  38. vanishree says:

    wooh. This was awasome. I have learnt on how to scale the object and I am very confident on scaling. Thanks a lot for this vide0

  39. Mohammad javeed says:

    Thank you it is really very helpful for me

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s