Request for Conventional Architectural Dimensioning when using Imperial Measurement Units

Hopefully, the next iteration of SU will provide the ability to include the typical dash between feet and inches, thus: 10’ - 6 1/2". It would also be nice to have fractional values superscripted as well.

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A minor point: since there is no longer a British Empire, and since SU is an American product, and since you are yourself an American, the system of measure you’re talking about is called U.S. Customary Units, not Imperial units.

Hooray for the USA.


Point taken, however many professional reference texts continue to allude to this as the “Imperial” system.

Before leaving the subject forever, here are a couple more system of units factoids:

  • The United States has officially been on the metric system standard since it was so decreed by an act of Congress in 1866.

  • The United States never actually adopted or implemented the Imperial System of Units at all. U.S. Customary Units and the Imperial system are collateral derivatives of the previous English System of Units. The Imperial system was developed and adopted by Britain in 1824, long after the US had adopted its current system. The two systems, while similar, are far from identical.

  • In the 1970s, the US Department of Defense originally specified that the Peacekeeper MIRV Missile system (formerly known as MX or Missile X) be designed using SI metric units. However, US contractors balked, and the DoD withdrew the requirement.




As before, you have generously shared a modicum of your compendium of obscure minutiae. I continue to be enlightened (and entertained) by your musings.

This is an OLD argument. (Like decades!). The sensible answer in 1985 was don’t fight the software. Modify your standards to agree. Draughting ( yeah it is spelled correctly) Is an ever changing discipline. Remember all the extra ■■■■ included a hundred years ago?

The problem with modifying the standards to suit the software is that often the software developers just don’t happen to be familiar with the standards and haven’t done their homework. You just can’t change the standards to match the idiosyncratic, made-up behavior of every software program, which may reflect the diverse and arbitrary creative impulses of dozens of programmers, or there would simply be no consistency in an area where consistency and adherence to standards makes it possible to interpret requirements consistently. The reason there are standards is to guide the development of new software and ensure their interoperability.

“Draughting” was the correct spelling in the 16th Century. It is now considered archaic.



I’ve been. using SU for a long time, but decades? It may be a stretch to find a version of SketchUp that goes back 20 years.

Certainly, requiring that generally accepted standards be changed to conform to the software would be considered inappropriate by most professionals.