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Custom Linetypes

Linetypes can be defined manually by editing or creating a .lin file using a text editor like notepad or the visual lisp editor that is included with AutoCAD. However, the Express Tools command MKLTYPE lets you create a linetype simply by drawing a pattern of dashes, dots, text and shapes.

Note: The Express Tools are not available in AutoCAD LT.

This video demonstrates how to create your own custom linetypes.

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Transcript of Video Tutorial

When preparing to make a linetype using MKLTYPE draw the lines, points, text and shapes at the size desired when the drawing is printed. Keep the line lengths and text heights uniform. You may want to draw a few lines and assign similar stock linetypes to them for size comparisons.

Once I select the MKLTYPE command a File Select window appears. I can select an existing linetype file to add my new linetype to or create a new linetype file. I'm creating a new file that will contain all my new linetypes.

First is the prompt for the linetype name. The name may not contain spaces.

Second is a simple text representation of the linetype consisting of 47 characters or less. This information is optional but recommended.

Next is the starting point of the pattern. The starting point must be located at the end of a dash.

Now the ending point of the pattern. The starting point and ending point define the repetition distance of the pattern.

Finally I'll choose the objects that define the pattern.

I'm not selecting all the lines that I've drawn. Some lines are only used to help visualize the pattern and locate its ending point.

Linetypes can include dots as well as dashes. The dots are drawn using the POINT command. Using the MKLTYPE command I'll add another linetype to my file.

I input the name and description and choose the start and end of the pattern. Finally I select the objects.

Creating a linetype that includes text is just as easy as one with dashes and dots.

The height of the text in the stock AutoCAD linetypes is 0.1, so that's what I used. The text can be single line or multiline, but it can't include symbols. You can put a custom symbol in a linetype and I'll show you that later.

I'll add the new linetype with text to the same linetype file using the MKLTYPE command, provide a name, description, starting and ending points.

Now I'll create a linetype with a symbol. I've already drawn the symbol, a hexagon, that I want included in my linetype. If you want to create a linetype with a center line or property line symbol, just draw the characters using lines, arcs, circles and ellipses.

The symbol must be defined as a Shape. Shapes display simple geometry very quickly. In the early days of AutoCAD shapes were often used for electrical or piping symbols because they displayed more quickly than blocks and made for smaller files. Note that the shape file must be present for shapes and linetypes with shapes to work. Font files are special shape files.

Another Express Tools command, MKSHAPE makes it easy to create a Shape file. Just like the MKLTYPE command, the MKSHAPE command displays a File Select window. A Shape file can contain several Shape definitions.

First is the name of the shape.

Next the resolution. The higher the number the more precise the shape and slower the shape is processed. Next is the base point of the shape and then finally the objects used to define the shape.

I'll delete the hexagon and place the shape with the SHAPE command.

Now I can create my new linetype using the same process as before.

Some tips:

When you make a linetype using the MKLTYPE command it is automatically loaded into the current drawing. You will need to manually load your custom linetypes in other drawings. If your linetype includes a shape you must first load the shape file using the LOAD command.