Rack Unit Dimension Line
Many many years ago, when I worked at Visio Corporation, one of my projects was to create the dimension line shapes that you can still find to this day under File > Shapes > Visio Extras > Dimensioning – Architectural or Engineering.
After all the sweat and tears that went in to creating them, I came to affectionately call them: My Babies. In fact, I still claim them as dependants every April 15th, and will soon be searching for a suitable university for them to attend.
So when a forum question appears regarding Visio’s dimension lines, I’m naturally all ears. Recently, someone made an inquiry in the Visio general newsgroup about a dimension line that could display Rack Units…
While it wouldn’t be super-hard to create a simple version of such a dimension line shape (you just need to insert the field-formula = Width/1.75in), it would be nice to retain many of the nice features the pure, elegant, unparalleled genius of those original Visio dimension line shapes.
The Rack Unit Dimension Line shape has several custom properties that will help you to finely-tune the look of your drawings. You can quickly get to them by right-clicking a dimension line shape.
These attributes can be also be seen in an “always on” fashion by showing the View > Custom Properties anchor window. The properties appear as follows:
The properties allow you to:
- Choose the precision of the units from zero to four decimal places, (ie: 0, 0.0, 0.00, 0.000, 0.0000)
- Show or hide the units (e.g.: 8 R.U. or just 8)
- Show and hide individual extension lines, which is helpful when the dimension line is between objects and the extension lines are superfluous
- Specify the actual value of a rack unit. Normally, this is 1.75 inches, but you could use this dimension line for applications other than rack units, in which case you can define your unit
- Name your rack unit. The default for the shape is units, but you could specify R.U. or RU or r.u. as you like
A close-up of the Rack Unit Dimension Line shape and it’s features is shown below:
I hope this shape all helps you to improve your network documentation, and have a bit more fun creating those Visio drawings!