The Hatch object in AutoCAD is used to fill a pattern inside an enclosed area. (How to Hatch non-closed Area in AutoCAD) There are several hatch patterns already preset in AutoCAD. You can choose the desired pattern from a list of preset hatches according to the requirements.
Oftentimes, we need to use different, hatches than the ones included in AutoCAD by default. So today, we will go check How to Import new Hatch patterns in AutoCAD using PAT files.
Import Hatch in AutoCAD
Files with .PAT extensions can be used to get information about the texture/filling of an area. The patterns contained in those files give information about the appearance of material to drawn objects in AutoCAD.
To import the new Hatch in AutoCAD, you need to paste the. PAT file to the support folder of your PC. the Added .PAT files will list under the User Defined or Custom hatch menu within AutoCAD.
Oftentimes, when drawing Details or Sections we need to show only a part of the whole drawing. To illustrate the continuation of the part usually we use Breaklines or Jog lines. These line breaks could be easily drawn by hand or by using the Break-line Symbol tool from the Express Tools. It gets more challenging though when drawing a Dimension break line. As we’ve already discussed, Dimensions are some of the most important and often used objects in AutoCAD. This is why we should be able to quickly add a Dimension line break / Dimension line jog to illustrate that the object is bigger than depicted in the drawing.
Add Dimension Break symbol in AutoCAD
To add a Dimension break in AutoCAD we will use the DIMJOGLINE command, or more particularly follow the steps below:
First, draw in the linear dimensions as normal.
Then, type in the command line DIMJOGLINE and hit enter.
AutoCAD will ask you to Select dimension to add jog or [Remove]: Select the dimension you want to add the breakline into.
Lastly, specify the location of the Break/Jog symbol on the Dimension line.
Repeat the procedure for all the dimensions you need.
To Remove the break symbol from dimension, repeat the command. This time before selection of the dimension type in R for Remove, and then select the Dimension, to remove the jog.
Edit Dimension Jog Size
The editing of the Dimension Jog symbol is done from the Dimension Style Manager, as are all other dimension style settings.
To Open Dimension Style Manager go to the Annotate Ribbon tab, under Dimensions, at the lower right corner, click on the small arrow.
Select the Dimension Style you are using and hit Modify…
Then, under Symbols and Arrows tab, at the lower right corner is located the Jog Height factor relative to the Text Height. Jog height is determined by the distance between the two verticles of the angles that make up the Jog.
This is the best and easiest way to add a Dimension Break symbol in AutoCAD. There are lots of other AutoCAD Tricks that you could learn with us! Don’t forget to check them out and share this post with your friends and colleagues!
In this post, we are going to look at 3 Simple Ways to Convert Circle to Polyline. This can be very useful when drawing a complex geometry consisting of several lines and circles. As well as, when drawing a polyline that needs to have an Arc section with a specific Radius or Diameter. I am sure you could think of many more instances when we might need to convert a Circle to Polyline in AutoCAD so let’s check how could this be done.
Transform a Circle into Polyline using Break Command
In this method, we will Convert a Circle to Polyline by breaking it first and then closing the broken part. Follow the steps below:
Type on Command Line BREAK to trigger the Break command.
AutoCAD will prompt to Select object, click on the circle once to select it.
Now, click again somewhere on the Circle to Specify second break point.
At this point, we are left with an Open Arc. To Transform it to Closed Polyline, type on Command Line PE (PEDIT)
Select the Arc, AutoCAD will ask if you want to turn it into Polyline, type Y.
After that, the program will ask to select an Option, Select Close.
That was it! You successfully converted a Circle to a Polyline!
Draw a Polyline Circle using Donut!
In my mind, the easiest way to draw a Circle Polyline in AutoCAD is using the DONUT command. It is a great tool that consists of two arc polylines joined end-to-end with specific Width. For the purposes of creating a Polyline Circle, we won’t need to specify a width so the inner and outer diameters will be the same. Follow the steps below for more detailed explanation:
Type on the command line DONUT, to start the command.
AutoCAD will prompt to, Specify inside diameter of donut: type in the desired Diameter.
Then it will ask to, Specify outside diameter of donut: Type in the same value as for the inside.
