How to fix missing architectural dimension tick marks in AutoCAD


I recently came across an interesting problem within AutoCAD.  The issue was within a particular AutoCAD drawing where a dimension style that contained architectural tick marks was being used, but the tick marks weren’t showing up in the drawing.  There are suggestions to change the dimstyle so that it isn’t using the tick mark, then purge the tick mark block, _ArchTick, out of the drawing, and then reset the dimstyle back to having a tick mark. Instead of trying to do that, what you can do is redefine the block, _ArchTick, using the AutoCAD DesignCenter.


  • With the “problem” drawing open, start a new drawing file.
  • In the new drawing open the AutoCAD Dimension Style Manager, and then go to “Modify”.
  • In the Modify dialog box, go to the “Symbols and Arrows” tab, then change the arrowheads from the default “Closed Filled” to “Architectural Tick”
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  • Close the “Modify” dialog box by selecting “OK”, then close the “Dimstyles” Dialog box by selecting “Close”
  • Create a dimension with the new dimstyle. I used “Linear” and just picked two points in space.
Switch back to the problem drawing
  • In the problem drawing start the AutoCAD DesignCenter, either by typing ADCENTER on the command line, Entering CTRL+1, or by going to the “View” Tab and selecting the icon.
  • In the AutoCAD DesignCenter select the “Open Drawings” Tab, and then pick the drawing with the “Architectural Tick” dimension in it from the list.
  • Select the options for blocks, this will give you a list of all blocks in the selected drawing (Don’t select the problem drawing.) In the list of blocks you should see _ArchTick. If _ArchTick  does not look like the image, you have selected the wrong drawing out of the list.
  • Right Mouse Button on the block _ArchTick and then select “Redefine Only”. This will overwrite the block inside the problem drawing, forcing it to update.
  • If the Tick Marks are too large, go back to the Dimstyle and change the arrowhead size. You should now have tick marks on the dimension.