Specifying Units and Zone Settings


Using the Units and Zone tab of the Drawing Settings dialog box, you can select linear and angular units, a coordinate system, and scale for the drawing.

Coordinate Systems

Coordinates in AutoCAD Civil 3D are expressed using northings and eastings.

The AutoCAD Civil 3D coordinate system is always relative to the AutoCAD World Coordinate System (WCS). Northing is equivalent to AutoCAD Y and Easting is equivalent to AutoCAD X.

AutoCAD Civil 3D object data is always presented in AutoCAD World Coordinate System coordinates. For example, the alignment data in the Alignment Entities vista in the Panorama window is listed in world coordinates. In addition, the AutoCAD Civil 3D transparent commands are based on the AutoCAD World Coordinate System. However, when you create an object and have an AutoCAD User Coordinate System (UCS) defined, the UCS is honored when you specify locations, which means that an insertion point or a coordinate is interpreted relative to the UCS.

NoteIf you share a survey database that references a user-defined coordinate system, you must make the user-defined coordinate system available to all users of the survey database.

AutoCAD Civil 3D objects are not aligned with the UCS. For example, labels can be oriented relative either to the current view, the World Coordinate System, or the labeled object, depending on the Orientation Reference setting, but they cannot be oriented to the UCS.

Similarly, objects, such as profiles, sections, and tables, cannot be oriented to the current UCS.

For more information about AutoCAD World Coordinate Systems and AutoCAD User Coordinate Systems, see the AutoCAD Help.

To specify Units and Zone settings

  1. In Toolspace, on the Settings tab, right-click the drawing name at the top of the collection, and click Edit Drawing Settings.
  2. In the Drawing Settings dialog box, click the Units and Zone tab.
  3. Under Drawing Units, select either Feet or Meters.
  4. Under Angular Units, select an angle format.
  5. Specify one of the following for the Imperial to Metric Conversion.
    • International Foot (1 foot = 0.3048 Meters)
    • US Survey Foot (39.37 Inches per Meter)
  6. Select the Scale Objects Inserted From Other Drawings check box to scale objects inserted from another drawing to match drawing units in the current drawing.
  7. Select the Set AutoCAD Variables To Match check box to synchronize AutoCAD settings with AutoCAD Civil 3D settings. If there are no equivalent AutoCAD settings, a message is displayed asking if you want to match as closely as possible. The AutoCAD settings that are synchronized to theAutoCAD Civil 3D settings include the AUNITS, DIMAUNIT, INSUNITS, and MEASUREMENT AutoCAD system variables (sysvars).
  8. Under Scale, select the intended plot scale in imperial or metric units.
  9. Under Custom Scale select the plotted size of various annotation-related components, such as label text, ticks, and band heights. If you change the scale, all annotation objects adjust accordingly.
  10. Under Zone, select a category from the Categories list.

    Categories include Lat/Longs, US states, and so on. When you select a category, the Available Coordinate Systems list displays all the defined zones in that category.


    If you know the coordinate system (CS) code for a zone, you can enter it in the CS Code text box and click OK to select the zone.

  11. Click OK.

Toolspace Context Menu

Settings tab: right-click the drawing name Edit Drawing Settings

Command Line


Dialog Box