Lastly, Specify center of donut Just click on the screen where you want to have your Circle Polyline drawn.
That was it! Now you have A Circular Polyline!
Convert Arc to Polyline in AutoCAD
Lastly, we are going to look at how to convert Arc to Polyline. The process is identical to Converting Circle to Polyline that we discussed above. The steps are:
Draw an Arc Object.
Type on the command line PE (PEDIT)
Select the Arc, AutoCAD will ask if you want to turn it into Polyline, then type in Y.
The Arc Object is now a Polyline!
Hope you find the trick useful! Don’t forget to check out our other AutoCAD Tips and Share the post with your Colleagues!
AutoCAD Model Space Drafting Area is the place where every user spends most of their time. The drafting Area in AutoCAD is the blank canvas on which all the information is placed. This is why it is very important to set it the way you feel most comfortable working. In the past when our colleagues have used blank pieces of paper to draw everything, today we are privileged to use AutoCAD’s Interactive canvas that can Change Background Color, use Background Grid Lines, and change Marker Colors (Crosshair color) with a click of a mouse.
Change AutoCAD Background Color
We shall start our exploration with Changing Background Color of AutoCAD. To do that follow the steps below:
First, right-click on the screen and open Options.
In the Options window go to Display tab and click on Colors.
A window will pop-up called Drawing Window Colors, under Context choose 2D Model Space, and under Interface Element, Uniform Background.
On the Color list, select the color that you want to use as AutoCAD Background Color.
Hit Apply & Close and your Background Color will be changed!
Note: To go back to the default color settings, click the Restore button on Drawing Window Colors.
Change Layout Background Color in AutoCAD
I really hope you are using AutoCAD Layouts as they are quite an important part of the drawing and can imennsly improve your productivity as discussed in AutoCAD Layouts (8 Reasons to Start Using them!). I personally like to draw on Black Background. Knowing that the layout tab is created so we can more easily imagine how the drawing would look on a sheet of paper, I still prefer having a black background even on the layout sheet. So to change layout background color follow the already familiar steps below:
First, right-click on the empty screen and select Options.
On the Options window go to Display tab and click on Colors.
Then, On the Drawing Window Colors, under Context choose Sheet/layout, and under Interface Element select Uniform Background.
On the Color list, select the color that will be used as Layout Background Color .
Turn On/Off Background Grid lines and How to change Grid lines color
Some specialists like to have background Grid while drawing, it is very useful when working mostly in orthogonal lines. Also it is really easy to see relative length differences without the need of adding dimensions or checking manually. To Turn On or Off Background Grid Lines you can in AutoCAD follow the steps below:
Type on command line GRID
AutoCAD will prompt to Specify grid spacing(X) or [ON/OFF/Snap/Major/aDaptive/Limits/Follow/Aspect] <1.0000>:
Type in the desired grid spacing as it is directly linked to the drawing units.
Then Hit Enter.
The grid lines are instantly added to the AutoCAD Background. Now to change the Grid lines colors we would again go through the same steps as the ones for changing AutoCAD Background Color and Layout Background Colors or more particularly:
Right-click on the blank screen and hit Options.
There in the Display tab click on Colors.
Drawing Window Colors window will pop-up, under Context choose 2D Model Space, and under Interface Element first select Major Grid lines, then Minor Grid lines.
On the Color list, select the color that you want to use.
Hit Apply & Close!
Colors in AutoCAD Conclusions
In conclusion we can easily say that almost all AutoCAD colors are controlled by the Drawing Window Colors. The same way as Chaning Background Color you can easily change the color of AutoCAD Cross hairs, Tracking vector color, Command line etc.
Hope you the advice useful! Don’t forget to check out our other AutoCAD Tips and Share the post with your Colleagues!
AutoCAD is computer-aided design software that uses .dwg file format for its drawing files. Today we will go through the steps to change the default save location of those .dwg files as well as explain the main file formats used in the software.
What is a .DWG file
DWG is a proprietary file format used to store 2D or 3D drawing data. This file format is used natively in several CAD programs more particularly in AutoCAD, BricsCAD, DraftSight, even free software like FreeCAD, and more. In addition, .dwg files can be used in other programs as references or additional information like in BIM software for example.
