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Hey AutoCAD! Whose Line is it Anyway?

June 19, 2015

Here we go again!!!  You just received a file from the client and over 10 utility lines (and other features) were converted from another source and you also notice some interesting line type names. In order to adhere to our standards we need to change those lines to match our company standard linetypes.

My good friend Paul Munford was kind enough to let me guest write for his blog on the topic of using the CAD standards manager to convert text styles. Check out his website and my posting at

I will continue with this topic on CADproTips moving to those rogue linetypes we receive from survey and/or client files.  We are going to use the same technique as the text styles but this time standardizing our linetypes the easy way. Figure 1 shows several linetypes from an outside source that we would like to convert to our standard.

Figure 1: Linetypes from an outside source

01 LS_Layer Manager

Let’s take a closer look at the file and see what needs to be changed. We have 7 linetypes shown in Figure 2 that need to be converted to our standard. Keep in mind when I say my standard I use linetypes that our current to a standard I created, your company may have a slightly different result. Figure 2 shows an example of the linetype styles that we need to change. We could go and correct the lines individually but why not use the CAD Standards checker to do that for us automatically? Close out of your drawing (the client/outside source file) and start a new drawing where we will add our standard linetypes.

Figure 2: The Linetype Violations

03_The Violations

One of the first things we need to do (if we have not already) is take one of our company existing drawings and load up the linetypes we need to use for those layers. Review the client/outside drawing file, take a look at the linetype and it’s properties this will help you determine a suitable replacement. For this example I created a blank drawing file and loaded up the linetypes that I I felt would be suitable replacements as shown in Figure 3. Then save the file to MY_LINETYPES.DWS

Figure 3: My Standard Linetypes

02 LS_My Linetypes

 Now that we have a standards file to compare to and we are aware of the linetypes  we need to fix let’s move over to the Manager tab on the Ribbon. We need to load up and configure our CAD Standards checker. On the CAD Standards panel select configure as shown in Figure 4.

Figure 4: CAD Standard s Panel

04 LS_CAD Standards Panel

The configure standards window will open then select the + image and add our MY_LINETPES.DWS file under the standards window as shown below and in Figure 5.00_Add Button

Figure 5: Configure the CAD Standards Manager

05-LS_Template File

Move to the Plug-ins tab as shown on Figure 6. We need to only check this file for linetypes therefore we are going to uncheck all of these leaving only the linetypes button checked. I am not concerned about the other objects at this time. Hit OK. You have now setup your standards file to check your linetypes.

Figure 6: Plug-ins Tab

06_LS-PlugIns Tab

We are now ready to run our Check.  Select the Check button on the Ribbon.


After selecting check the Check Standards dialog box will appear as shown in Figure 7. You now will have 4 or 5 steps to complete while going through each line.

  1. The problem will be listed in the opening window.
  2. The replacement linetypes from our standards file.
  3. Preview of the changes. I like this window as it displays a snapshot of what you are changing.
  4. Hit Fix and you will be moved to the next problem. Continue until complete.
  5. This step is for managers that want to ignore a problem. Maybe there was a special line or client requested file that you need to keep within the drawing. If someone else runs the checker they will see that it was ignore by you.

Figure 7: Fix the Problems

07-LS Fix Problems

When you are finished you will get a nice dialog box as shown in Figure 8 that tells you the problems found and fixed and or ignored. Hit Close.

Figure 8: Check Complete

08_all done

This concludes another segment related to the CAD Standards tools provided in AutoCAD. As I mentioned in my previous posts I typically remove the standards file by going into the configure button and removing from the settings. You can do that or set the standards violation system variable to 0 to suppress the warning if the standards file is missing.

As a CAD Manager I load and unload standards files to check work from my team. This is a great way to provide feedback and to catch those little things that can be missed during the busy design phase of a project. The CAD standards manager can help you check, correct, and maintain standards within your company.

Don’t forget to look up Paul as well, you soon learn and know how much you appreciate people like him to help you with those solutions that we all encounter day in and day out.

cad setter out

Check back soon as I will add a video on how to complete this task.

My plug for Autodesk University continues as I preface my layers with AU.

Learn – Connect and Explore with your peers at Autodesk University 2015, Early registration begins in August and you can also purchase early passes today!

Until next month….Sam

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