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Freehand Sketches

May 20, 2011

A freehand sketch consists of many straight line segments, created either as individual line objects or as a polyline. Before you begin creating a freehand sketch, you must set the length, or increment, of each segment. The smaller the segments, the more accurate your sketch, but segments that are too small can greatly increase the file size.

After you specify the length of the sketch segments, the crosshairs change to a Pencil tool.

Your freehand sketch is not added to the drawing until you "write" the sketch into your drawing. This means that you temporarily save the segment that you've drawn and the segment length, and you can continue sketching.


Create Sketches

To sketch, use the pointing device like a pen, clicking to put the "pen" down on the screen to draw and clicking again to lift it up and stop drawing.

You set the minimum length or increment of the segments.

Before sketching, check the CELTYPE system variable to make sure the current linetype is BYLAYER. If you use a linetype with dots or dashes and set the sketch line segment shorter than the spaces or dashes, you won't see the spaces or dashes.

To create a freehand sketch

  1. On the command line, enter sketch.

  2. At the length of segments prompt, enter the minimum line segment length.

  3. Click the start point to put the "pen" down. When you move the pointing device, ZWCAD draws temporary freehand line segments of the length you specified. Sketch doesn't accept coordinate input. During the command, freehand lines are displayed in a different color.

  4. Click the endpoint to lift the "pen" up so that you can move the cursor around the drawing area without drawing. Click a new start point to resume drawing from the new cursor position.

  5. Enter W at any time to write into the drawing the line you're drawing and those already drawn. If the pen is down, you can continue drawing after writing. If the pen is up, click to resume drawing. The freehand line starts from wherever the cursor is when you click.

  6. Press Enter to complete the sketch and write all lines into the drawing.

Erasing freehand sketch lines

You can erase temporary freehand sketch lines that have not yet been written into the drawing by choosing the Delete On option in the command prompt. The pencil changes to an Eraser tool.

In Erase mode, wherever the cursor intersects the freehand line, everything from the intersection to the end of the line is erased.

Once you record freehand lines, you can't edit them or erase them with the Erase option of SKETCH. Use the ERASE command if you have finished sketching.

To erase freehand sketch lines

  1. While running the sketch command, with the pen up or down, enter D. If the pen was down, it moves up.

  2. Move the cursor to the end of the line you drew last and then move it back as far along the line as you want to erase.

  3. To end the erasure and return to the sketch Command prompt, enter D. If you want to change the current viewport while sketching, make sure the pen is up, all lines were written into the drawing.

Commands Reference

SKETCH: Creates a series of freehand line segments

System Variables Reference

SKETCHINC: Sets the record increment for the SKETCH command

SKPOLY: Determines whether the SKETCH command generates lines or polylines


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