In addition to the main .dwg files, AutoCAD also uses other supplementary formats like .bak (drawing backup), .dws (drawing standards), .dwt (drawing template), and .sv$ (temporary automatic save) to store drawing data. .bak and .sv$ files can be used to restore lost data from an earlier time, we have discussed the issue in depth in FATAL ERROR in AutoCAD!? How to Restore Drawing Data?
Change the Default Save Location in AutoCAD
To change the Default Save Location of the drawing files in AutoCAD we will go through several steps:
Right Click on the AutoCAD icon on your desktop or in Start Menu and choose Properties.
In the Properties Window, go to Shortcut section. There, change the Start in: path to the one you will to use as a default save Location.
Open AutoCAD Software and on command line type in REMEMBERFOLDERS, enter value 0.
That was it! Now when saving, the files will go to the folder you entered in step 2.
Note: REMEMBERFOLDERS is a system variable that controls the default path displayed in standard file selection. – The default value is 1 more particularly: The default path in standard file selection is the last path used. Also, the Start In folder specified for the AutoCAD shortcut icon is not used. – When set to 0 starting the program by double-clicking a shortcut icon, Start In path is used as the default for all standard file selection dialog boxes. You can find more detailed information here.
How to Change the Default Drawing File Format in AutoCAD
By default, AutoCAD saves the drawings in .dwg file format using the current (latest) version installed. For Example, if the Software version you are using is AutoCAD 2021, the default file format will be AutoCAD 2021 Drawing (*.dwg)
In some cases, though, it could be useful to save drawings to lower versions. That way colleagues that use older software versions could open and use your drawings.
To change the default file format, right-click on the AutoCAD screen and select Options. On the Options menu, go to Open and Save, there under Save as: click on the drop-down menu and select the version you would like to use.
If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks just like this one!
In this post, we are going to learn everything about Offset in AutoCAD. We are going to look at what exactly the Offset command means and does, how to use Offset in AutoCAD, the different types of offset distance specification. Furthermore, we are going to elevate our knowledge even further. Learning tricks like creating Multiple Offsets and Double-side offsets.
Offsetting an object creates a parallel copy of the source at a specific distance in an extremely short time! With the help of Offset, we can create concentric circles and parallel curves as well as parallel rectangles and polylines. For better understanding, we will go through each case below.
How to Use Offset in AutoCAD
First, let’s start with the basics. To learn how to use Offset in AutoCAD, follow the steps below:
Offset Icon is located at the Home Ribbon Tab, under Modify. You can also start the command by typing “O” on the command line.
AutoCAD will ask you to Specify offset distance or [Through/Erase/Layer] <1.0000>: At this point we can directly set the desired distance for creating a parallel line/arc/circle or choose one of the options:
Through – This option lets you create a parallel object through a pointspecified on the screen instead of typing in the desired distance.
Erase – If you choose this option, AutoCAD will ask if you want to erase the source object after the creation of the new parallel one.
Layer – Lets you choose if you want the new object to be created in the same layer as the source object, or in the layer you have currently active.
After specifying the offset distance, choose the object you want to offset (create a parallel copy of it).
AutoCAD will now ask to choose the side to offset, you choose the side relative to the source object by clicking on the screen with the mouse.
Offset a Polyline:
Offset a Circle:
Note: The routine won’t execute fully after the first copy, you can directly select another object or the newly created one to create a new offset copy.
How to create Multiple Offsets in AutoCAD
Often times we need to create more than one parallel copy of our object. For example, if drawing stairs. AutoCAD gives us the opportunity to create Multiple Offsets with much less effort than selecting and offsetting the object every time. Follow the steps below to learn how to use the Multiple Offset function:
Start Offset command the usual way as discussed above.
Specify the desired Offset Distance.
Select the Object to Offset Multiple Times.
After selecting the Object AutoCAD Prompts to Specify point on side to offset or [Exit/Multiple/Undo] : This time instead of choosing a Side for the Offset, Select Multiple (hit M key).
Now, you can choose the side to create the Offset objects.
