Autocad 2D polylines

by Design Workshop Sydney

The Polyline tool is useful in Autocad 2D drafting for creating floor plans where many of the lines are either horizontal or vertical. We show you how in our Autocad 2D training courses.autocad-2d-polyline-tool
To create a floor plan like the one illustrated here first set up your limits in Autocad. A large retail outlet, for example, could have a set of limits 30000 by 20000mm. This will allow us to zoom in and out of the drawing with ease. Then Zoom All so that you can see the whole virtual drawing sheet.
Now choose the Polyline tool, or type PL into the Command line, followed by Enter. Before you start drawing make sure that the Ortho function is selected on the bottom Status bar, or hit the F8 button on your keyboard (Mac: Command +L). This will ensure that you are drawing orthogonally. And finally ensure that the Dynamic Input function is on so that you can see the length and angles of the lines as you draw.
Beginning on Layer 0, start drawing at any point on your floorplan. You will have various measurements, so pull your cursor in the direction you want to create the line and simply punch in the number, followed by Enter. Then pull downwards and again enter the length of the line, again hitting Enter to complete the line. Carry on in this fashion until you reach the starting point, whereupon you can manually click to close the polyline, or type C for Close, and hit Enter. Note that it’s not necessary to turn off Ortho when you reach an angled line, simply make sure you’re going in the right direction.
If you hover your cursor over the shape you’ll see the whole object highlight, indicating that it is indeed a polyline. The advantage of creating the shape as a polyline rather than as a series of single lines is that you’ll be able to offset the whole shape to create wall thicknesses, whereas if they were single lines you’d have to offset each line individually, then possibly stretch some and then trim the lot. It’s much easier to create the object as a polyline.
If you forget, however, and create the plan using the Line tool, you can later convert this into a polyline object by typing PE for Polyline Edit, then choosing the Join command to join all the lines together. Conversly, a polyline object can be broken up into individual lines using the Explode tool (keyboard shortcut is X).
More information on all features of the program can be found at the AutoDesk website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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