AutoCAD Using dashed lines

From TOI-Pedia


While working with AutoCAD, you'll often run into situations where you want to draw dashed lines. Drawing a dashed line works just like drawing a normal line, except you need to put the object in a separate layer for which you set the line type to dashed (or another line type).


Lets for instance say we want to make a dashed line out of the lines that form the 'x' shape in the drawing below.

First we are going to create a new layer. Give it an appropriate name and color. In the Layer Manager set the line type to the type you want (Linetype column):

Autocad select linetype.jpg

You may have to use the Load button to load additional line types:

Autocad load linetypes.jpg

Close the Layer manager and select the lines:

Dashed select.jpg

After selecting the lines you can place them into the newly created layer by selecting that layer from the layer pull-down menu.

You won't see a dashed line in your model space. You need to check your dashed lines in paper space.

In paper space the lines should now look something like this:

Plot preview dashed.jpg

Unfortunately, dashed lines do not always have the correct scale:

Linetype Scale

Dached wrong.jpg

To adjust the scale, open the Linetype manager through Format > Linetype.

Autocad linetype manager.jpg

Change the Global scale factor. Changing it from 1 to 0.5 will make your dashed line twice as dense. You can also change it using the command LTSCALE.

The option use paper space units for scaling will relate the scale of the line type to paper space units, thus making it independent from viewport scale. It will always display the line in the same (readable) scale. In most cases you'd want to enable this option.

Note: When you change the global scale factor, it may not update immediately in your drawing. Use View > Regen All to force an update.

This scale factor is, as the name suggests, global for all line types and all lines. If you need a different scale for a single line, you can change its linetype scale using the Tools > Properties window (Ctrl + 1) and change the linetype scale there.

Please notice that there are several types of dashed line types, also in different scales (e.g: DASHED, DASHED2, DASHEDX2). So be sure to use those to differentiate different dashed lines, instead of using a per object linetype scale.

Now the dashed line should look like this:

Dached right.jpg

There is no set value for the global scale factor, so it might take some experimentation to find the correct value. Best way to see if it's exactly what you want, it's recommended to make a test plot.

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