Most industries, schools, and companies establish standards, which are guidelines that specify drawing requirements, appearance, and techniques, operating procedures, and record-keeping methods. The Australian Standards defines the term standard as a set of technical definitions and guidelines, how-to instructions for designers, manufacturers, and users. Standards promote safety, reliability, productivity, and efficiency in almost every industry that relies on engineered components or equipment. Standards can be as short as a few paragraphs or hundreds of pages long, but experts write them with knowledge and expertise in a particular field who sit on many committees. The Australian Standards defines the term code as a standard that one or more governmental bodies adapt and has the force of law. Standards are considered voluntary because they serve as guidelines. Standards become mandatory when a business contract or regulations incorporate them.

Standards are important for engineering communication because they serve as a common language, defining quality and establishing safety criteria. Costs are lower, and training is simplified when procedures are standardized. Interchangeability is another reason for standardization, so a part manufactured in one location fits with a mating part manufactured in another location.

Drawing standards apply to most settings and procedures, including:

  • CADD file storage, naming, and
  • File templates, which are files that contain standard file settings and objects for use in new files.
  • Units of
  • Layout
  • Borders and title
  • Symbols
  • Layers, and text, table, dimension, and another drafting
  • Plot styles and plotting

Company or school drawing standards should follow appropriate national industry standards. Though standards vary in content, the most important aspect is that standards exist and are understood and used by all design and drafting personnel. When you follow drawing standards, drawings are consistent, you become more productive, and the classroom or office functions more efficiently.

Australian Drafting Standards

The standards Australia is a professional engineering organization for mechanical engineering. The standards Australia publishes standards documents sponsors technical conferences and educational programs and conducts professional development courses. The standards Australia is an accredited standard developing organization that meets the requirements of various codes.

The standards Australia publishes standards for numerous disciplines. Most standards Australia standards that focus on specific areas of engineering drawing and related practices receive the designation.

ISO Drafting Standards

The ISO is an international organization that currently includes members from 163 countries. Australia is a member. The ISO provides an extensive list of drafting standards and related documents. The ISO 2768 standard, General Tolerances, details specific ISO dimensioning and tolerancing practices. This standard is particularly important when preparing a metric drawing according to Australian standards because the ISO normally controls metric tolerancing. A general note that states the ISO 2768 class for general tolerances, such as ISO 2768-m, shall be placed on the drawing. For more information or to order standards, go to the ISO Web site at www.iso.org.

CADD Skill Standards

The Computer-Aided Drafting and Design (CADD) skill standards, developed in cooperation with the National occupational skill standards, summarizes CADD occupation skills generic to all CADD disciplines, software, and entry-level.

AS 1100

AS 1100 is an Australian Standard for technical drawing including both mechanical and architectural designs. AS 1100 standard drawings contain attributes that are universal around Australia. Standards Australia publishes the standard.

The standard consists of six parts,

  • Part 101: General principles (1992)
  • Part 201: Mechanical engineering drawing (1992)
  • Part 301: Architectural drawing (2008)
  • Part 401: Engineering survey and engineering survey design drawing (1984)
  • Part 501: Structural engineering drawing (2002)

You cannot view these without purchasing a licence first.

Acronyms and Abbreviations in Engineering


A – Ampere
A/C – Air Conditioning
A/H – After Hours
AB – As-Built
ABBR – Abbreviation
ABS – Absolute
ADD – Addendum
AEC – Architecture, Engineering, and Construction
AF – Across Flats
AFL – Above Floor Level
AFL – Above Finished Level
AG – Agricultural pipe drain
AGL – Above Ground Level
AHD – Australian Height Datum
AHU – Air Handler Unit
APPROX – Approximately or Approximate
ARRGT – Arrangement
AS – Australian Standard
ASCII – American Standard Code for Information Interchange
ASSD – Assumed Datum
ASSY – Assembly
ATF – Along Top Flange
AUTO – Automatic
AUX – Auxillary
AVG – Average


B – Basin or Bottom
BLDG – Building
BNS – Business Network Services
BOT – Bottom
BQ – Bendable Quality
BRG – Bearing
BRS – Brass
BSP – British Standard Pipe
BT – Bath Tub
BT – Boundary Trap
BTM – Bottom
BW – Both Ways


