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How Connect Lines with Polyline in AutoCAD 2014

Drawing polylines composed of straight segments in AutoCAD 2014 is much like drawing with the Line command. The PLine command has lots of options, so watch the prompts. If the Dynamic Input feature is on, press the down-arrow key to see the options listed near the crosshairs, or right-click to display the PLine right-click menu, or simply read the command line.

To draw a polyline composed of straight segments, follow these steps:

  1. Start a new drawing using the acad.dwt (or acadlt.dwt) template.

  2. Click the Polyline button on the Draw panel of the Ribbon, or type PL at the command line and press Enter.

    AutoCAD starts the PLine command and prompts you to specify a start point.

  3. Specify the starting point by clicking a point or typing coordinates.

    Now you truly need to read the command line because the Dynamic Input tooltip at the cursor doesn’t display any of the options.

    You can right-click or press the down-arrow key to see a list of the options at the cursor, but it’s usually faster to use the command line.

    image0.jpg

    AutoCAD displays the current polyline segment line width at the command line and prompts you to specify the other endpoint of the first polyline segment:

    Current line-width is 0.0000
    Specify next point or [Arc/Halfwidth/Length/
    Undo/Width]:
  4. If the current line width isn’t zero, change it to zero by typing W to select the Width option and then entering 0 as the starting and ending widths, as shown in this command-line sequence:

    Specify next point or [Arc/Halfwidth/Length/
    Undo/Width]: W Specify starting width <0.0000>: 0 Specify ending width <0.0000>: 0 Specify next point or [Arc/Halfwidth/Length/
    Undo/Width]:

    Despite what you may think, a zero-width polyline segment isn’t the AutoCAD equivalent of drawing with invisible ink. Zero width means, “Display this segment using the normal, single-pixel width on the screen, and plot as thin as possible.”

  5. Specify additional points by clicking or typing.

    After you specify the second point, AutoCAD adds the Close option to the prompt. The command line shows

    Specify next point or [Arc/Close/Halfwidth/Length/
    Undo/Width]:
  6. Pick several points to create several line segments, and then enter W to start the Width option. Then set a new width, as shown in this command line sequence:

    Starting width <0.0000>: 5
    Specify ending width <5.0000>: Press Enter
  7. Pick several more points and note the line width of the new segments.

  8. Set the Width option again:

    Starting width <5.0000>: 15
    Specify ending width <0.0000>: 0
  9. Pick another point.

    You just created a cool arrowhead!

    Any time AutoCAD prompts for a length or distance, you can either type a value or “show” it what you want, by picking two points.

  10. After you finish drawing segments, press Enter to leave the figure open or type C and press Enter to close it back to the start.

    AutoCAD draws the final segment and miters all the corners perfectly.

After you create a polyline, you can adjust its segments by grip-editing any of the vertex points.

Curved segments in polylines are circular arcs that you can draw using the AutoCAD Arc command. AutoCAD can draw other kinds of curves, including ellipses and splines, but not within the PLine command.

To draw a polyline that includes curved segments, follow these steps:

  1. Repeat Steps 1–5 in the preceding step list.

  2. To add one or more arc segments, type A and then press Enter to select the Arc option.

    The prompt changes to show arc segment options. Most of these options correspond to the many ways of drawing circular arcs in AutoCAD. The command line shows

    Specify endpoint of arc or [Angle/CEnter/CLose/
    Direction/Halfwidth/Line/Radius/Secondpt/
    Undo/Width]:
  3. Specify the endpoint of the arc by clicking a point or typing coordinates.

    AutoCAD draws the curved segment of the polyline. The prompts continue to show arc segment options.

    Specify endpoint of arc or [Angle/CEnter/CLose/
    Direction/Halfwidth/Line/Radius/Second pt/
    Undo/Width]:

    The options at this point are to

    • Specify additional points to draw more arc segments.

    • Choose another arc-drawing method, such as Center or Second pt.

    • Return to drawing straight-line segments with the Line option.

    In this example, you draw straight-line segments.

    Perhaps the most useful of the alternative arc-drawing methods is Second pt. It gives you more control over the direction of the arc but at the cost of losing tangency of adjacent segments. If you want both ends of the arc segments to be tangent to the adjacent line segments, you should generally draw the polyline as straight-line segments and then use the Fillet command to add the arcs later.

  4. Type L and then press Enter to select the Line option.

    The prompt reverts to showing straight-line segment options.

    Specify next point or [Arc/Close/Halfwidth/
    Length/Undo/Width]:
  5. Specify additional points by clicking or typing.

  6. After you’re finished drawing segments, either press Enter or type C and press Enter.

Here are some elements you can draw with the PLine command by using straight segments, arc segments, varying-width segments, or a combination of all of them.

image1.jpg
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