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AutoCAD Tutorial

AutoCAD 2004 Customization Tutorial: Simple Linetypes

June 17, 2003

Simple linetypes are those that consist of dashes, spaces and dots. On the other hand complex linetypes may contain texts and/or shapes. Figure 1 shows some simple and complex linetypes. Here you learn how to define and use a simple linetype.


Figure 1 - Click on image to enlarge

Note: Linetypes are defined within text files that hold the LIN extension. There are two default LIN files "acad.lin" and "acadiso.lin". You may add the linetype definition to one of these files or create your own LIN file. The latter is safer as you are not changing the contents of existing files.

1. Download R16_Simple_Linetypes.dwg.

Note: If you are using an earlier release of AutoCAD download R15_Simple_Linetypes.dwg.

2. Open the file in AutoCAD.

3. In command line type Notepad and then press Enter twice. The Notepad window appears.

4. In Notepad window type the proper text [Figure 2].

Figure 2


  • The first line is called the linetype header. The header starts with an asterisk (*). The asterisk is followed by the linetype name. You may add a comma followed by some descriptive text about the linetype. Here some dashes and dots are used to describe the linetype.

  • "A" is the alignment character. It always appears in the beginning of the definition line.

  • Positive numbers stand for dashes. Thus .75 means a dash that is 0.75 units long.

  • Negative numbers stand for spaces. Thus -.25 means a blank space that is 0.25 units long.

  • Zeros stand for dots.

  • You need to define one segment of the linetype only.

5. Save the file as "simple_lt.lin".

6. In AutoCAD command line, type LT and then press Enter. The Linetype Manager dialog box appears [Figure 3].

Figure 3 - Click on image to enlarge

7. Click Load. The Load or Reload Linetypes dialog box appears [Figure 4].

Figure 4

8. Click File.

9. In Select Linetype File dialog box locate and then open "simple_lt.lin" [Figure 5].

Figure 5 - Click on image to enlarge

10. The 3DASHDOT linetype will be added to the Load or Reload Linetype dialog box [Figure 6].

Figure 6

11. Select the linetype in the list and then click OK. The linetype will be loaded [Figure 7].

Figure 7 - Click on image to enlarge

12. Click OK.

13. Select the objects on drawing environment.

14. From the Linetype Control drop down list select 3DASHDOT [Figure 8].

Figure 8

15. Press Esc to deselect objects. The objects linetype is altered to 3DASHDOT [Figure 9].

Figure 9 - Click on image to enlarge

About the Author

Alireza Parsai is the founder of cadpanel.com. He is a mechanical engineer with more than 12 years experience with AutoCAD. Alireza is an Autodesk Authorized Author, the AutoCAD consultant for Al Khawarizmi Institute, a contributing editor for Augiworld magazine, a writer for CAD Digest, an instructor for AUGI Training Program, and an elected speaker for Autodesk University 2002. He has written 7 books in Farsi, 3 booklets in English, and more than 30 articles for different magazines and newsletters. You can reach him at alireza.parsai@cadpanel.com or visit his website www.cadpanel.com

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