How to Create a Symbol Linestyle

This tech tip describes how to customise your line types by using symbol lines such as a fence or telephone line.

Creating the block for the symbol line
Start a new drawing with a scale 1:1.

Select the Settings Menu › Drawing Settings option.

Make a geometry cross. Add a parallel geometry line on each side of the first vertical geometry line at a distance of 1mm. Add another vertical geometry line 8 mm to the left of the geometry line on the left as in the shown below:

Draw your solid line and then draw a capital letter X in the centre of the gap between the last two vertical geometry lines as shown above. Do not add the dimensions shown in the sketch above. Select the line and the X.

The choice of object colour is important because this cannot be changed after the block has been created.

Go to the menu option Objects › Create Block. You are prompted to:

The symbol line uses this hook point to place the block in the symbol line so select a hook point on the extreme left at the median of the object. Using the Geometry Intersection cursor select the left end of the line. Once the hook point has been chosen the block is embedded in the drawing and is not visible unless inserted in the drawing or used in a symbol line.

Scroll down to the bottom of the line-type list box and look for the block name you have just created to check that the block is embedded in the drawing.

Delete all the geometry lines and save the drawing under a suitable name e.g. “FENCE_10.drg”. If the symbol line is going to be used frequently save the block in your start-up drawing so that it is automatically loaded in a new drawing. You may create multiple blocks in the drawing and then save them in a block library or create a separate file for each block.

Go to File › Clear All.

Using the block to create a symbol line
Start a new drawing at the same scale as you have created the block called "FENCE_10. Multiple symbol files can be loaded. In this example we will load "FENCE_10.drg" plus an additional symbol file called "SQUARE_10.drg"

Go to the menu option File › Load Symbol File and select the file "FENCE_10.DRG. AllyCAD will then prompt:

Select NO. It will then prompt:

Select YES. The same procedure is followed for each symbol file loaded.

Change the default linestyle to the colour of your symbol.

In the linetype list box, scroll to the last item in the list containing the block name of the last block loaded.

By clicking on the block name the Symbol LineStyle dialog will be displayed.

This contains a list box, "Block Name", showing all the blocks that have been loaded in the current drawing listed in alphabetical order. In this case “FENCE_10” and “SQUARE_10” can be seen.

If you would like spaces between the blocks leave the Continuous check box unchecked and enter the repeat factor in millimeters on paper. E.g. if “15” is entered the block will be repeated every 15 mm leaving a 5mm space between each block. If a repeat factor is chosen that is less than the block length the blocks will overlap in the symbol line.

The above symbol lines and circles were drawn using 10mm square blocks with a Continuous repeat factor and a repeat factor of 15 mm respectively.

The above symbol lines and were drawn using 10mm fence blocks with a Continuous repeat factor and a repeat factor of 20 mm respectively.

Gaps in the drawing entity (line, polyline, arc or circle) caused by the block length not dividing exactly into the length of the drawing entity are filled with a continuous line at both ends of the drawing entity. The current drawing default colour is used so it is important to set the default colour to match the colour of the selected block. The default colour can be changed by clicking on the pen button on the control bar and selecting the new default colour.

The line below shows a line drawn with continuous 10mm blocks. The default colour has been set to blue to show the gap fill in the symbol line.

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