Hatching can sometimes be frustrating, so I’ve collected a few hatching tips together, including links to other tips. Think of the collection as your personal hatching helper.
In case you don’t know, a hatch is a pattern of lines and dots that fills an enclosed area.
Create user-defined hatch patterns
When you choose a hatch pattern and apply it, it doesn’t always look the way you want it to. You can try to find a better hatch pattern, but an easy way to deal with this problem is to create a user-defined hatch pattern. A user-defined hatch pattern just lets you specify the angle of the pattern and its scale. Changing the scale is an especially easy way to correct a hatch pattern whose spacing is too close or too wide.
Increasing the scale makes the spacing wider; decreasing the scale makes the spacing closer (narrower). A value of 1 is the default, so to make the lines closer together, use a value that is between 0 and 1.
Start the HATCH command
Before you start hatching, you might want to create a separate layer for the hatch and make it current. When you start the HATCH command (Home tab> Draw panel> Hatch), the Hatch Creation tab appears. Choose the pattern you want from the Pattern panel.
At the Pick internal point or [Select objects/seTtings]: prompt, click inside the closed area or use the Select objects option. An easy way to switch between picking internal points and selecting objects is to right click and choose the option that isn’t current from the shortcut menu. In this example, you would choose Select Objects.
For more information, see the older (but updated) tip, “Easy hatching.”
Define the enclosed area properly
Sometimes, AutoCAD won’t hatch the right area. Here are some hints for defining the enclosed area:
Franck Wallez advises drawing with polylines, instead of with lines. One reason is that they make specifying an enclosed area easier. If your enclosed area is complex, use the BOUNDARY or REGION commands to create a closed area.
If you’re enclosed area has gaps, AutoCAD has a solution. See my tip, “Dealing with gaps.”
Customize your hatches
A user-defined hatch may not give you enough flexibility. In that case, you can build your own hatch patterns. See “Creating custom hatch patterns” for the details.
A minor customization is to specify the hatch origin. For example, if you’re filling in a wall with a brick hatch, you may want the brick pattern to start at the lower-left corner. See the tip, “Control hatch origin.”
Another minor customization is to control islands, which are embedded shapes. See the tip, “Manage embedded shapes (islands) when hatching in AutoCAD” for more information.
What about paper space?
When you display your hatches in paper space, you may be in for a rude surprise.Your hatches in scaled viewports no longer have the right spacing! The solution is to make your hatches annotative. To do so, click the Annotative button in the Hatch Creation tab’s Options panel.
For a tutorial on annotative objects, see “Tutorial: Automate annotation scaling with annotative objects.”
Use this secret for easy selection of hatched objects
It can be difficult to select hatched objects, because there are so many hatch lines nearby. Franck Wallez recommends the HATCHTOBACK command, which moves all your hatching under everything else. Then, clicking on the hatched object is more likely to select the object you want and not the hatch.
Do you have any hatch tips? Please leave a comment and share them!
Done in AutoCAD 2012