Entity linetype

You can use different linetypes to differentiate the purpose of one line from another. A linetype consists of a repeating pattern of dots, dashes, or blank spaces. Linetypes determine the appearance of entities both on the screen and when printed.

By default, every drawing has at least three linetypes: Continuous, Bylayer and ByBlock. Your drawing can also contain an unlimited number of named linetypes.

Linetype definitions are saved in the drawing. New linetypes are either imported from other drawings or loaded from a linetype file (*.lin). Which linetype source file is used by default is controlled by the MEASUREMENT system variable:

  • MEASUREMENT = ON uses Iso.lin: Linetype definitions are expressed in mm.
  • MEASUREMENT = OFF: Default.lin: Linetype definitions are expressed in inch.

New entities are drawn using the current linetype set by the CELTYPE system variable.

The options to set the Linetype are:

  • ByLayer: Entities adopt the linetype of their layer. This allows you to change the linetype of all such entities by adjusting the linetype of the layer.
  • ByBlock: Entities drawn as continuous lines until you include them into a block. The entities then inherit the linetype setting of the block entity when you insert the block into a drawing.
  • Named linetype: Continuous or one of the linetypes saved in the drawing.

Linetype scale

Non-continuous linetypes consist of lines, gaps and dots put together in a variety of patterns. In complex linetypes also text or shapes can be included.

In the linetype definition the length of the lines and gaps are either defined in inch (default.lin) or mm (iso.lin). If the drawing units are different from inch or mm, linetypes need to be scaled. The linetype scaling is controlled by the  LTSCALE system variable, which must be set with respect to the drawing units (DU):

Drawing Unit LTSCALE
Inch 1
Foot 1/12
mm 1
cm 0.1
m 0.001

BricsCAD will always put a dash at the start and end of a line, polyline, arc or spline. The linetype pattern is also nicely centered, so that both ends of the entity look the same.

Polyline Generation

Linetypes are normally generated from vertex to vertex. Polylines of which the vertices are very close together might be rendered as a continuous line, if the linetype pattern does not fit between two subsequent vertices. The PLINEGEN system variable addresses this problem: when set to 1 or ON, the linetype is drawn from one end of the polyline to the other end, instead of from vertex to vertex.

The same polyline drawn with PLINEGEN on (left) and off (right).

Paper space linetype scale

The PSLTSCALE system variable controls the linetype scaling in paperspace layouts.

If ON, linetype scaling is independent from the viewport scale.

In general, PSLTSCALE is best set ON. Notice that this variable can be set per layout.

Model space linetype scale

The MSLTSCALE system variable controls the linetype scaling in model space.

If ON, the current annotation scale (CANNOSCALE system variable) is applied to linetypes in model space.

MSLTSCALE is best set OFF. It might be useful to switch it ON when printing from model space.

Setting the current linetype

Do one of the following:

  • On the Properties panel, select Linetype .

    Make sure that no entity is selected.

    Choose a linetype in the drop down list.

  • On the Entity Properties toolbar, click the down arrow next to the Linetype field, then choose a linetype in the drop down list.

  • Right click on the Linetype field in the Status Bar, then choose a linetype in the context menu.

Adding a new linetype

  1. Do one of the following:

    • Launch the LINETYPE command, then choose the New option.
    • Select Linetype in the Properties panel, then click the down arrow and choose Load…

    The Load linetypes dialog box displays.

  2. (option) Click the File… button to load a different linetype source file.

  3. Select one or more linetype(s) in the Load linetypes dialog box.

    Hold down the Ctrl-key to add or remove linetypes.

  4. Click the OK button

Setting the entity linetype scale

  1. On the Properties panel, select Linetype scale.

    Make sure no entity is selected.

  2. Type a new value in the Linetype scale field.

The value of the Linetype Scale is saved through the CELTSCALE system variable. This variable is best set to 1, except for special linetypes, such as BATTING or GAS_LINE, which most likely need to be scaled.

Note: The Entity Linetype Scale applies to new entities only.