As you can see, this trick greatly improves the functionality of the Offset command.
Using Extended Offset in AutoCAD
Extended Offset is part of the Express Tools in AutoCAD. It has the advantage to create Multiple Offsets and/or erasing the Original Object using Keyboard shortcuts.
To trigger the Extended Offset type in EXOFFSET on the command line. Or find it on the Express Tools ribbon, under Modify drop-down menu.
The tool works almost the same way as the normal Offset command, to Create Multiple Offsets Press SHIFT key while specifying a Side to Offset. To Erase the original Object press CTRL Key while specifying a side to Offset.
Extend, Fillet or Champfer Polyline Sigments when Offset
AutoCAD lets us choose how do we want to treat the potential Gaps between Offset Segments of Polylines. If we would like to Extend the parallel lines where they meet, Fillet the distance between them or Champfer it. All this is controlled with a system Variable called OFFSETGAPTYPE.
The default Value of OFFSETGAPTYPE is 0. When chosen, AutoCAD extends line segments to their projected intersections.
When OFFSETGAPTYPE Value is set to 1, AutoCAD fillets line segments at their projected intersections. The radius of each arc segment is equal to the offset distance.
If OFFSETGAPTYPE Value is set to 2, AutoCAD chamfers line segments at their projected intersections. The perpendicular distance from each chamfer to its corresponding vertex on the original object is equal to the offset distance.
So if, on the other hand, AutoCAD Offset is not working properly and instead of extending the Offset lines is creating Fillet or Chamfer, don’t forget to Check OFFSETGAPTYPE System Variable’s Value!
Double Offset at Once!
We can use an additional Lisp routine created by @LeeMac from www.lee-mac.com. The program works almost the same way as the original Offset Command. The difference is that it will create an offset on both sides of the selected Object. To use the routine follow the steps below:
To trigger the program type in DOFF on the command line.
AutoCAD will ask you to Specify offset distance or [Through/Erase/Layer] <1.0000>: here we are able to use the same settings as the Standard Offset command.
Select the Object to create offset.
AutoCAD does not Offset Polylines, Why?
Sometimes AutoCAD Doesn’t want to offset the polylines we choose to, let’s see why and when that happens. And how to Fix Offset problems. Check if one of the following issues are present in your case:
Is there a zero length segment in the Polyline you are trying to Offset? – To get rid of zero length segments in Polyline you can try using Overkill to get rid of those.
Are you trying to Offset 3D Polyline? – Quick way to convert 3d Polyline to normal Polyline is to Explode it, selecting all segments and setting their Z geometric values to 0, then Joining those elements again to create normal Polyline.
Nothing happens when Offseting polyline? – Check if the offset value and the Drawing Units are the same.
Cannot offset on both sides? – Quite a lot of times AutoCAD doesn’t want to Offset a polyline at one of the sides. The solution I personally use is to offset it the oposite side first and then Offsite the new parralel polyline back by doubling the Offset value.
Hope you find this information useful. Don’t forget to share with friends and colleagues. For more great AutoCAD Related posts check our Page AutoCAD Tips.
Have you ever heard of Center Mark and Centerline tools? These are great features introduced in the AutoCAD 2017 version. With the help of Center Mark, you can now add an interactive object to both Circles and Arcs, that represents the center of the circle with just one click of the mouse. The centerline tool, as the name suggests, adds a line in the geometric middle of two previously selected lines. Today, we will take a closer look at these AutoCAD tools and will find out how to leverage their benefits in the best way possible.
Add a Center Mark in AutoCAD
We will start with the Center Mark tool as it quickly grew to one of my favorite productivity tricks while drawing.
To add a Center Mark to a Circle or an Arc, go to Annotate ribbon tab, there under Centerlines, you will see the Center Mark icon. Click on the icon and then click on the circle or arc. Then just hit Enter to exit the command.
When firstly added, the Center mark will span the whole diameter of the circle. Fortunately, it is dynamic, and changing the circle’s diameter will change the Mark automatically. When you change the radius/diameter of the circle Center mark will adjust its size. You can also change the size of the extensions by using the Grips or Properties palette.
