How to Add Style to Hatches in AutoCAD
A minor problem in AutoCAD is that, unlike using text and dimensioning, you can’t create named styles for hatches. The good news is that three workarounds can help offset this issue.
Plagiarism 101 — editing hatches: Suppose that a drawing has several different styles of hatches applied with incorrect specifications. Simply select the problem hatch, click the Inherit Properties button on the Hatch Editor tab, and select an existing hatch to copy its properties. The original hatch inherits all properties of the selected hatch.
Select more than one problem hatch at a time to change multiple hatches at once.
Plagiarism 201 — cloning hatches: Suppose that a drawing has several different styles of hatches applied, and now you want to hatch another area. You start the Hatch command, and the Hatch contextual Ribbon appears. Oops — it shows the specifications of the last hatch that was applied, which is quite different from what you want to do now.
Click the Match Properties button in the Options panel of the Hatch Creation tab, or click the Inherit Properties button in the Hatch and Gradient dialog box. Pick an existing hatch, and — presto! — all settings are updated to match the selected hatch. You can use the cloned settings as is, or you can modify them.
Plagiarism 301 — creating hatches: Here’s a technique that even many experienced users miss. It’s remarkably easy to customize AutoCAD so that a single mouse click can produce any hatch style you want. Here’s how:
- Apply a hatch with the properties you want. Make sure that the existing hatch is on the correct layer and that the layer has all the correct properties.
Display the Tool Palette window. Select the Tool Palettes tool in the Palettes panel on the View tab of the Ribbon.
- Display the Hatches and Fills palette by clicking its tab. If you can’t see this tab, click the overlapping edges of the tabs at the bottom of the palette window and select Hatches and Fills from the list that appears.
- Create a new Hatch tool. Click once to select the existing hatch object, pause, and then select it again. Drag it to the tool palette and drop it.
Don’t double-click too quickly, and don’t click the blue grip, or else you’ll edit only the existing object.
- Use the new Hatch tool. Click the Hatch tool, and then click inside a closed boundary in the drawing. Bingo — instant hatches to your specification. Note that the tool even puts hatches on the same layer as the original sample. You can also simply click and drag the desired pattern from the tool palette to the desired boundary. If you start a new drawing, create a boundary, and then use the Tool Palette to hatch it, you may be amazed to find that the new hatches in the new drawing are on the correct layer. If the correct layer doesn’t exist in the new drawing, AutoCAD creates it to match the original specifications automatically — a process known as standardization through customization.