Knowledgebase
Using Linetypes in MSCAD 2002 / 2004
Posted by Jason Poitras on 21 August 2015 01:16 PM

This Tech Note describes options for defining and using custom-made Linetypes within MicroSurvey products.

Linetype definitions are stored in an ASCII format file using the .lin extension. This is the same format that AutoCAD‚ uses, allowing you to use your AutoCAD linetype files in our program. Note: if you choose to read AutoCAD .lin files, keep in mind that only those comprised of dashes and/or dots will work correctly. (Release 12 format)

Two linetype files are included with your program, inch.lin and mm.lin,‚ each containing several linetype definitions. The appropriate file is automatically loaded when you open your drawing and select feet or meters.

The 2 line type files, mentioned above, can be found in:

MapScenes Pro

<drive>:\MapScenesPro\common

MS-CAD 2002

<drive>:\MSCAD2002\common

MSX2002

<drive>:\msx2002\common

Where <drive> = C in most cases.

Before a new linetype can be used in a drawing, it needs to be defined in a linetype file. Linetypes are loaded using the LINETYPE command at the command prompt or by selecting "Load Linetypes..." from the appropriate pull-down menu.

You can load more than one linetype file into your drawing if you wish.

Creating your own line types is done with the aid of a simple text editor such as WordPad.

A line type format can be defined in one of two ways for our programs to read them in. We suggest you look at the inch.lin or mm.lin file included with the program and examine a .lin file from AutoCAD to see the two methods.

To make your own custom line types (based upon the AutoCAD format):

The file can be documented by beginning a line with a semicolon, followed by the comment.

‚· The first line, or header, starts with an asterisk and contains the name of the line type followed by a comma and a symbolic representation of the line type.

‚· The second line, or Definition line, contains a description of the line type. This description always starts with the letter A then a comma and then a string of dashes, spaces and dots (+,-,or 0).

Format:

Header:

*Linetype name, [Linetype description]

Definition line:

A, dash,space,dot

The [linetype description] must not be more than 47 characters long, while the Definition Line must not contain more than 12 definitions (dash,space,dot) with a total line length of less than 80 characters.

The following example shows how a dash-dot line type is defined using the AutoCAD format:

*Dashdot, _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ . _ .

A, 0.5, -0.25, 0, -0.25

The name of the line type to be defined (Dashdot) follows the asterisks (*).

A comma then separates the symbolic representation of the line type ("_ . _ .").

To make your own custom line types (based upon the MicroSurvey format):

The file can be documented by beginning a line with a semicolon, followed by the comment.

‚· The first line is the header and is simply the name of the linetype in square brackets.

‚· The second line, or Description, contains the word Descr= then a series of dashes, spaces and dots, to give a graphical example of what the linetype will look like.

‚· The third line always says ITEMS=1.

‚· The fourth line starts with a 1= and then contains the Definition of the linetype as positive and negative numbers and zeros separated by commas.

Format:

Header:

[Linetype Name]

Description:

Descr=dashes, space and dots

Items:

ITEMS=1

Definition:

1= dash,space,dot

The Description must not be more than 47 characters long, while the Definition must not contain more than 12 definition (dash,space,dot) with a total line length of less than 80 characters.

The following example shows how a dash-dot line type is defined using the MicroSurvey format:

[DASHED1]

Descr=__ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __

ITEMS=1

1=0.25, -0.125

All definitions (for both methods) of dashes, dots, and spaces are separated by a commas:

‚· Dash: The drawing elements are shown as positive figures, for instance 0.5 represents a dash (PEN DOWN) with a length of 0.5 drawing units.

‚· Space: The negative units (-0.25) represent the space part in which no line should be drawn (PEN UP)

‚· Dot: Dots in the line type definition are shown as 0 values.

The length specifications represent drawing units when the line type scale factor (system variable LTSCALE) is set to 1.00.

Lines of Symbols:

Although we do not support linetypes that incorporate symbols or text in them, we do have other command options that may help you in drawing lines of symbols.

By using the "Draw Line of Blocks" command, found under the following menus:

MapScenes Pro

MapScenes pulldown -> Leaders -> Draw Line of Blocks

MS-CAD 2002

MicroSurvey pulldown -> Ties/Leaders/Symbols -> Draw Line of Blocks

MSX2002

Labeling pulldown -> Ties/Leaders/Symbols -> Draw Line of Blocks

If we insert a symbol, we can get an interesting line made from the series of symbols (see example below). It allows straight lines only but you may also insert each symbol one at a time to follow a curve.

(The Palette below is only available in the MSCAD product. The symbol you use can come from any source.)

If you use one of the symbols from our palette, it requires you insert the original block with a scale of 1 - If you require a larger symbol, then run the Explode command - then scale the linework up to the desired size using the normal Scale command - and finally create a new Part using the Create Part command. This new symbol can then be used in the "Draw Line of Blocks" command.

Keep in mind that you can create your own part to represent anything (including text) and have it repeated in a similar fashion as shown above.

Special Line Generation Tools

We also have special commands that will draw what look like linetypes, with text along them, or scalloped treelines/hedges.
Here is where you will find the commands for the respective programs.

MapScenes Pro

MapScenes pulldown -> Custom Lines -> then pick the desired command

MS-CAD 2002

Design pulldown -> then pick the desired command


Here is a sample of the lines.

Keep in mind that every line segment is a separate item, as is each piece of text. The TreeLine is one complete item.

The text height used is the current text style in the drawing. (Last one used) The size of the scallops on the tree line is also based upon the current text height.


Created on: October 5, 2000

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