About Linetypes


A linetype is a repeating pattern of dashes, dots, and blank spaces displayed in a line or a curve. You assign linetypes to objects either by layer or by specifying the linetype explicitly, independent of layers.

All objects are created using the current linetype, which is displayed in the Properties palette and the Home tab, Properties panel of the ribbon when no objects are selected.

Some linetype definitions include text and symbols.

Load Linetypes

Before you can use different linetypes, you must load them from a linetype definition (LIN) file using the Linetype Manager (LINETYPE command) or through the Layer Properties Manager, Linetype column. Once a linetype is loaded and the drawing is saved, the linetype definition is stored in the drawing.

Two linetype definition files are available: acad.lin for imperial units, and acadiso.lin for metric units. ACAD_ISO linetypes can be plotted with the ISO pen-width option.

You can remove unreferenced linetype definitions from a drawing with the PURGE command, or by deleting unreferenced linetypes from the Linetype Manager. The BYBLOCK, BYLAYER, and CONTINUOUS linetypes cannot be removed.

Control the Linetype Scale

You can control the linetype scale both globally for all objects, and explicitly for each object.

The current object scale is multiplied by the global scale factor to get the displayed linetype scale.

In a layout, by default, the linetype scale in different layout viewports is automatically based on paper space units, regardless of the magnification of the objects. If you create a new layout viewport, use REGENALL to update the display of the linetype scale.

  • By default, both global and individual linetype scales are set to 1.00. The smaller the scale factor, the more repetitions of the pattern are generated per drawing unit. For example, with a setting of 0.5, two repetitions of the pattern in the linetype definition are displayed for each drawing unit.
  • In most cases, you should leave the global scale factor set to 1.00
  • These linetypes should not be confused with the hardware linetypes provided by some plotters. The two types of dashed lines produce similar results. Do not use both types at the same time, however, because the results can be unpredictable.

Display Linetypes on Short Segments and Polylines

You can center the pattern of a linetype on each segment of a polyline, and you can control how the linetype is displayed on short segments. If a line is too short to hold even one dash sequence, the result is a continuous line between the endpoints, as shown below.

You can accommodate short segments by using a smaller value for their individual linetype scales.

For polylines, you can specify whether a linetype pattern is centered on each segment or is continuous across vertices throughout the entire length of the polyline. You do this by setting the PLINEGEN system variable.