Moveable Annotation Symbols

Have you ever had problems locating 3D families correctly and having 2D annotations of that family clash with each other? This is a quick guide on how to make those 2D annotation symbols within your family moveable with grips.

In this example I am starting with an empty family. Keep track of where your Front/Back and Right/Left reference planes are as we will be using these to assist us with creating the moveable annotation symbol.First, create 4 new reference planes, 2 horizontal and 2 vertical as per the image to the left.


Note that I’ve highlighted the reference planes that I have added in red for clarity.


Select the outer reference planes that you have created and set them to Not a Reference.Select the inner reference planes that you created and set them to Strong Reference.Setting the inner reference planes to strong references will give you grips / shape handlers to be able to move your annotation symbol about the page.

Setting the outer reference planes to not be references will mean there are no grips at all and you will not accidentally move your 3D component.


ma4Set the outer reference planes to 1000mm (1m), dimension them with aligned dimensions and lock them.

Add dimensions from the outer (locked) reference planes, to the inner reference planes. Your screen should look something like the image to the left.

Select these dimensions and add Horizontal_Offset and Vertical_Offset parameters to the horizontal and vertical dimensions. Note that these parameters need to be instance parameters.

Insert your annotation symbol if you haven’t already, for the example, I am using a GPO symbol. Align and lock your annotation symbol to the inner (highlighted) reference planes so that the annotation symbol is located centrally (or offset if required) to these reference planes. Note that you should have drawn your annotation symbol centred on the reference planes, this will allow you to align and lock to these planes.


Finally, in Family Types change the Horizontal_Offset and Vertical_Offset parameters to 1000 to centre the annotation symbol correctly within the family.

ma7 ma8

When you place the family into a project, you will notice that you now have grips to move the annotation symbol away from the 3D element, without moving the 3D element itself.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: