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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.
When creating hatch, the pick points method can be one of the fastest ways to define a boundary. Unfortunately, when using pick points AutoCAD looks at every entity in the drawing. As your drawings become more complicated, it gets harder to use pick points, because other geometries starts getting in the way. In this lesson we are going to learn how to use pick points to apply hatch to complicated drawings. On my screen I have an abstract example. Let's say I'd like to hatch the area defined by these four line segments. I'll launch my Hatch command and by default AutoCAD uses the Pick Points method of finding a boundary.
Here's the problem. When I place my cursor inside this area, you can see that AutoCAD is hatching around all the circles. Now you might think that we could move up and use the Select Boundary Objects method to identify the boundary, but since my boundary is four individual objects, I can select all of these, but I'm still not getting what I want. I am going to press Escape and then I'll click the Undo button and let's try something else. I'm going to re-launch the Hatch command. I'll stick with the default Pick Points method. I'll open up the Boundaries panel, and I'll click this icon.
This tool allows me to limit what AutoCAD sees when looking for a boundary. I will then click each of my four objects and press Enter. Now when I place my cursor inside this area, AutoCAD hatches to the objects that I allowed it to see. I'll click to select the area and then I'll press Enter to accept to my hatch. Knowing what we know now, let's try and use this tool in a practical example. I am going to pan the drawing over. On my screen I have an architectural drawing.
I would like to apply a gradient fill hatch to these windows. Let's zoom in a little closer. I'll launch the Hatch command. In the Pattern panel, I'll click the flyout and I'm going to select the Gradient Linear Pattern. I'd like this to be blue-and-white. One my colors is already correct. So I'll click the yellow and I'll change this to white. Finally, I'm going to click in the angle field and I'll change this to 100. I'll press tab to accept that value.
This way it looks like I have a light source coming down from above. Now here's the problem. I don't want to have individual patterns for each pane. I'd like to have the pattern span the entire window. To do that, I'll open the Boundaries panel and I'll click the Select New Boundary Set icon. I will then select the objects I'd like AutoCAD to see. I'll grab all of these edges around the outsides of the windows.
When I am finished, I'll press Enter. Now when I place my cursor inside this area, I can see that AutoCAD will span the pattern across the entire window. I'll select this one and this one. Now before I finish, I'd like to do one more thing. I'd rather not have my hatch sitting on top of the other linework. So I am going to open the Options panel and I'll come down and open this flyout. This is a draw order control, and I would like my Hatch to be set to the back of the drawing and I'll press Enter.
As you can see, even if you have geometry that's in your way, you can still use the Pick Points method to create your hatch. You just need to limit what AutoCAD sees when it looks for a boundary.
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