There are many linetypes which are already available in AutoCAD but you can also add your own custom linetype to AutoCAD. In this article, I will use Make shape and Make linetype express tools for creating custom AutoCAD linetypes.
I will use the example of the shape shown in the image below for this article.
Making complex linetypes:
To start making this linetype create its single segment as shown in the image below.
Shape used for a segment of linetype
Type MKSHAPE on the command line and press enter, this will open a file browser where you can specify the location to save your shapefile (.SHP). By default name of this file will be same as your file name, don’t change its default name and specify desktop as file location and click on save.
Now AutoCAD command line will prompt you to specify the name for this shape, type LINESHAPE and press enter (you can select another name as well). Press enter again to accept the default resolution value of 128.
When you increase the shape resolution value, the shape will be created with more coordinate data. This will cause consumption of more resources of your computer making it perform slower during drawing regeneration, so try to keep it at an optimum level.
Once resolution value is selected, the command line will prompt you to select the base point. Click on the midpoint of left vertical line on the geometry and select all objects of the shape and press enter again to make the shape and exit the command.
Now our shape is ready for making a linetype. Type SHAPE on the command line and press enter to start the Insert shape command. Type the name of the shape created in the previous steps, I am typing LINESHAPE for this example and press enter.
Inserting shape using SHAPE command
You will notice that shape geometry will now follow your cursor, click at the midpoint of the vertical line on the left of geometry in drawing area so that the shape completely overlaps the existing geometry. Press enter twice to accept the default value of scale and rotation angle for the shape (which should be 1 and 0° respectively).
In this case, I made this shape to overlap existing geometry because while creating the linetype you won’t be able to select snap points from shape geometry and the original geometry will act as a reference.
Type MKLTYPE or select Make Linetype tool from expanded tools panel of express tools tab.
Make Linetype option in express tools
This will again prompt you to specify a location for saving the linetype file (.LIN), select desktop as the location and don’t change its default name, then click on save to exit select linetype window.
Now command line will prompt you to specify the name of this linetype, type TESTLT as its name and press enter. If you want to specify a description for this linetype then enter it now or press enter to leave this field blank.
Now command line will prompt you to specify the starting point for the linetype, click on the midpoint of the left vertical line. And click on the rightmost point of the horizontal line as its ending point as shown in the image below. Click on shape when select objects prompt appears and press enter.
Click order for making linetype
The linetype is now created with name TESTLT and it will also be loaded in the drawing. You can now apply this linetype to geometries in your drawing.
If you find that scale of this line type is not appropriate then you can change its scale by changing LTSCALE system variable to appropriate value or by changing the scale of individual objects from properties palette.
When you transfer your drawing containing this custom linetype then also make sure to transfer linetype and shape file created in examples above with it.
Exporting custom linetype from the drawing:
If you have a drawing containing completely new linetype and you don’t have its linetype file then there is a VLX file courtesy of Cadstudio.cz that can make exporting linetype from your drawing a seamless task.
Once you have that file type APPLOAD on the command line and press enter. This will open Load/Unload Applications window, locate the file location from Look In dropdown menu select LinOut.vlx file and click on load button. When the file is loaded Click on the close button.
Now type LINOUT on the command line and press enter, a new linetypes.lin file will be added to the same folder in which your current drawing is stored. This lin file will contain all custom linetypes of your current drawing.
Do you have questions related to this tip? Let me know in the comments below.
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I am a mechanical engineer and I have worked with Design, Manufacturing and Training industries but now SourceCAD is my full-time work and I use it to train students all over the world. I also train corporate clients and help them develop the skill set of their workforce.
I am Autodesk AutoCAD Certified Professional and an Autodesk expert elite member. I am a regular contributor of AUGI World magazine and apart from SourceCAD I also develop AutoCAD video courses for Pluralsight and other E-Learning businesses.