From the properties palette, you can also change some other interesting features like:
Change the linetype and color of the Center Mark Extensions.
Size of the Center Cross.
The gap between the Center Cross and the Extensions.
The Size of each Individual Extension.
Rotation of the Mark
Add a Centerline in AutoCAD
Secondly, we will take a look at the Centerline tool. To add a Centerline between two other lines, go to the Annotate Ribbon Tab, then under Centerlines, you will find the Centerline Icon. Click on it and then select the two lines between which a centerline needs to be added. Hit Enter to exit the command.
The two lines which we will select don’t have to be parallel, the Centerline will be automatically added to non-parallel lines too! When a Centerline is added between two lines, it will be dynamically linked to them. This means that when changing one of the two lines, the Centerline will adjust so it is in the center of the two again!
From the properties palette, you can also change some interesting features like:
Color, Layer,linetype and Linetype scale of the Centerline.
Start and End extensions
For further editing of Centerlines, you can type CHPROP on the command line and then select the Centerline you will edit. AutoCAD will prompt to Enter property to change [Color/LAyer/LType/ltScale/LWeight/Thickness/TRansparency/Material/Annotative]:
Hope you find the trick useful! Don’t forget to check out our other AutoCAD Tips and Share the post with your Colleagues!
To Break a Line or Polyline into two seems quite easy, just use the BREAK command right? The short answer is Yes! But do you know How to Break a line into two at a specific point without any gap/space between the two new lines? If you are asking this question let us help you find out the easiest way to do it!
Break a Line/Polyline into Two
To complete our task we will of course use the built-in AutoCAD command BREAK. But we won’t break the line at two points and then extend one part to the other. We will do it at once! To see how just follow the Steps Below:
First, Start BREAK command by entering in the Command line. Or select the BREAK tool.
Secondly, select the object you want to break at point.
Then, AutoCAD will prompt to Specify second break point or [First point]: hit F for First Point
Now, Select the point where you want to make the Split.
Next, AutoCAD will prompt to Specify second break point or [First point]: , now type in “@” and hit Enter!
That was it, the Line is now split into two, without any gap between them.
Note: In AutoCAD typing “@” when prompted means “last picked point”, that way the program will Break the object at the first selected point.
Today we are doing something different. We are going to discuss the most Frequent and Annoying AutoCAD Mistakes that we should avoid at all costs! Most of the people I know and work with are self-thought AutoCAD users, just like me. This is all well, however, sometimes we tend to do some quite shocking drafting Mistakes. These AutoCAD mistakes and bad practices can make us look less professional in the eyes of our colleagues and clients.
Here are the top 10 most frequent Bad Practices that AutoCAD users should Avoid.
1. Not using OSNAP!
Not using the function to Snap the cursor to 2d Objects (OSNAP) leads to a lot of lines not getting properly connected to one another.
From “afar” the drawing may look OK, but when you zoom in, the snapping mistakes are getting clear. The practice of not using OSNAP leads to 3 major problems. First, the Dimension lines are off. Second, Hatching becomes harder, because the objects are not forming closed boundaries. (How to Hatch non-closed Object (Hatch Open Boundaries)). Third, any third-party analysis software will not be able to work when the objects are not properly connected together.
2. Using Modified Standard Style
It doesn’t matter if we are using Modified AutoCAD Standard Style for Dimension Lines, Text, Leaders, Tables, etc. it is considered a very Bad Practice! I know it is really easy to Modify the Standard Style and make it perfect for the opened drawing. However, the problem comes from the fact that when an object that uses Standard Style is copied to another drawing, it will look different! This is because the next drawing has its own unmodified Standard Style.
Even if we modify all our drawings and make the objects that use modified Standard Style look the same when we send the drawing to a colleague, and he copies an object from that drawing it will almost definitely look bad.
3. Not Locking Viewports in the Layouts.
This is the mistake I am most commonly guilty of doing! Every time, when changing the scale of a viewport in the paper space, we should lock it to avoid accidental change of the scale.
Oftentimes, the accidental change of viewport scale can go unnoticed and make us look very unprofessional in front of others.
