Drafting standard

There are many ways to work with GardenCAD. If you are working professionally, it makes sense to develop your drawings in the same way for each job. This 'paper' aims to provide the rudiments of a drawing standard for a landscape office working in Australia. In no way do we suggest that this document is a bible on how things should be done. It simply canvasses the issues that should be discussed.

We will call the putative landscape design office described here as URRBRAE GARDEN DESIGNERS (UDG).

Spaces, units and sizes

In GardenCAD, you work in model space and only use pages (paper) for presentation. Always draw everything full size using mm as your base unit. You have an unlimited size drawing board can grow even if the site size changes (for example if your client want you to work on an adjoining property).

tip If you are given a drawing from a survey firm, it will be drawn in meters as the base, so scale the drawing (as an attached external reference) by 1000.

You normally determine the scale at the time you plot the drawing out. However, in order for certain items like text and dimensioning to have a good size relationship to the lines of the drawing, you will need to have a final scale in the back of your mind before you start a drawing. We recommend a quick check plot (using the PDF writer) to the size sheet normally used in your practice as soon as the boundary lines are in place.

We suggest general notes should be 2.5 mm final plot height, Titles at 5 mm or 7 mm final height.

The table below offers suggestions on appropriate text heights for intended plot scales. Here we assume that you are working in the metric field with mm as your base unit and intend to plot to an A1 sheet. Note that AS1100, (the Australian Standard for Technical drawings allows only those scale factors listed below. Even though it can be tempting, try and avoid non standard scales such as 1:25, 1:250, 1:75  etc. These are not an approved scale according to the Australian Standard..




1:10 25 35 50 0.1
1:20 50 70 100 0.05
1:50 125 175 250 0.02
1:100 250 350 500 0.01
1:200 500 700 1000 0.05
1:500 1250 1750 2500 0.002
1:1000 2500 3500 5000 0.001
Dimension styles

Use different dim styles for dimensioning at different printed scales.

It is a good idea to set up a series of dimension styles for printing at different scales although this can be avoided simply by changing the dimension scale factor.


Try and ensure that all layer names and colours remain constant to reduce the number of layers in a drawing. The default set of layers in every new GardenCAD drawing is shown in the figure below.

Default layer set

One drawing convention that we try and follow suggests that all layers containing landscape information should begin with L-

When plant symbols are inserted into a drawing from the plant selector (symbol set 1), three more layers are automatically created. L-PLNT-SYMBOL, L-PLNT-CONSTRUCTION, L-PLNT-NAME. If you need to create a new layer, prefix with L- and use UPPERCASE, separating the words in the layer name by a dash.

Where a drawing is to be presented at different scales (e. g. planting plans) put notes on a different layer i.e.




These should be created as separate drawings and drawn full size 1:1. Name details appropriately and add to the Details folder under BLOCKs.


If you do need to adjust the thickness of a line (or layer), here are some suggested line weights to try:

A3 sheets - 0.09, 0.15, 0.18, 0.2, 0.25, 0.3, 0.4 (in mm)

A1 sheets - 0.1, 0.15, 0.2, 0.25, 0.35, 0.45 (in mm)

Line thickness

File names

GardenCAD encourages you to file drawings in the jobs folder. We recommend creating a new folder for each calendar year - 2011, 2012, 2013 etc. Each job is placed in a folder named after the street address and suburb of the job e. g. 35_James_Woodville. Use an underscore rather than spaces. Design development file numbers should be consistent for each job e. g. the first file for the job above should be called UGD_DesignDevelopmemt35James

Drawing sheet names

Concept page names (within the file UDG_DesignDevelopment) change for each separate concept.


Concept01, Concept02 etc.

Starting a new drawing

Prepare a new drawing from a template that you have made. this template contains all the text and dimension styles that the practice uses. the template should be stored in the Blocks folder and made a read only file. Open it and immediately SaveAs to a file name as discussed above.

If you have been given a base drawing from a survey firm, first check the units. If the units are meter, scale the drawing by 1000.

Attach a survey drawing using the XREF command. Remember that an external reference can be rotated to line up with (say) north or a major road. Always attach the XREF at a scale of 1.0 and at coordinate position 0,0.


Some Imperial scale factors. (no QA check yet - subject to testing)

Scale Factor
1:192 (1/16" = 1 foot) 0.005208
1:128 (3/32" = 1 foot) 0.007813
1:96 (1/8" =1 foot) 0.010417
1:64 (3/16" = 1 foot) 0.015625
1:48 (1/4" = 1 foot) 0.020833
1:32 (1/8" = 1 foot) 0.03125
1:24 (1/4" = 1 foot) 0.04166
1:16 (3/4" = 1 foot) 0.0625
1:12 (1/2" = 1 foot) 0.0833