How to Measure the Distance and Angle Between 2 Points in AutoCAD

In the past we have looked at the easiest way How to find Closest Distance Between 2 Objects? today, we will improve our knowledge with finding the different ways to measure the distance and angle between 2 points in AutoCAD. Of course we will pick the quickest and easiest way to do the job.

For better illustration we will use the image above.
The distance we need is the distance between point A and point B. While the angle needed is the one between the imaginary line AB and the X-axis (horizontal line).

Measure Distance and Angle by adding Dimensions

The first way to find the needed data is to add standard AutoCAD Dimensions.

To measure the distance we will use either Aligned dimension

or the DIM commad (Which Creates multiple dimensions and types of dimensions with a single command.)
To measure the angle between the AB line and the X-axis, we need to draw a horizontal helper line and use DIM angular .

This method is quite easy, however it consists of several steps and can be time consuming.

Find Distance and Angle between two points with Single command!

The Second method we are looking at is quicker and doesn’t require drawing additional objects in the drawing. We can find the desired information by using the DIST command. See how in the steps below:

  1. Type on the command line DIST or select the icon in the Home ribbon tab under utilities tab.
  2. Specify first point.
  3. Specify the second point

Then AutoCAD will automatically return the results in the command line. (To Expand the command line Click F2 key on the keyboard)

As you can see the information given is absolutely the same as the one using the first method. The only difference is being the precision of the linear dimension. In addition to the Distance and angle between the two points. When using the DIST command AutoCAD gives us the the difference between two point’s X coordinates and Y coordinates – Delta X and Delta Y.

DIST command can be also used in 3D, then the difference in Z coordinates could be more than 0.

If you found this information useful. Don’t forget to check our other AutoCAD Tips for more great Tips and Tricks like this one!

AutoCAD is running out of Memory (5 Quick Solutions!)

If you are presented with the message AutoCAD is running out of system memory, don’t worry, there are some steps you can take and try to make it work smoothly again.

The issue could pop up while opening or saving a file or working on one or more opened drawings. The problem can be present on one specific file or on any opened drawing. When system memory (RAM Memory) is getting fuller, the whole PC system could get sluggish and this can cause a loss of data (FATAL ERROR in AutoCAD!? How to Restore Drawing Data?).

Here we will go through some of the steps you can take to go on top of the AutoCAD is running out of memory problem.

Clean up temporary files

The first thing you can try is to clean up the Temp files folder. This could save some memory as AutoCAD won’t be keeping track of all the old temporary files.
Usually, the temp files are located under C:\Users\YOUR PC\appdata\local\temp\ when there, erase all .bak, .sv$ and .ac$ AutoCAD files.

Note: If you can’t find the AppData folder, check if you can see hidden files and folders as it is hidden by default.

Field update frequency

Make fields update less frequently. This can be done by typing on the command line FIELDEVAL and then changing the value to 4. That way fields will update only when plotting.

Cache model tab and last layout

Cacheing the model and last layout tabs will significantly reduce the switching time between those. And in addition, AutoCAD will consume less RAM memory. This can be done by right-clicking on the screen and opening the Options Tab.
There, go to the System tab and under Layout Regen Options, check the Cache model tab and last layout.

Adjusting windows for best performance

This tip works only for windows users. The latest Windows versions, such as 10 and 11 include lots of visual effects. These look great, but do you really need them in your work? These effects use additional system resources. This can cause the issue with AutoCAD running out of system memory.

To set the visual effects for the best performance follow the steps below:

  • Enter the Start Menu and in the search bar type in performance
  • In the list of results, select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows
  • On the Visual Effects tab, select Adjust for best performance
  • Then hit apply and Restart your PC.

Close all unneeded programs

Windows operating system usually runs multiple programs at once, often times we don’t even know about those. One of the easiest ways to free up some System Memory is to close all unneeded programs.

To check what is the currently running programs and close the unnecessary ones open the Windows Task Manager by pressing CTRL + ALT + DEL. There find the unwanted applications and click End Task to close them.

Free up some Space on the Hard Drive

Another way to deal with the AutoCAD is running out of memory error is to free up some space on the Hard Drive. This will work only if there is not sufficient enough space for the system to work. Especially when there is no space for the Swap file to grow if it is dynamic. Also, if the swap file is static you can change the swap file size.

A swap file or virtual memory is a file stored on a hard disk (or SSD) where RAM data is written when the System Memory is full.

To speed up a specific drawing that is been the problem and slim it down, check How to Reduce Size and Increase Performance of AutoCAD Drawings and OVERKILL! Or how to erase duplicate objects Easy and Fast!

Hope you find the information useful in dealing with the low memory problem. In addition, you can also check How to Choose the best PC/Laptop for CAD Software 2022 Updated!

3 Ways to Convert Spline to Polyline (How to Choose the Best!)

In the last article, we discussed How to Make the Best use of Splines in AutoCAD. We learned that a spline is a smooth curve that passes through or near points chosen on the screen.

Today our task will be to Convert Spline to Polyline, this is an important skill as not all programs or commands can work with Spline objects.
There are at least 3 different ways of converting splines into polylines and the results could be different too.
In addition to converting a single Spline, we will go through a way to convert multiple Splines to Polylines with ease!
Lastly, we are going to look at How to Convert a Spline-Fit Polyline to a Spline!

Convert Spline to Arc Polyline

The first method we are going to look at converts Splines to Polylines composed of arcs. This method is only available for users of the full AutoCAD version as it is part of the Express Tools and is not available for AutoCAD LT users.
The resulting arced polyline looks very similar to the starting spline and is quite easy to modify later on. Follow the steps below to do the trick:

  1. Draw in the Spline you want to Convert.
  2. Type on the command line FLATTEN.
  3. Select the Spline object.
  4. A prompt will appear: Remove hidden lines? type N for No and hit Enter.

The Spline is now Polyline arcs that look very similar to the original Spline object.

Note: If you choose to remove hidden lines, AutoCAD will convert the Spline to a polyline consisting of lots of lines and in addition to this will erase any parts of the spline that are not currently displayed.

Convert Spline to Polyline adjusting the Precision

The second method we are looking at will convert the spline to a polyline consisting of lots of straight lines. Using this method we are able to adjust the Accuracy of the polyline, the more accurate we are, the more vertexes there will be on the Polyline, which would make adjustments very hard later on. You can check our post on How to Remove Polyline Vertexes (Remove Multiple Vertexes at Once!!) for simplifying existing polylines.

In fact, we can achieve absolutely the same results in two separate ways, we are exploring the methods below:

Using SPLINEDIT

  1. Draw in the Spline you want to Convert.
  2. Type on the command line SPLINEDIT.
  3. Select the Spline.
  4. Type P to choose convert to Polyline option.
  5. AutoCAD will prompt to Specify a precision: type in a number between 0 and 99. Hit Enter!

Note: Remember the bigger the number you specify the closer to the original spline you are, but more vertexes will be added to the polyline.

Using PEDIT

  1. Draw in the Spline you want to Convert.
  2. Type on the command line PEDIT.
  3. Select the Spline.
  4. AutoCAD will ask Do you want to turn it into one? type in Y for yes.
  5. Then will prompt to Specify a precision: type in a number between 0 and 99. Hit Enter!

Convert Multiple Splines to Polylines

Often times we need to convert multiple Splines, this could take a considerable amount of time if the Spline objects are tens or even hundreds.
To convert multiple splines to polylines with one command follow the steps below:

  1. Have your Splines drawn and type on command line PEDIT.
  2. Then, before selecting anything type in M for Multiple.
  3. Now, select all the Splines and hit Enter.
  4. AutoCAD will prompt Convert Lines, Arcs and Splines to polylines [Yes/No]? type in Y for yes.
  5. Then will prompt to Specify a precision: type in a number between 0 and 99. Hit Enter twice.

That is how all Splines got converted to Polylines at once with just one command.

Convert a Polyline to Spline

Lastly, we will show you How to convert a Polyline to Spline in AutoCAD. To do that follow the steps below:

  1. Draw the Polyline the usual way.
  2. Type on command line PEDIT and select the Polyline.
  3. Then type S for Spline. And hit Enter.
    This will convert the polyline to a spline-fit Polyline that still exhibits Polyline properties.
  4. Now, to convert this 2D Splined Polyline to true Spline type in SPL on the command line.
  5. When AutoCAD prompts to Specify first point or [Method/Knots/Object]: type O to trigger the Object option.
  6. Lastly, select the Polyline and hit Enter.

Note: The method works for a single Polyline as well as for multiple Polylines, the only difference is that you have to type M for multiple after PEDIT command is triggered, before selecting the polylines.

Hope you find this post a value, you can check our other AutoCAD Articles to find even more interesting tips and tricks.

And don’t forget to share this page with your friends and colleagues.

Drawing SPLINE in AutoCAD (Best Practices!)

In this article, we are going to look at one very mysterious AutoCAD Object – AutoCAD Splines and try to make working with them easier for us all!
For better understanding, we will be looking at different examples of How to draw Spline and their best uses.

First, what is a Spline in AutoCAD?

When triggered SPLINE, the software creates a smooth curve that passes through or near points we choose on the screen. By default, splines are a series of blended cubic curve segments. They are called non-uniform rational B-splines (NURBS), but we are calling them Splines in short. According to Autodesk’s site, cubic splines most closely represent the line created by using flexible strips that are shaped by weights at data points (About Splines).

