Linetype with Text image thumbBefore signing off to get married I started a series entitled Linetypes the Super Simple Way. So far I’ve covered creating a simple dashed linetype, creating shapes, and complex linetypes with shapes. To continue that series, today I’m going to take a look at creating linetypes with text contained within them.

Chances are, by reading the other posts in this series, you’ve become quite proficient with the Make Linetype (MKLTYPE) command; so I won’t spend too much time on that. Instead, I’d like to focus on some of the gotcha’s of creating linetypes with text, and how to overcome them.

Linetypes Text Style

While you can technically use any text style of your choosing, I find it best to create a dedicated linetype for text styles. I typically give this text style a super-cryptic name like LINETYPES. When creating this test style it’s important to define it with a Height of ‘0’. Here’s how I typically define my LINETYPES text style.

Linetype Text Style SNAGHTMLb14f30f thumb

Creating a text stye for linetypes.

Although your linetype definition will respect test style settings such as Font Name and Font Style, it will ignore “Effects” like Oblique Angle. That means if you distinguish between existing and proposed with an “obliqued” text style, you’ll need to reconsider your text standard and/or how you use text within linetypes.

This limitation is one of many reasons I’ve become a fan of True Type fonts inside AutoCAD. Using a True Type font like Arial you can create a text style with an Italic Font Style.

Italic Linetype Text Style SNAGHTMLb153f79 thumb

Creating an italic linetype text style

Defining the Linetype

With my LINETYPES text style in place, I’ll simply draw the linetype at a scale of 1:1. That’s to say if I want the text within the linetype to scale to 0.1”, I’ll draw the linetype with my text 0.1” tall. Using the Make Linetype (MKLTYPE) command, I’ll follow the prompts to create a new linetype definition.

Using the MKLTYPE command image thumb1

Using the MKLTYPE command

Upright Text in Linetypes

Using the Make Linetype (MKLTYPE) command in AutoCAD 2011 will create your linetype definition using the new Upright linetype property. The text contained within your linetypes will remain plan readable (ie not upside down) when the Upright property is used. Any linetypes you may have created prior to AutoCAD 2011 will need to be updated to utilize this property.

To do this, open your linetype file (.lin) in your favorite text editor (Notepad).

With the linetype definition open, replace the R=0.0 parameter (if you have one), and replace it with U=0.0. Here’s an example of what this might look like:

Typical Linetype Definition image thumb2

Typical Linetype Definition

Inch Marks in Linetypes.

If you use imperial units, you’ll probably need to display the inch mark (aka quotation mark) in your linetypes. If you look to the linetype definition above, you’ll notice that the text string is ended with a quotation mark. That’s to say if you entered [6” W] AutoCAD would ignore the W (Water) portion of the string. My workaround for this is to use two single quotes inside your text string. Inside your drawing it will look nearly identical to a real quotation mark.

Using these tips, you should end up with a linetype that looks something like the illustration below.

Final Linetype image3

Final Linetype

Linetypes the Super Simple Way Series

  1. Custom Linetypes the Super Simple Way
  2. Shapes for Linetypes the Super Simple Way
  3. Complex Linetypes with Shapes the Super Simple Way
  4. Text in Linetypes the Super Simple Way