Polylines draw lines similar to the line command we used
in lesson 2, but are a lot more powerful. Let's start by
drawing the same plot of land we drew in lesson 2, but this
type using polylines. The polyline command is situated on
the 'draw' toolbar.
Choose the polyline
For a start point, enter 50,50
Now enter the next line end points:
click or hit enter
to end the polyline command.
4) Try selecting any part of the area we just drew with
one click of the left mouse. The lines will become dotted
to show that you have selected the polyline.
You will notice that although we entered each line end point
command separately, because we drew the area with the polyline
command left open, AutoCAD treats the polyline as one entity
regardless of the shape or direction of the lines.
See the blue squares at each corner of the drawing?, these
represent each line point specified when we drew the polyine.
They are also a handy quick editing tool to adjust the shape
of our drawing. Try left clicking on one of the blue squares
with the centre of your crosshair, the corner follows your
mouse movements. Left click to reposition the corner where
your crosshair is, or press the Escape key to let go. These
blue squares are called Grips.
Try using the grips to dramatically alter the shape of your
(TIP- to undo any changes you make, simply select Undo from
the edit drop down menu as often as required)
Polylines - Arcs
There is more to polylines than just grips, a polyline can
actually be any shape or thickness. Now we'll have a play
with some more interesting Polyline features.
1) Undo any
changes you made to the rectangular land layout we drew,
and zoom extents to be left with the layout as shown above.
Select the polyline
command. Notice the command line is asking for a start point,
choose somewhere central within the upper area of our plot
AutoCAD now asks for a next point or we can choose further
The options are: Arc, Halfwidth, Length,Undo,Width. To select
which option we require, enter the letter from the command
we require that is in UPPER case (Which is most often, but
not always, the first letter of the word).
We are going to draw a pond on the land, so enter A
5) Notice how the line becomes arced instantly? Select a
few points and close the polyline to get something similar
to the drawing shown below.
Note: when you enter 'c' for close, AutoCAD will ask you
to clarify you want to use the close command and not centre
(as they both begin with c). Enter CL for close which are
the two upper case characters).
The arc command is obviously not just for drawing free-hand
ponds! We can enter further commands within the arc command
by using their upper case letters to have more control over
the arc, such as specifying a radius.
Have a play with the arc command and get familiar with how
1) Now we'll draw a fence around the pond. Select the polyline
command again, select a point close to the edge of the pond
to begin the polyline.
Press W to
activate the polyline width command. By default the polyline
width command is set to 0. Autocad asks for a width for
the start of the line, enter 0.1
then hit enter.
AutoCAD now asks for the width for
the end of the line, as we want it to be the same thickness,
again. Now just try drawing a free
hand fence around the pond.
thickness command is very useful, the more that you use
AutoCAD the more reasons you'll find to use it!
Try drawing a new polyline with a starting width of 0, and
an ending width of 1. A handy arrowhead pointer?
about it for polylines! They may not seem so great just
yet, but when we start using modify commands you'll see
just how useful it is to be able to manipulate and select
a whole complex shape in one go rather than selecting all
the separate entities.
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