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By Martin Phelps

As a follow up to my previous blog, again a feature not new to AutoCAD but may be a useful addition when hatching areas, which is often overlooked.

A “Polyline Boundary” can be produced from the existing line work, as well as “Hatching” the “Boundary”, it now has the added bonus of now being associated to the created “Boundary”.

Used in conjunction with the “HPGAPTOL” variable, as per my previous blog. The boundary can be created even if there are breaks between the lines making up the area to be hatched.

There are two ways in which the “Boundary” option can be turned on, either via the context sensitive “Hatch” tab, or the main “Hatch” dialogue box.

The “Retain Boundary – Polyline” tool is location in the “Don’t Retain Boundaries” fly out in the “Boundaries” drop down list, at the left of the context sensitive “Hatch Creation” ribbon tab, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1

Or tick the “Retain Boundaries” check box in the main “Hatch” dialogue box, as in Figure 2.

Figure 2

Which can be accessed by selecting the small arrow in the right corner of the “Options” drop down list in the context sensitive “Hatch Creation” tab as in Figure 3.

Figure 3 

Select hatch pattern type, scale and rotation, pick a point with in the line work to be hatched.

Not only is the area “Hatched”, but a “Polyline Boundary” is created from the existing geometry, as in Figure 4.

Figure 4

To prove the “Boundary” has been created, select the “Boundary” edge of the “Hatch”, this can now be edited using “Grips”, as in Figure 5.

Figure 5

Note: - The original line work remains.

The “Hatch” can be deleted separately, leaving the “Polyline Boundary” as in Figure 6.

Figure 6

Which may be used for “Area” calculations.