4. Layers are complete mess!
Another Common AutoCAD Mistake is not taking care of the Layers in the drawing. Imagine someone sent you a drawing. You then, want to freeze the dimension lines, but together with the dimensions, you have frozen half of the other objects there. Well, this is quite annoying, isn’t it? This is the reason we all need to take care of the layers and Create our own drawing Template.
5. Using Layer “0” for Xrefs
I know this “AutoCAD Mistake” can be quite controversial, but I still believe in it. Many people like to attach XREFS using layer “0”, but this severely limits their options when it comes to hiding references in different viewports. When load/unload won’t do the trick.
6. Using Layer “0” too much
Layer “0” is a special layer and should be used with caution. I would even say it should be avoided in all possible cases. The “0” layer stays unique when using x-refs and reflects all drawings at once. Even if you don’t use External References (Block vs Xref FIGHT! When and what to use?) someone may use your drawings as a reference to theirs. The only rule of thumb I can think about is that all objects in Blocks should be drawn in layer “0”. However, this may not always be the best decision and you should think in advance when creating blocks and using the said layer. Excessive use of layer “0” will definitely make you look bad in front of colleagues and clients!
7. Not drawing in 1:1 Scale.
Drawing in scale in Model space is very bad AutoCAD practice. Everything should be drawn 1:1 into model space and then “scaled” in the layout using ViewPorts. Scaling every line to fit scale 1 : 5 for example will be extremely time-consuming and can be done with just 2 Clicks by using AutoCAD Layouts. (AutoCAD Layouts (8 Reasons to Start Using them!))
8. Not using Aliases
Typing in the whole commands, trying to remember them all, or even using the mouse to click through the ribbons and menus to find the necessary command/tool is definitely considered a Bad AutoCAD practice. Computer-Aided Design is here to make us more productive and it is our duty to use it to the fullest! One of the tools that can greatly optimize your time and workflow, is Creating Custom Keyboard Shortcuts in AutoCAD!
9. Working with Slow and Bloated Drawings
Oftentimes, our drawings can get quite slow and full of settings that we don’t use. Most of the time this is the result of copying objects from other drawings that carry lots of layers, dimension styles, text styles, and more with them. One of the quickest ways to get rid of the excessive settings is to use the PURGE command. Another great and not very well-known tool is OVERKILL. This command helps us clean the redundant or overlapping geometries. Clean your Slow Drawings! (5 Ways to Improve AutoCAD Performance)
10. Sending Files without eTransmit
When using external references, unique fonts, or styles it is best to create an eTransmit package instead of trying to send all the different files separately. That is because it is really easy to forget something, especially when in hurry. Also, Xrefs of a drawing are usually saved on multiple network drivers, and sending the files separately can break the paths and lead to missing references. This can only create more headaches for you and the people you are sending your files to. The best decision then is to use eTransmit everytime you send files to someone, especially if there are external references in it.
We are all people and we all make mistakes. As professionals, it is our duty to improve our skills every day! These are the top 10 Bad AutoCAD Practices and mistakes that I and the people around me can make.
Let us know what are the most common AutoCAD mistakes you make or you see in others?
Oftentimes, when using AutoCAD, in collaboration with other software we need to export parts of a drawing to DXF. That is because not every software can read the information from a dwg file. Also, it would be a nightmare to navigate through the whole drawing with its hundreds and thousands of objects.
This is why it is really important to know how to Export Objects to DXF in AutoCAD. We will go through the process in 5 Simple and Easy to follow steps.
In the Drawing from which you are going to Export Object to DXF, go to the File Menu and click Save As
A window will pop out called Save Drawing As there,
Under File Name: Specify the name of the DXF file
Under Files of Type: Select AutoCAD XXXX DXF (.dxf)
Then click on Tools and then Options.
A new window will pop out, this time it is called SaveAs Options, there under DXF Options tab, choose Select Objects and hit OK
On Save Drawings As window, click on Save
Then, AutoCAD will ask you to Select Objects to Export to DXF. Now, select the objects and hit Enter.
That was it, you now have a .DXF file with the objects you selected and can use it as you please.
Hope you find the advice useful! Don’t forget to check out our other AutoCAD Tips and Share the post with your Colleagues!