C – C shaped steel purlin
C/C – Cross Centres
CAD – Computer-Aided Design.
Less commonly use is Computer Assisted Drafting.
CAM – Computer Aided Manufacture
CAP – Capacity
CBORE – Counterbore
CCTV – Closed Circuit Television
CFW – Continuous Fillet Weld
CHAM – Chamfer
CHCL – Channel
CH HD – Cheese Head
CHS – Circular Hollow Section
CI – Cast Iron
CIRC – Circumference or Circle
C.J. OR CJ – Control Joint (or Construction Joint)
CL – Center Line
CLG – Control Joint
CLR – Clearance
CMU – Cement Masonry Unit
CNC – Computer Numerical Control
CNR – Corner
CNJ – Construction Joint
COEF – Coefficient
COL – Column
COMMS – Communications
CONC – Concentric
CONN – Connection
CONT – Continuous
CP – Chrome Plated
C REC HD – Cross-Recess Head
CRS – Colled Rolled Steel
CTRS – Centres
CS – Cleaners Sink
CS – Cast Steel
CKS – Countersink
CSK HD – Countersunk Head
CT – Controller
CTR – Contour
CTR(S) – Centre/S
CTRL – Control
CTRS – Centers
CU – Dental Cuspidor
CUP HD – Cup Head
CVR – Cover
CYL – Cylinder
°C – Degrees Celsius


DAR – Dressed All Round
DD – Design Drawing
DED – Dedendum
DET – Detail
DIA – Diameter
DIAG – Diagram
DIAG – Diagonal
DICL – Ductile Iron Cement Lined (pipe)
DIST – Distance
DIM – Dimension
DN – Diameter Nominal
DP – Down Pipe
DP – Diametral Pitch
DR – Dryer
DRG – Drawing
DW – Dishwasher
DWG – Drawing
DWG(S) – Drawing/S


E – Modulus of Elasticity
EA – Equal Angle (steel)
EF – Each Face
E.J. or EJ – Expansion Joint
EL – Elevated Level
EL – Elevation
ELEC – Electrical
ELEV – Elevation
EQ – Equal
EQUIP – Equipment
EQUIV – Equivalent
EW – Each Way
EWB – Electric Water Boiler
EWC – Electric Water Cooler
EXT – External


FB – Footing Beam
F’c – Characteristic Concrete Strength
FCU – Fan Coil Unit
FFL – Finished Floor Level
FHR – Fire Hose Reel
FIQ – Figure
FILL HD – Fillister Head
FL – Floor Level
FL – Flat or Flat Plate
FLG – Flange
FOC – Fibre Optic Cable
FS – Far Side
FSBL – Full Strength Butt Weld
FTG – Footing
FTP – Fibre Termination Panel (fibre optical cable)
FW – Fillet Weld
FWF – From Web Face (steel)


GA – General Arrangement
GALV – Galvanized
GCI – Galvanized corrugated iron.
GD – Grid
GI – Galvanized Iron
GIP – Galvanized Iron Pipe
GIS – Graphic Information System
GPO – General Purpose Outlet
GR – Grade
GRF – Geometric Reference Frame
GSM – Global System of Moblie or “Groupe Speciale Mobile” in French


H – Prewash Hose Reel
HD – Head
HEX HD – Hexagon Head
HEX SOC HD – Hexagon Socket Head
HOR – Horizontal
HORIZ – Horizontal
HP – High Pressure
HRA – Rockwell Hardness A
HRB – Rockwell Hardness B
HRC – Rockwell Hardness C
HS – High Strength
HT – Height
HTS – High-Tensile Steel
HV – Diamond Pyramid Hardness Number (Vickers)
HWB – Hair Wash Basin


I – Moment of Inertia
ID – Inside Diameter
IE – Invert Elevation
I.J. or IJ – Isolation Joint
IL – Invert Level
INT – Internal
IO – Inspection Opening
IP – Intersection Point
ISO – International Standard Organisation


JIS – Japanese Industry Standard
JT – Joint
JUNC – Junction


kHz – Kilohertz
K.J. or KJ – Key Joint
KS – Kitchen Sink
KWh – Kilo Watt Hour (metre)


