There have been some major changes and improvements in hatch creation and editing in AutoCAD LT 2011. Some of them are easy to spot, but some of them you have to look for. Today’s post will focus on the creation side of hatches, and the next will be about editing.
When you fire up the Hatch command in AutoCAD LT 2011, you’ll notice that something is missing: the dialog box.
Instead, a contextual tab appears with all the options previously available in the dialog, plus a few more. (Click on the image to see it full-size.)
You can set the boundary detection method, pattern, angle, scale, origin, and more directly from the tab.
If you’re using the “pick points” method, hovering over an eligible area shows you an instant preview of what the hatch will look like, so you can adjust your properties as needed.
After you click, the hatch becomes immediately visible.
As you continue clicking to select areas, keep in mind that even though it *looks* as though separate hatch objects are created with each click, the final result will still be a single object unless you have “Create separate hatches” turned on under the Options panel.
Amid all these familiar hatch settings are two new options: Background Color, and Layer. They’re both on the Properties panel, but Layer is in the expanded portion.
Background color enables you to have a line pattern AND a fill color in the same hatch object, creating the effect of layering hatches. It can be set to any color you like except By Layer.
With the Layer property, you can set the default creation layer for new hatch objects. That way, no matter what the current layer is, hatches will always be created on the same layer.
This setting is persistent within a drawing, so if you set the hatch layer in your template file, you’ll never have to set it again. Now, is that a time-saver or what?
Tune in next time for hatch editing improvements!