In Chapter 4 you learned how to make a line appear dashed or dotted using line types. In a similar way, you can control the appearance of multilines using the Multiline Style dialog box. This dialog box allows you to.
• Set the number of lines that appear ir the multiline.
• Control the color (If each multiline.
• Control the line type of each multiline .
• Apply a fill between the outermost lines of a multiline ..
• Control if and how ends of multilines are closed
To access the Multiline Styles dialog box, choose Format > Multiline Style from the pull-down menu, or type MIstyle.J at the command prompt.
At the top of the Multiline Styles dialog box, a group of buttons and input boxes allow you to select the multiline style you want to work with. The Current popup list offers you a selection ot existing styles. In the Name input box you can name a new style you are creating, or rename an existing style. The Description input box lets you attach a description to a multiline style for easy identification. You use the Add and Saveouttons to create and save multiline styles as files so they can be accessed by any AutoCAD drawing. With the Load button, you can retrieve a sav-ed style for use in the current drawing.
Rename lets you change the name of a multiline style (the default style in a new drawing is called Standard). In the lower half of the Multiline Styles dialog box are two buttons-Element Properties and Multiline Properties-that allow you to make adjustments to the multiline style currently indicated at the top of the dialog box. This multiline is alSo previewed in the middle of the dialog box.
In the Element Properties dialog box, you control the properties of the individual elements of a newly created style, including the number of lines that appear in the multiline, their color, and the distance they appear from your pick points. The Element Properties settings are not available for existing multiline styles
For example, click the Add button, and another line is added to your multiline. The offset distance of the new line appears in the list box. The default value for new lines is 0.0, which places the line at the center of the standard multiline: To delete a line, highlight its offset value in the list box and click the Delete button. To change the amount of offset, highlight it and enter a new value in the Offset input box.
To change the color and line type of individual lines, use the Color and Linetype buttons, which open the Color and Select Linetype dialog boxes, both of which you have already worked with, figure 5.26 contains some examples’ of multilines and their corresponding Element Properties settings
The Multiline Properties bu tton lets you control how the multiline is capped at its ends, as well as whether joints arc displayed
To turn a G’p on, the t\’PC of cap you want. It youprefer. you can give vour multi lint’ it Fill check box
Joining and Editing Multilines
Multilines are unique in their ability to combine several line types and colors into one entity. For this reason, you need special tools to edit them. On the Modify menu, the-Edit multiline option (and the Mledit command) have the sole purpose of allowing you to join multilines in a variety of ways, as demonstrated in Figure 5.27.
Here’s how to use the Mledit command.
1. Type Mledit.J at the command prompt. The Multiline Edit Tools dialog box appears, offering a variety of ways to edit your multilines.
2. Click the graphic that best matches the edit you want to perform.
3. Select the multilines you want to join or edit.
Another option is to explode multilines and edit them using the editing tools you’ve used in this and previous chapters. When a multiline is exploded, it is reduced to its component lines. Line-type assignments and layers are maintained for each component.
If you are doing a lot of work with multihnes, you can open the Modify II toolbar. It contains the Edit Multiline button that opens the Multiline Edit Tools dialog box. To open the Modify II toolbar, right-click any toolbar and then click the Modifv II check box in the Toolbars dialog box
Eliminating Blocks, Layers, Line Types, Shapes, and Styles
A template may contain blocks and layers you don’t need in your new file. For example, the lobby you just completed contains the bathroom block because you used the Unit file as a prototype. Even though you erased this block, it remains in the drawing file’s database. It is considered “unused” because it doesn’t appear as part of the drawing. Such extra blocks can slow you down by increasing the amount of time needed to open the file. They will also increase the size of your file unnecessarily There are two tools for eliminating unused elements from a drawing: Purge and the File Export option
Selectively Removing Unused Elements
The Purge command is used to remove unused individual blocks, layers, line types, shapes, and text styles from a drawing file. To help keep the file size down and to make layer maintenance easier, you will want to purge your drawing of unused elements
As YDU will see in the File >- Drawing Utilities >- Purge cascading menu and the Purge command prompt, you can purge other unused drawing elements, such as line types and layers, as well. Bear ‘in mind, however, that the Purge command does not delete certain primary drawing elements-namely, layer 0, the Continuous line type, and the standard text style.
1. Click File ~ Open and open the Lobby file.
2. Click File >Drawing Utilities >- Purge > Blocks.
3. At the Enter names to purge <*>: prompt, enter the name of a specific block, or press .J to purge all the blocks.
4. Go ahead and press .J. You should now see the Verify each name to be pu rged? [Yes/No] :prompt. This lets you selectively purge blocks by displaying each block name in succession.
5. Press .J again.
6. At the Purge block BATH? <N>: prompt, enter Y.J. This prompt repeats for each unused block in the file. Continue to enter Y.J to all the prompts until the Purge command is completed.
The Lobby file is now purged of most, but not all, of the unused blocks. Now let’s take a look at how to delete all the unused elements at once.
Opening a File as Read-Only
When you open an existing file, you might have When you open an existing file, you might have noticed the Read Mode check box in the Open Drawing dialog box. If you open a file with this option checked, AutoCAD does not let you save the file under its original name. You can stili edit the drawing any way you please, but tfyou attempt to use File ~ Save, you will get the message ; write-protected. You can, however, save your changed file under another name The read-only mode provides a way to protect important files from accidental corruption. It also offers another method for reusing settings and objects from existing files by letting you open a file as a prototype, and then saving the file under another name.
Removing AIl Unused Elements
The Purge command does not remove nested blocks on its first pass. For example, although you purged the Bath block from the Lobby file, it still contains the Tub and Toilet blocks that were nested in the Bath block. To remove them using the Purge command, you must start the cOIIlIIUmdagain and remove the nested blocks. For this reason, Purge can be a time-consuming way to delete large numbers of elements.
In contrast, the File >- Export option enables you to remove all unused elements including blocks, nested blocks, layers, line types, shapes, and styles-all at once. You cannot select specific elements or types of elements to remove.
Be careful: In a given file, there may be a block that is unused but that you want
to keep, so you may want to keep a copy of the unpurged file.
1. Choose Pile >Close and <Itthe Save Changes to Drawing warning, click No.
2. Choose File >Open.
3. In the SelectFile dialog box, select the Lobby file again. Because you didn’t save changes to it from the last exercise, this has the effect of reverting back to the condition before you used the Purge command.
4. Click File:> Export.
5. In the Export Data File dialog box, enter Lobbyl.dwg. This tells AutoCAD to create a new file called Lobbyl, which will be the Lobby file with the unused elements removed.
6. At the Enter name of existing block or [- (block=output f:ile)/*(whole dra~ing)] <define new drawing>: prompt,enter This tells AutoCAD that you want to create a new file containing all the drawing elements of the current file, including settings. AutoCAD saves the current file to disk, omitting all the unused blocks, layers, and so forth.
7. Now open the Lobby1 file and click Insert Block on the Draw toolbar.
8. Click the Block button to get a view of blocks contained in this file. Note that the list shows only the Door block. All the unused blocks have been purged.
Remember: Although File >Export offers a quick way of clearing out the deadwood in a file, the command indiscriminately strips a file of all unused elements. So exercise care when you use this method of purging files.
Try using the techniques you learned in this chapter to create new files, Use the files you created in Chapter 4 as prototypes to create the symbols.