Drawing Setup

These tutorials teach you how to use Design Master Photometrics. Drawing files that are configured properly are included with the tutorial. For other projects, it is assumed that you have a standard procedure for setting up your drawings.

You can continue to set up your drawings the same way as you do now when using Design Master Photometrics. The software should work with your current workflow.

There are a few settings you should be aware of that might require changes.

All Drawings in the Same Folder

A project is defined as all of the drawing files in a single folder. You need to have all of your drawings for the project together in a single folder in Windows. All of the drawings in a folder share a common database.

This setup makes it very easy to associate drawings with a project. If the drawings are in a folder together, they are part of the project. If they are not in the folder, they are not part of the project.

Creating copies of drawings within a folder is not recommended. Copies will be treated as separate drawings that are part of the project. See Project Drawing and Database Management for more information about how to copy project files.


The CAD system variable DIMSCALE is used to scale text and some blocks on your drawing. It needs to be set correctly for items to come in the right size.

Visit the How to Set DIMSCALE article in the knowledge base for instructions on what value to use for DIMSCALE.


The CAD system variable LTSCALE controls how linetypes are displayed in your CAD program. It also needs to be set correctly. Typically, LTSCALE is set equal to DIMSCALE.

Annotative Scaling

Design Master Photometrics does not support annotative scaling. Each drawing will have a single scale associated with it. You need to use multiple drawings to support multiple scale factors.

Best Practice: XREF the Architect's Background

If you do not have a system for configuring your drawings, there is one best practice we recommend you use: do not work directly in the drawing file sent to you by the architect. Instead, use the standard CAD XREF command to insert it into another drawing and work there.

When you receive an updated plan from the architect, you can overwrite the architect's drawing without losing all of the work you have done.

This best practice applies whether or not you are using Design Master Photometrics.

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