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In AutoCAD 2011: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets, Jeff Bartels shows AutoCAD users how to become more efficient power users, reducing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task, increasing profit margins, and strengthening marketplace competitiveness. The course covers everything from shortcuts used in geometry creation, to program customization, to real world solutions to common problems. Interface customization, block and reference management skills, and express tool usage are also covered. Exercise files are included with the course.
AutoCAD comes preinstalled with a wide array of linetypes and even though we have several to choose from, the stock collection probably doesn't contain every linetype that you may need. In this lesson, we'll learn how to create our own custom linetypes to suit any situation. Let's start by taking a look at the linetypes that are provided by AutoCAD. I'm going to open the Linetype fly-out, I'll select Other, I will then click Load, and from here I can see a list of the factory installed AutoCAD linetypes. Take a look up here at the top, notice these linetypes are coming from a file called acad.lin.
If I click the File button, we can see where the acad.lin file is being saved in our system. I'm going to right-click on this file and I'll select Open with and the computer is suggesting that I open this file using Notepad, which is fine. I'll click OK. As you can see each linetype in the lin file is defined using a couple lines of text. Now we're not going to get too technical into this. I just want to show you that right here we can see the linetype name, next to it we can see the linetype description, and the line below is the code that defines how the linetype looks.
Now back in the day if you wanted to create a custom linetype, you had to write your own codes. Today, linetypes are still created using code, but AutoCAD writes everything for us. Let's close all these windows and we'll return to the layout. I'm going to zoom in on the left side. On my screen I've drawn some linework that represents a custom linetype. I drew this geometry on my layout because I wanted to ensure that my linetype was being defined at the same size that it will appear on the printed sheets. To convert this geometry into a linetype, I'm going to visit the Express Tools tab, then I'll open the Tools panel and I'll select Make Linetype.
As you can see, AutoCAD is going to save the code as a lin file. I'm going to save this in the exercise files folder inside the Chapter_08 directory and I'll call this mycustom and I'll click Save. Now, I'll give the linetype a name. Let's assume this line represents a body of water. So I'll call this Eow for edge of water and I'll press Enter. I will then give the linetype a description. I'll type Edge of Water. Now I can specify the start point of the linetype.
I will select the endpoint right here. I will then select the endpoint of the line definition that's the point at which the linetype repeats. So I'll click the endpoint right here. I will then select the geometry that makes up my linetype, and I'll press Enter, and that's it. AutoCAD wrote all the code for me and it loaded the linetype into this drawing. To test this I'm going to jump back to the Home tab and I will create a line segment. I will then select the line and I'll assign it the new linetype. Let's back up a little and I'm going to grip edit this line over to here.
And as you can see this linetype acts just like any other linetype we've used in AutoCAD. Now, maybe I'd like to create a linetype that contains some text. Let's pan this over. Over here I have some geometry that represents my new linetype. This text was created using a style called linetypes and if we open up that Text Style, we can see it was assigned a Height of 0. Having the text style height set to zero means your text will be able to scale up and down as the linetype scale changes. If I select the text, you can see it was created using a single line text object.
It measures .08 tall, the same height I want it to appear on the printed sheet, and it is middle justified between these two endpoints. Let's convert this geometry into a custom linetype. Once again, I'll jump back to the Express Tools tab. I'll select Make Linetype. I will then select my previous lin file and I'll click Save. Now, AutoCAD asks if I want to replace it. I'm going to click Yes. Technically, I didn't replace that file. I'm actually adding this code to the file.
For my linetype name, I'll use CATV. The linetype description will be Cable Television. The start point for my linetype will be the endpoint here. The point at which it repeats is the endpoint here. I'll select the geometry and I'll press Enter. Once again we'll test this. I'll create another line segment. I'll select it, and I'll assign it the new linetype. Let's back up a little and I will grip edit this line over to here.
Finally, let's take a look at that lin file that AutoCAD created for us. I'll open the linetype fly- out again and I'll select Other. I'll click Load, I'll click the File button, let's jump into the exercise files folder, I'll jump into chapter_08, and I'll select my new custom line file. And as you can see I can now load these custom linetypes into any future AutoCAD drawing. So even though AutoCAD comes preinstalled with many different linetypes, at some point you'll probably need a few more.
When that time comes, you can simply create an example of what you want and let AutoCAD do all the coding for you.
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