Text in AutoCAD Linetypes

Text in AutoCAD Linetypes the Super Simple Way

Linetype with Text

Before 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
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
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
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
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
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

Donnie Gladfelter
Donnie Gladfelter

Donnie is author of the book and Autodesk Official Press, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT: No Experience Required, a columnist for AUGIWorld Magazine, Autodesk University speaker, and former member of the AUGI Board of Directors.


  1. Someone, please help me. The text in my linetype will not show up oriented the correct way. I have tried using R instead of U and U instead of R. It always is the same.

  2. I have manage to create linetype with text, but I have the problem than the dashes are not at the center of the linetype, how can I control this

  3. Hi all..Well I managed to create the line styles I required..But when I go to load it in another drawing I am getting ..Bad definition of 1 at line 2 of file..then it goes thru each linestyle I created..at line 4 ..etc…anybody else had this???

    • Make sure the textstyle named in the linetype is in your new drawing. I have a block with all the linetypes in it that I insert into a drawing to do this.

  4. please, Please, PLEASE amend this post to include that the text should be TEXT and not MTEXT!!! 

    Great and informative post but it nearly killed me that I couldn’t pick the “text” because it was MTEXT.

    To anyone looking at this…..


    • THANKS A MILLION FOR YOUR COMMENT TT I’ve been trying all ways from the web to create the text line type but had no idea why it doesnt work at all till I saw your comment and realise i was using “MTEXT” instead of “TEXT” :’)

  5. Your posts are extremely helpful! I am an architecture student, with minor civil experience, and I have always wondered how to best align the words STM and SAN to supply lines etc. This was simpler than i imagined. Mike had to tell me how to use text instead of mtext though. Kind of important :)

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