Draw SPLINE in AUTOCAD

To draw a Spline type on the command line SPL, by default AutoCAD will display Current settings: Method=Fit Knots=Uniform and ask us to Specify first point or [Method/Knots/Object]: Here we can either start drawing, using the current settings or choose a different setting. Let’s see what are the different options we have:

Method

When we select the Method setting, AutoCAD gives us two options Enter spline creation method [Fit/CV] : in other words create spline using Fit Points or using Control Vertices.

Fit

The Fit points method creates blended Cubic curves (degree 3) by specifying fit points that curvature must pass through or if the tolerance value is greater than 0, the spline within the specified tolerance from each specified point.

There are several specific settings for using the Fit method:

  1. Knots use different computational methods to draw different ways to blend the curves between the fit points. (SPLKNOTS system variable)
    • Chord – draws the connecting knots with proportional distances between each pair of fit points.
    • Square root – draws the connecting knots with spaces proportional to the square root of the distance between each pair of fit points.
    • Uniform – draws the connecting knots with spaces equal regardless the spacing of the fit points.
  2. Start Tangency specifies the tangency of the spline at the start point of the object.
  3. End Tangency specifies the tangency of the spline at the end point of the object.
  4. Tolerance specifies the maximum distance by which the blended curves can deviate from the specified fit points.

    Note: The tolerance for starting and ending points is always 0

Control Vertices (CV)

The Control Vertices method creates linear (degree 1), quadratic (degree 2), cubic (degree 3), and up to degree 10 splines. (SPLMETHOD system variable)

  1. Linear Spline (degree 1)

  2. Quadratic Spline (degree 2)

  3. Cubic Spline (degree 3)

  4. Degree 6

Object

When we choose the Object setting, AutoCAD will ask us to select 2D or 3D quadratic or cubic spline-fit Polyline to convert to SPLINE.



Note: By default, the original polyline will be erased, to save the polyline change the DELOBJ system variable to 0.

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!

How to Calculate the Moment of Inertia in AutoCAD

AutoCAD is primarily a drawing software, however, there are more, much more uses of the program than just the simple drawing.
One very useful feature is that with the help of AutoCAD we can calculate the second area moment of inertia of a complex section with ease!
Manual calculation of the moment of inertia of any section could be time-consuming. Can you imagine, being on a tight schedule and calculating multiple complex moments of inertia?

Moment of Inertia in a Simple Section

We will start with a simple section and then move on to a more complex one. I hope it would be easier to follow this way.
Now, to make the calculation, we will go through the following steps:

  1. First, draw the section, in the example, we will use a simple rectangle with sides of 5 and 2 units.
  2. Secondly, we type on the command line REGION to define a Region object.
  3. Then, we select all the lines/arcs/polylines that define the section and hit Enter (or Right-Click the mouse)
  4. After the creation of a Region object from our section, we type on the command line MASSPROP and select the Region object.
  5. AutoCAD will automatically provide us some properties of the Section, like Area, Perimeter, coordinates of the Center of the Mass, etc. Now, we move the UCS to the Center of the mass (Centroid)
  6. Lastly, after moving the Coordinate system to the Center of the mass of the section, we trigger MASSPROP again to Find the Moment of Inertia.

Note: The REGION command deletes the original objects after converting them to regions. To prevent it from deleting those set the DELOBJ system variable to 0.

Moment of Inertia in a Hollow Section

Next, we will take a look at how to find the Moment of Inertia in a Complex Section (Hollow asymmetrical section). The steps are pretty much the same with one small exception, excluding the hollow part.

  1. First, we again draw the Section.
  2. Then, we start REGION Command.
  3. Next, we select all objects that define the section, both inner and outer limits. This time we will end up with 2 separate Region objects.
  4. Now, to combine those objects we will type on the command line SUBTRACT.
  5. AutoCAD will ask us to Select solids, surfaces, and regions to subtract from, here we select the outer limits of the section and hit Enter
  6. Then, AutoCAD will ask us to Select objects: Select solids, surfaces, and regions to subtract, here we select the inner object to subtract and hit Enter.
  7. We’ve ended up with one complex Region Object that represents our section. Now we have to repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 from the previous example.
    We type on the command line MASSPROP and select the Region object.
  8. Now, we move the UCS to the Center of the mass (Centroid coordinates)
  9. Lastly, we trigger MASSPROP again to Find the Moment of Inertia in AutoCAD

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!

How to Link Tables in AutoCAD

AutoCAD Tables are very powerful and useful objects that can save us lots of time. There are so many uses of AutoCAD Tables, as we already saw in previous posts like How to Copy Excel Table in AutoCAD or How to copy AutoCAD Text to Microsoft Excel.

The Table objects in AutoCAD could be almost as useful as the tables of Microsoft Excel. Most likely you already know how to link Cell data between cells of a single AutoCAD table, just type in a formula and the Cell ID as in Microsoft Excel “=B1+B2”.
However, in Excel we know how to combine data between different tables, but do you know How to link cell data from different tables in AutoCAD? Don’t worry, with our 3 simple steps you will be able to link data from different AutoCAD Tables with ease!

Link cells from different AutoCAD Tables

To create a data link between different tables in AutoCAD, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the Cell in the receiving AutoCAD Table.
  2. Right-click and from the menu select Insert > Formula > Cell
  3. Select the cell to link to and hit Enter.

That was it! The two tables are now Linked and the data will be automatically updated when the master table changes.

The formula in the receiving Cell will look something like this “=Table(2208892340912).D9”, where (2208892340912) is the identification of the master table object and D9 is the ID of the Cell in the master table.

When you save and close the drawing, when opened again you could notice that the value of the Table value (Table(2208892340912)) is changed, this is because the Object ID is just a file session valid value.

The Linked cell formula can be changed to your needs for example to =Table(2208892340912).D9+B6. Where we have added to the value of the link cell, the value of cell “B6”.

Note: Only numeric values can be cross-linked this way. If you select a cell with text in it, you will only see #### in the receiving table cell.

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How to Import new Hatch Patterns in AutoCAD (for Windows)

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.

  • C:\Users\user name\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk\AutoCAD version\enu\Support

If you can’t see the AppData folder make sure to make hidden files and folders visible.

Insert new Hatch in custom Folder

If you would like to keep all new custom Hatches in a separate folder, away from the support files in AutoCAD, there is a way to achieve that too. Just follow the steps below:

  1. Right click on the AutoCAD draft screen and click on Options (you can also, open the Options tab by clicking on the application menu and choosing Options)
  2. In the Options window, go to Files tab, there select and expand the Support File Search Path.
  3. Now, click on Add at the upper right corner of the screen.
  4. A new line will appear, here, either paste the path to the new Hatch folder, or click on Browse…
    1. A new Window will pop-up, here browse to the folder to add and hit OK.
  5. Finally, hit OK in the Options window tab.

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.

How to Add a Break-Line in Dimensions? AutoCAD Tips!

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:

  1. First, draw in the linear dimensions as normal.
  2. Then, type in the command line DIMJOGLINE and hit enter.
  3. AutoCAD will ask you to Select dimension to add jog or [Remove]: Select the dimension you want to add the breakline into.
  4. 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.

  1. To Open Dimension Style Manager go to the Annotate Ribbon tab, under Dimensions, at the lower right corner, click on the small arrow.
  2. Select the Dimension Style you are using and hit Modify…
  3. 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!

How to Convert Circle to Polyline in AutoCAD? (3 Simple Tricks!)

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:

  1. Draw a Circle with the desired Radius/Diameter.
  2. Type on Command Line BREAK to trigger the Break command.
  3. AutoCAD will prompt to Select object, click on the circle once to select it.
  4. Now, click again somewhere on the Circle to Specify second break point.
  5. At this point, we are left with an Open Arc. To Transform it to Closed Polyline, type on Command Line PE (PEDIT)
  6. Select the Arc, AutoCAD will ask if you want to turn it into Polyline, type Y.
  7. 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:

  1. Type on the command line DONUT, to start the command.
  2. AutoCAD will prompt to, Specify inside diameter of donut: type in the desired Diameter.
  3. Then it will ask to, Specify outside diameter of donut: Type in the same value as for the inside.
  4. 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:

  1. Draw an Arc Object.
  2. Type on the command line PE (PEDIT)
  3. 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!

How to Change Background Color in AutoCAD (And Other Color Settings!)

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:

  1. First, right-click on the screen and open Options.
  2. In the Options window go to Display tab and click on Colors.
  3. A window will pop-up called Drawing Window Colors, under Context choose 2D Model Space, and under Interface Element, Uniform Background.
  4. On the Color list, select the color that you want to use as AutoCAD Background Color.
  5. 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:

  1. First, right-click on the empty screen and select Options.
  2. On the Options window go to Display tab and click on Colors.
  3. Then, On the Drawing Window Colors, under Context choose Sheet/layout, and under Interface Element select Uniform Background.
  4. On the Color list, select the color that will be used as Layout Background Color .
  5. Lastly click on Apply & Close!

If all the colors on the layout tabs are turned monochrome you can check Layout Tab Displays no Colors in AutoCAD (One Click Solution!)

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:

  1. Type on command line GRID
  2. AutoCAD will prompt to Specify grid spacing(X) or [ON/OFF/Snap/Major/aDaptive/Limits/Follow/Aspect] <1.0000>:
  3. Type in the desired grid spacing as it is directly linked to the drawing units.
  4. 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:

  1. Right-click on the blank screen and hit Options.
  2. There in the Display tab click on Colors.
  3. 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.
  4. On the Color list, select the color that you want to use.
  5. 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!

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