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LIbreCAD – Testing Line Widths & Line Types



I use LibreCAD quite a bit to produce drawings for this blog. I do not use it very often to print out drawings and I got curious about a few things.For example:  Does the line with change when a drawing is plotted at a different plot scales?  Does the spacing within a line type change when plotted at different plot scales?

These are the type of things that I know of no way to learn except to test it and see what happens.  To test it I created two drawings,  One drawn on 8 1/2 X 11 (US letter size) paper and another drawn on 17 X 22 paper but I printed both to 8 1/2 X 11 paper.  In other words I plotted the larger one with a plot scale of 1:2.   Once I got started testing, I also wanted to know what would happen with the spacing between lines when I hatched something.

On the letter size paper I drew a series of lines of various widths and another series of lines where I used 0.13 mm width for all the lines, but I used various line types.   The plotted drawing is shown on the picture to the left named US_L_Border_TEST_X1.  (US size, L for  Landscape, X1 means scaled by 1).   Remember you can see the pictures larger by clicking on them and then return back to this blog post by using your browser “back” button.



The next picture was done exactly the same, but it was done on a border that was twice the size. I then plotted it with a scale of 1:2. This answered my two questions. The line width and the line type spacing does not change when the plot scale is changed.

The thing about questions is as soon as you get one answered another one pops into your head. (Or at least that is what happens to my head.) I created two more drawings.   I drew boxes on the drawings and hatched inside the boxes.  On both drawings I used the same hatch scale values and line widths and all the hatches were done with the ANSI31 hatch pattern.  There are big differences when I plotted at 1:1 and 1:2.  Hatch line spacing does change with plot scaling.   These pictures are shown below.

If you want to try this for yourself, the dxf files are available for your download.
US_L_Border_TEST_X1.dxf    US_L_Border_TEST_X2.dxf
US_L_ Border_TEST2_X1.dxf  US_L_Border_TEST2_X2.dxf

I created a video also explaining these tests:



Because I had extra room available on the X2 plot, I decided to also see the effect of line width on line type.
All the line types on the right side of the X2 plot are dash lines, but various line widths were tried.





One final test was done. I was curious if draft mode affected the looks of the plot. It doesn’t. It plots the same if in draft or non-draft mode.









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LIbreCAD – Testing Line Widths & Line Types” by Create-and-Make.com is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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4 comments to LIbreCAD – Testing Line Widths & Line Types

  • Craig

    Thanks for all the great tutorial videos Gary. I was playing around with this one in LibreCad 2.1.1 and the Move/Copy bug with Current Attributes checked still behaves like in the video. Seems unexpected but then I realized that after unchecking current attributes, Move/Copies the line perfectly. It seems the current attributes checkbox isn’t for the entities attributes but for the ones in the 3 boxes under the top toolbar. Now it makes sense!

  • Sheldon Liu

    Dear Mr Fox,

    Thanks for your blog. It’s very helpful.

    I downloaded the “US_L_Border_TEST_X1.dxf US_L_Border_TEST_X2.dxf” and did a test print on my LibreCAD 2.0.2, but the line type scale seems to be much larger. It’s very different from the picture in your blog.

    Is it possible to change the line type scale in LibreCAD?



    • Gary

      Sheldon: I do not know of a line type scale function, but I am only using LibreCAD version 1.0.1. I know version 2 is available but it has not yet been made available as a standard download for Unbuntu so I am still running the old one. Version 2 may have a linescale function. LibreCAD has a website and forum and you can probably get answers there.


  • Tom Jowett

    Thanks, Gary!
    I was curious about those items myself but don’t have a functional printer to try anything with.
    The fact that line width changes the spacing of dashed lines I find both useful and irritating, just another feature of how it works, though.
    Keep up the great work!
    Thank You for sharing your time and insights!

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