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    By Martin Phelps

    Hatching areas with spaces between boundary lines.

    This feature is not new to AutoCAD, but is often overlooked, however it can save time.

    It is often the case that the “Hatch” command will not hatch the required area, this may due to breaks in the boundary, as in Figure 1.

    Figure 1

    Although the above example is a little extreme the process is the same whether the gaps are small or large, single or multiple.

    If hatching is attempted the following “Hatch Error Message” is displayed as per Figure 2, due to  AutoCAD being unable to find a boundary.

    Figure 2

    Red circles are displayed at the points showing the largest gaps, if these errors are corrected  by joining the lines, and the hatch command re-run the red circles will be shown at the next largest gap and so on.  This could be quite a time consuming process.

    So a way of overcoming this problem would be to use the system variable “HPGAPTOL” which can be typed in at the command line, or may be accessed via the “Options” drop down bar in the “Hatch” context sensitive ribbon tab.

    Prior to setting the value for “HPGAPTOL” it would be useful to determine the actual gap between the two points.

    This can be done by using the “Distance” command.

    Set the value for the “HPGAPTOL” a little larger than the value displayed by the “Distance” command, by typing in value in the field as shown in Figure 3.

    Figure 3

    Re-select the pick point within the area to be hatched. Another warning dialogue box is displayed as shown in Figure 4

    Figure 4

    Select “Continue Hatching This Area”, and close the “Hatch Editor” the area will now be hatched, as in Figure 5.

    Figure 5

    Note: - the hatch pattern is not associated to the original lines, also do not set the value too high as it may affect the hatch pattern and give undesired results.