What are those yellow squares with an exclamation point next to dims in Plant 3D?

May 14, 2020 Bob Felton

Recently an AutoCAD Plant 3D 2021 customer contacted us to remove the numerous instances of a small yellow box with an exclamation point in it next to all his dimensions in a drawing. His drawing had civil engineering information in it that was showing locations for the inclusion of the plant model information.

They looked like this:


A new feature called the Annotation Monitor was introduced in AutoCAD 2013-based products that is shared with AutoCAD Plant 3D 2013 and later that shows dimensions and leaders that have lost their associativity.

When the geometry associated with the dimensions is moved or changed, the dimension values will update when associativity is enabled.

To quickly locate dimensions or leaders that have lost associativity with their geometry, the yellow 'badge alerts' will appear when the Annotation Monitor is turned on. If you hover the cursor over one of the yellow boxes, 'Disassociated Annotation' will appear at the cursor's location.

By default, the AutoCAD variable ANNOMONITOR that stores the response for the Annotation Monitor is turned off. But what makes it unexpectedly turn on is when a model documentation edit or update event occurs.

If you're confident the values for the dimensions and leaders are correct, you can turn the display of the yellow alert boxes off by clicking the Plus sign shown above. The yellow alert boxes will not plot when they are on, though.

You can easily locate the affected dimensions and reassociate them with their respective geometry points by click-dragging them to snap to one or both geometry points again, if necessary. If you click one of the exclamation points, that brings up a menu with two choices, Reassociate and Delete.

You can find more details about the Annotation Monitor and the ANNOMONITOR variable in the Help files at the links highlighted.

For more information about how to Reassociate Dimensions, click the highlighted link.

About the Author

Bob Felton

Sr. Technical Support Specialist, Manufacturing<br><br>Bob Felton has been supporting Autodesk products for over 23 years including core AutoCAD, P&ID, Plant 3D, AutoCAD for Mac, AutoCAD Mechanical, and Vault. His background is in graphics with an Applied Sciences degree and ten years manufacturing experience drafting, as well as technical illustration, image editing, and even patent drafting.

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