Polylines And Their Uses

if lines are single-segment that objects connecting two points then polylines are line segments and the connected sequence created as a single object that means that their lines or maybe even arcs in some cases with multiple vertices polylines are great for contour lines wire diagrams piping drawings extrusion profiles pathways or even a closed object when a polyline is closed meaning that there is no real beginning or end it’s called a polygon which is a closed multi-sided shape you can create a polyline with several different commands P line or plying rectangle doughnut boundary and even Rev cloud line or P line depending on how you want to say it because it’s just the letter P then Li any there will be your most commonly used command to draw a polyline with and we’ll talk about the other options in a later section each of them have their place in fact we’ve drawn many polylines already using the rectangle command I like to use the rectangle command is a great example because it’s very quick to do two points and you have a nice shape that it’s easily defined seen and work with but drawing a polyline can be accomplished using the exact same methods that you draw a line with so the previous section here in this chapter will be applied directly to a P line exactly in the same way after all a polyline is just a set of lines that are connected together you can draw a polyline or P line as they’re often called just using coordinates relative coordinates polar coordinates length just two points etc plans can also be drawn as arcs you can even switch from line to arc while you’re drawing a polyline and when you go to edit them you can do the same thing polylines are very versatile and have many functions in fact I know of several CAD drafters that don’t use lines they use P lines because you can do things with them that you can’t with a regular line so start the polyline command
he can come up right here in the Home tab on the ribbon to the polyline and you can see that it has multiple points here
or you can type in P line
the command alias for polyline is just PL and that’s what I typically do just type pl
press Enter
drawing a pee line looks just like drawing a line pick a point
off my ortho command pick another point and the nice thing about lines and polylines is that when you’re done you can type in CL for clothes and it will close your object you can do the same thing with the line
in line
just pick at least three points hit CL and it closes it it will draw your line or polyline segments from the last point you entered to the first point you entered
this is a line
to pick this triangle I have to select each line each part of this triangle is its own object now in this shape a polyline is only one object now I can grip edit this very quickly changing the shape dramatically
even convert them to an arc
and stretch them out
so very quickly I turned that odd shape into an even odder shape you can’t do that with regular lines
I can move it and things like that but that’s all
so polylines are a bit more versatile than a regular line let’s erase these and get everything out of our way let’s start with the polyline command again PL
pick a point anywhere let’s draw a vertical line ten units long
turn on your ortho command
then type in the number ten for ten units
you may have to zoom in or zoom out depending on where you’re at
now as you draw
you can do different things let’s turn the ortho command off
down here we
any options for the polyline command we have arc close which we showed you already half width length undo and width the time you’re only going to use arc closed and width
now a line has a width of zero but a polyline in having width added to it or set to it a width of zero means it’s just the arbitrary default width on your screen if you set a width which will be controlled in units the actual width of that line will be that wide we’ll look at that in a little bit but type in the letter A press Enter
and now we’re drawing an arc this arc will be tangent to the previous line that you drew as you can see here siting on the cord length and relative to your last line
and you can continue drawing arcs picking points
and they will all be tangential to each other to draw a straight line again hit L enter and now you’re drawing a line that line will not be a tangent line to that last curve it just starts from that point and continues on to wherever it is you pick you can come up with some very interesting shapes with the polyline command after you draw a polyline you can use the P edit command for polyline edit you can do that to make changes to it type P edit right now and press Enter and select the polyline this command has many options available you can close a polyline into a polygon with the close option it will draw a line from wherever you were
on your last point to the first one now this is a closed shape
or option will combine other polylines together into one polyline I keep in mind that their end points will have to be at the exact same places to be joined you can use what’s called a fuzz factor that will draw a segment in to fill the gap if necessary and you give it a maximum size so if your gap is at least this big or less it will draw a segment between the gaps you can edit a vertex by moving it taking it out or adding a new one with the Edit the vertex you can also change the width of the polyline let me show you
if I click width and I type in one for one unit
that line becomes a very thick I can also make it thicker
I can keep going type with again type in zero we’ll put it back now what happens if you put in a negative width click the width option I’ve been negative 5
nothing it must be a positive number just press escape to get out of the polyline edit command you can turn other objects into polylines using the P edit command start the command and then select your objects so if we have lines like this shape here it consists of four different lines we can change them into polylines start the polyline edit command press enter and now select your objects and we’ll ask you do you want to turn it into one meaning a polyline because as you see on the command line it says down here object selected is not a polyline do you want it to turn into one hit Y for yes and now we can join it to the other lines
press Enter
and enter again to close the command now you see this is one polyline and any object like a line or an arc can be turned into a polyline polylines are a bit more versatile you can do a lot of things with them we’ll look more closely and how to edit them in later sections but polylines are great and you’re going to use them and I encourage you to because you can do other things with them as well
since they are a closed object you can very easily
create a hatch inside them
that fast
your pattern
quickly very easily because of it you can’t really do that so much with lines you lose some control over it we’ll talk about hatches later and other things that you can do with polylines

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