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AutoCAD 2004 Customization Tutorial: String Linetypes

June 18, 2003

String linetypes are complex linetypes that consist of some text. Any string linetype may contain some dashes, spaces, and/or dots. You should be familiar with defining simple linetypes to be able to define String linetypes. For more information read the following tutorial:

AutoCAD 2004 Customization Tutorial: Simple Linetypes

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_String_Linetypes.dwg.

Note: If you are using an earlier release of AutoCAD download: R15_String_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 1].

Figure 1 - Click on image to enlarge


  • 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.

  • "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 which is 0.75 units long.

  • Negative numbers stand for spaces. Thus -1.5 means a blank space which is 1.5 units long.

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

  • The text is defined within brackets. The general syntax is:

  • "Standard" text style is the safest text style as it is available in all drawing files.

  • If in text style definition height is set to 0.0 the scale means text height, otherwise it is used as a scale factor [Figure 2].

Figure 2 - Click on image to enlarge
  • You may enter the rotation angle of the text as a relative value. For example R=0.0 means the text is aligned with the line or curve. If you type A=0.0 then the text will be horizontal with respect to the current UCS.

  • X-offset and Y-offset values help us to place the text properly.

5. Save the file as "string_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 "string_lt.lin" [Figure 5].

Figure 5 - Click on image to enlarge

10. The DANGER 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 DANGER [Figure 8].

Figure 8

15. Press Esc to deselect objects. The objects linetype is altered to DANGER [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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