5 Annotations and Notes

Chris Standen

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • explain the purpose and characteristics of notes and annotations
  • produce annotations for technical drawings

Most technical drawings include information beyond the view. These and referred to as “annotation” and “notes”. They put the drawing into context and provide details that can only be described in words.

The terms “annotations” and “notes” are often used interchangeably, and specific engineering disciplines may use the terms differently. However, “Annotation” is a more general term that relates to any addition to a drawing that helps explain it. Annotations can identify parts, specify tolerances, or explain details. “Notes” are specific, individual statements, usually to provide instruction for assembly, fabrication, or testing.

Characteristics of Annotations and Notes:

Its important that your handwritten annotations and notes are clear. Always print and use standard lettering techniques. Annotations and notes on a CAD drawing should be appropriately sized and positioned such as they don’t detract from the drawing itself.

When you create a drawing, whether a quick hand-drawn sketch or a formal drawing prepared with the aid of CAD software, you will be including annotation and notes.

The CAD-prepared electronic schematic shown below features a number of textual elements. Explore it by clicking on the numbered hotspots to see explanations of these features.

Self Test

Now complete the Learning Task Self-Test.


Key Takeaways

  • A sketch by itself is rarely sufficient to convey the required information. Annotations and notes support the drawing by adding supplementary information that cannot be drawn in. This includes dimensions, and other observed elements like weather, team members, colour, breakages, etc.
  • Text on a drawing must be printed and legible. Dimensions must be clearly located with extension lines and arrows.



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