LibreCAD v2.2.0 - User Manual

This is an interim release of the of the LibreCAD User Manual and is subject to change.

The manual is based on LibreCAD v2.2.0-rc1 with a few additions. If you are using another version of LibreCAD, your mileage may vary.

Drawing Preferences

Drawing preferences have two purposes, they allow users to :
  1. override the application defaults on a drawing by drawing basis.
  2. define specifics for the drawing’s output, format and other drawing specific configuration.

The preferences can be configured by selecting Options -> Current Drawing Preferences. There are five tabs for managing the drawing preferences: Paper, Units, Grid, Dimensions and Splines.


LibreCAD Drawing Preferences - Paper

The Paper tab is used to define the size, orientation and margins of the page used when generating output. The output can be as a physical printed page or an electronic form such as a PDF. Layout of the page with specified settings may be checked in Preview section. The paper format is also used when previewing a drawing (File -> Print Preview).

To be able to generate output, users must select a paper size and orientation. Paper sizes include ISO, ANSI and other sizes. Sizes of the select page are shown in the current unit of measurement. Custom sizes can also be select by choosing Custom from the drop-down box and specifying the paper width and height.

Orientation can be selected for any page size and is either Landscape (long edge horizontal) or Portrait (long edge vertical).

Margins determine the printable area of a page. Specified fields at the edges of the page are marked with gray color and always stay empty on the output.

If tiled printing is used to output the drawing, use Number of pages section to set a horizontal and a vertical number of pages. For more details about the tiled printing refer to the Printing Guide.



LibreCAD Drawing Preferences - Units

The Units tab allows users to set the Main drawing unit to the preferred unit of measure and the format of linear and angular dimensions. The “Main Unit” setting overrides the default set during LibreCAD’s initial application configuration. The same units of measures are as noted in the appendix are available for the drawing’s preferences.



These preferences format the display of linear and angular units on the status bar. They do not affect the appearance of dimensions in the drawing. See Dimensions below for configuring dimensions’ format.


Length Format

Format Example Maximum Precision Description
Scientific 1.44311E+1 0.00000000E+1 Significant x 10 n
Decimal 14.43112 0.00000000 Integer part separated from the fractional part of a number by a decimal
Engineering 1’-2.43112’’ 0’-0.00000000’’ Feet and decimal inches
Architectural 1’-2 7/16’’ 0’-0 1/128’’ Feet and fractional inches
Fractional 14 7/16’’ 1/128’’ Fractional inches
Architectural (metric) 14.43112 5 0.00000000 Decimal metric units (mm, cm, etc…)

Angle Format

Format Example Maximum Precision Description
Decimal Degrees 30.5 ° 0.00000000 Integer part separated from the fractional part of a number by a decimal
Deg/Min/Sec 30 ° 32’ 0’’ 0 ° 00’ 00.0000’’ Degrees [ ° ] / Minutes ( ‘, 1/60 of a degree) / Seconds ( ‘’, 1/60 of a minute)
Gradians 33.9g 0.00000000g 1/100 of a right angle
Radians 0.5r 0.00000000r SI unit of measure where the arc of a circle is measured by the length of the radius
Surveyor’s units N30d32’E N0d00’00.0000’’E Cardinal directions measure in deg/min/sec from North and East


LibreCAD Drawing Preferences - Grid

The grid provides an evenly spaced guides to assist with placing entities. When used with snaps place can be precise. The Grid tab has the following options:

  • Show Grid: Toggles the grid markers between visible or not visible. The grid can also be toggled with [Ctrl]-g or by using the grid button of the view toolbar. This setting does not affect the use of “Snap to Grid”.
  • Grid X and Y Spacing: Sets the minimum frequency of the grid markers. Values can be selected from the drop-down box. Other values can be typed directly into the text box. Auto sets the frequency of markers to a spacing suitable to the current zoom level.
  • Orthogonal or Isometric Grid: Selects the grid to use. Orthogonal place the grid at right angles to the X and Y axis. Isometric places the grid at 120 ° intervals for guiding isometric drawings.
  • Cross-hair: Toggles the orientation of the cross-hairs (right, left, or top) when used with Isometric Snap indicator lines (see Application Preferences).


LibreCAD Drawing Preferences - Dimensions

The dimension preferences affect how dimensions appear on the drawings. Settings include:

  • General scale:
  • Text & position:
  • Extension lines:
  • Dimension lines, arrows & ticks:
  • Format units: setting for linear and angular dimensions. These settings are independent of the preference defined in the Drawing Prefences.
Setting Description
General Scale Adjusts the sizes of the text and arrows by the factor provided.
Text size & position
Length factor Adjusts the dimension value by the factor provided. The entity remains the length as drawn.
Text Style Sets the font used for dimension text.
Text Height Sets the text height, measured in the units defined on the Units tab.
Text alignment Aligns the text parallel and offset to the dimension line or horizontal centered on the dimension line.
Dimension line gap Sets the space between the dimension line and the dimension text.
Color Set the color of the dimension lines and text.
Extension lines
Offset Gap between entity and dimension extension line.
Enlarge Length of extension line beyond dimension line.
Fixed length Fixed length of extension line measured from the dimension line towards the dimensioned entity.
Color Extension line color, independent of layer settings.
Width Extension line width, independent of layer settings.
Dimension lines, arrows and ticks
Arrow size Length of dimension (and leader) arrow.
Tick size Length of dimension tick to from end of dimension line in each direction, e.g. a length of 1 will result in a total length of 2 units. (Anything greater than ‘’0’’ will result in a tick instead of a dimension arrow).
Color Tick line color, independent of layer settings.
Width Tick line width, independent of layer settings.
Format units
Linear units (See Length Format under Units above.)
Linear precision (See Length Format under Units above.)
Linear zeros Remove leading, trailing, 0’ and / or 0’’ from linear dimensions.
Decimal separators Set the decimal separator to a period [.], or comma [,].
Angular units (See Length Format under Units above.)
Angular precision (See Length Format under Units above.)
Angular zeros Remove leading or trailing zeros from angular dimensions.


LibreCAD Drawing Preferences - Splines

The single parameter Number of line segments per spline patch affects the ‘smoothness’ of a spline. The greater the value, the ‘smoother’ the spline will be drawn.