L – Steel Angle
LAN – Local Area Network
LG – Length
LGX – Line Group Cross (Connector, fibre optical cable)
LH – Left Hand
LMC – Least Material Condition
LONG – Longitudinal
LPG – Liquid Petroleum Gas
LT – Laundry Trough


m – Metres (English) or Meters
MATL – Material
MAX – Maximum
M/C – Machine
MDF – Main Distribution Frame (Telecommunications)
MFR – Manufacturer
MHz – Megahertz
Mickey Mouse – A toy project, of very low quality.
MI – Malleable Iron
MIN – Minimum
MISC – Miscellaneous
M.J. or MJ – Movement Joint
mm – Millimetres
MMC – Maximum Material Condition
MOD – Modification
MS – Mild Steel
MTG – Mounting
MUSH HD – Mushroom Head


NC – Normally Closed
NEG – Negative
NET – Network
No. – Number
NOM – Nominal
NS – Near Side
NS – Nominal Size
N.S.O.P. – Not Shown On Plan
NTS – Not To Scale
NZS – New Zealand Standard


OA or O/A – Overall
OCT – Octagon
OD – Outside Diameter
OPT – Optional


P – Pipe
PA – Pressure Angle
PAR – Parallel
PATT – Pattern
PCD – Pitch Circle Diameter
PFC – Parallel Flange Channel
PL – Plate
PL – Pipeline
POS – Positive
POSN – Position
PREFAB – Prefabricated
PT – Pressure Tapping
PT – Part
PVC – Poly Vinyl Chloride
uPVC – UV Stabilized Poly Vinyl Chloride


QTY – Quantity


R – Radius
Ra – Roughness Value
RAD – Radius or radial
RD – Round
REF – Reference
RECT – Rectangular
REINF – Reinforcement
REQ’D or REQD – Required
REV – Revision
RH – Right Hand
RHS – Rectangular Hollow Section (rarely Rolled Holled Section)
RL – Reduced Level or Relative Level
RO – Reverse Osmosis (water treatment)
RSA – Rolled Steel Angle
RSC – Rolled Steel Channel
RSD CSK HD – Raised Countersunk Head
RSJ – Rolled Steel Joist


S – Snug fit or tightened (bolts)
S – Sink
SAN – Sanitary
SDU – Sanitary Disposal Unit
SECT – Section
SF – Strip Footing
SF – Spot Face
SFL – Structural Finished Level
SH – Sheet
SHR – Shower
SHS – Square Hollow Section
SIM – Similar
SK – Sketch
SL – Structural Level
SPT – Spigot
SQ – Square
SS or S/S – Stainless Steel
SSL – Structural Slab Level
ST – Steel
STD – Standard
SW – Switch


T – Top
TB – Tie Beam
TB – Fully tensioned, bearing type (bolts)
TEMP – Temperature
TF – Fully tensioned, friction type (bolts)
TFC – Taper Flange Channel
THD – Thread
THK – Thick
TO or T.O. or T.OFF – Top Off
TOL – Tolerance
TP – Tangent Point
TP – True Position
TP – True Profile
TR – Laundry Trough
TUN – Tundish
TYP – Typical


U/S – Under Side
UA – Unequal Angle (steel)
UB – Universal Beam (steel)
UC – Universal Column (steel)
UCUT – Undercut
UNO – Unless Noted Otherwise (UON is prefered)
UON – Unless Otherwise Noted
uPVC – Unplasticized Polyvinyl Chloride
UR – Urinal


VER – Vertical
VERT – Vertical
VOL – Volume


WAN – Wide Area Network
WB – Welded Beam (steel)
WC – Welded Column (steel)
WC – Water Closet (toilet).
Where the poo and wee goes.
WC(P) – Water Closet With ‘P’ Trap
WC(S) – Water Closet With ‘S’ Trap
WD – Working Drawing
WM – Washing Machine
WP – Water Proof or Work Point
WI – Wrought Iron


X – By. Example, “N12 x 1200 long” also means “N12 by 1200 long”.


YP – Yield Point


Z – Zulu (Greenwich Mean Time)
Z – Z shaped steel purlin
Z – Modulus of Section

Other Characters

°C – Degrees Celsius
Ø – Diameter
# – Number
/tb – Fully tensioned, bearing type (bolts)
/tf – Fully tensioned, friction type (bolts)
/s – Snug fit or tightened (b

Welding Symbols Chart

Standards-Symbols-for-Welding-Bracing-and-Nondestructive-Examination Standards-Symbols-for-Welding-Bracing-and-Nondestructive-Examination-

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