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The prompt changes back to showing straight-line segment options.
Specify next point or
5. Specify additional points by clicking or typing.
6. After youâ€™re finished drawing segments, either press Enter or type C and press Enter.
Figure 6-4 shows some of the things that you can draw with the PLINE command by using straight segments, arc segments, or a combination of both.
144 Part II: Let There Be Lines
The LINE and PLINE commands work well for drawing a series of end-to-end single lines, but what if you want to draw a series of double lines to represent, for example, the edges of a wall or roadway? Here are some options:
^ Use the AutoCAD MLINE (ML) command to draw multilines â€” series of two or more parallel straight lines. The AutoCAD multiline feature was full of limitations when it debuted over a decade ago, and despite some minor tweaks in AutoCAD 2006, it hasnâ€™t improved significantly since then. Look up the â€śMLINEâ€ť and â€śMLSTYLEâ€ť commands in AutoCADâ€™s online help system if youâ€™d like to tangle with this feature, but be prepared to spend time experimenting and struggling.
In AutoCAD LT only, use the DLINE (DL), or Double Line, command to draw pairs of parallel line and/or arc segments. AutoCAD LT doesnâ€™t include the MLINE command, which, given MLINEâ€™s problems, probably is more of a blessing than a limitation. AutoCAD, on the other hand, doesnâ€™t include the DLINE command. (Score one for the little brother!)
Use the PLINE command to draw a single set of connected line and/or arc segments, and then use the Offset command to create one or more sets of parallel segments. Chapter 7 covers the Offset command.
Square off with rectangle
You can use the PLINE or LINE command to draw a rectangle segment by segment. In most cases, though, youâ€™ll find it easier to use the special-purpose RECTANG command. The following procedure demonstrates how:
1. Set the desired layer current, and set other object properties that you want applied to the rectangle that youâ€™ll draw.
2. Click the Rectangle button on the Draw toolbar.
AutoCAD starts the RECTANG command and prompts you to specify a point for one corner of the rectangle. The command line shows:
Specify first corner point or
You can add fancy effects with the additional command options. The default options work best for most purposes. Look up â€śRECTANG commandâ€ť in the AutoCAD help system if you want to know more about the options.
3. Specify the first corner by clicking a point or typing coordinates.
AutoCAD prompts you to specify the other corner of the rectangle â€” the one thatâ€™s diagonally opposite from the first corner.
Specify other corner point or
Chapter 6: Where to Draw the Line 145
4. Specify the other corner by clicking a point or typing coordinates.
If you know the size of the rectangle that you want to draw (for example, 100 units long by 75 units high), type relative coordinates to specify the dimensions (for example, @100,75). (Chapter 5 describes how to type coordinates.)
AutoCAD draws the rectangle.
Unlike the neglected MLINE command, the RECTANG command has improved considerably since its debut. You can now specify a rotation angle and â€” very handy for space planners â€” you can provide one dimension and an area. REC-TANG will calculate the length of the other side and draw the rectangle.
Choose your sides with polygon
Rectangles and other closed polylines are types of polygons, or closed figures with three or more sides. The AutoCAD POLYGON command provides a quick way of drawing regular polygons â€” polygons in which all sides and angles are equal. (If regular polygons seem a little square, maybe thatâ€™s because a square is a special case of a regular polygon!)
The following procedure demonstrates the POLYGON command:
1. Set the desired layer current, and set other object properties that you want applied to the polygon that youâ€™ll draw.
2. Click the Polygon button on the Draw toolbar.
AutoCAD starts the POLYGON command and prompts you to enter the number of sides for the polygon.
Enter number of sides <4>:
3. Type the number of sides for the polygon that you want to draw and press Enter.
The command line prompts you to specify the center point of the polygon.
Specify center of polygon or [Edge]:
You can use the Edge option to draw a polygon by specifying one side, instead of the center and radius of an imaginary inscribed or circumscribed circle. The imaginary circle method is much more common.
4. Specify the center point by clicking a point or typing coordinates.
The command line prompts you to specify whether the polygon will be inscribed in (that is, the corners touch the circumference of the circle) or
146 Part II: Let There Be Lines
circumscribed about (that is, the sides are tangent to the circle) an imaginary circle whose radius you will specify in the following step: