AutoCAD Features: Linetypes

AutoCAD Features: Linetypes

Linetypes is a visual aid that can be assigned to objects in a drawing to help differentiate between different objects and layers. This in turn makes a drawing easier to read and to understand. They can range from a simple linetype consisting of a series of dashes, dots and spaces to more complex shapes and letters.

The linetype can be seen in the ‘Properties’ section on the toolbar. All new objects created will be done so using the current linetype and that can be identified in the panel when no object in the drawing is selected. The linetype is set to ByLayer by default, which is a continuous single line, but if you assign a particular linetype when setting up your layers, the different layers, this will automatically change in the linetype panel when you switch between. 

A new linetype can also be applied to an object, independent of the linetype that has been assigned to the layer. This can be done by highlighting the object in your drawing and right clicking to open the shortcut menu and selecting Properties. This will open the Properties Box.

By clicking on the linetype a drop-down menu appears. The required linetype must be loaded into your drawing first.

The other 2 default options available are ByBlock and Continuous. ByBlock draws objects with a continuous line until the objects are combined into a block definition. When the block is inserted into the drawing, the drawing displays the current linetype for those objects. Continuous linetype draws objects in a continuous unbroken line.There are more linetypes available and to access them, click ‘Other’ in the dropdown menu from the linetype window or type ‘linetype’ in the command line to open the Linetype Manager.

The Linetype filters allows you to filter the linetypes in your drawing by ‘all linetypes’, ‘all used linetypes’ and all ‘Xref dependant linetypes. When you select a filter and then tick the ‘Invert filter’ box, the list will display all linetypes not included in the selected filter.

You can load linetypes that you require into your drawing by clicking ‘Load’ at the top right of the box. This will then open a ‘Load or Reload Linetypes’ box. Once a line is selected, click OK and the line will appear in the list in the Linetype Manager.

Set a linetype to current by selecting a linetype in your list, clicking ‘Current’ and ‘OK’. You have the option to delete linetypes here also, but there are limitations. You cannot delete linetypes ByLayer, ByBlock and Continuous, the current linetype, Xref-dependant linetypes and linetypes referenced by layers or objects.

‘Show Details’ lets you to see the information of the selected Linetype which include:

Name – Name of Line (can be edited)

Description – Description of line (can be edited)

Use paper space units for scaling – This allows you scale linetypes in both the paper space and model space identically. This can be particularly useful when you are working with multiple viewports.

Global Scale Factor – This shows the global scale factor for all linetypes (can be edited)

Current Object Scale – This defines the linetype scale for created objects.

ISO Pen Width – This defines the linetype scale to one of the standard ISO values.

You can minimise this segment by clicking ‘Hide Details’ at the top right of the box.

To edit the linetype scale of all objects, open the Linetype Manager and enter a new Global Scale Factor.

To set a new linetype scale for newly created objects, enter a new value in the Current Object Scale in the Linetype Manager.

To change the linetype scale for individual objects, select the object and right click to open the properties box. Enter in the new scale value in the linetype scale window.

When drawing 2D polylines the linetypes can appear differently depending on your settings as seen below.

On the Polyline 1, the lines are centred in each segment so they all start and end with a dash, whereas in Polyline 2 the lines drawn are not centred. To control this, select the object and right click to open the properties box. Scroll to the end to the Linetype generation window. Click Disabled to centre the lines and Enabled turns this function off.

If you tend to use the same linetypes in your drawings, it is advisable to set up an empty template drawing with the linetypes already loaded and linetype scales already set. This will decrease drawing time as you can start drawing without having to specify your settings first.


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