A Bhatch Of Improvements

The BHATCH (Boundary Hatch) command has undergone several improvements in AutoCAD 2005 that you may not be aware of.  These changes don’t get the press and the space in most reviews that some of the higher profile features like Sheet Sets, Tables, and Fields, but they can still save you significant amounts of time.  Most of these changes are reasonably straight forward and easy to use, in many cases it is just a case of knowing that they are available.  So rather than going into lengthy explanations, I will just list them here for you to explore and experiment with on your own.

  • Hatch can now be trimmed.
    This works exactly as you would imagine, you use the standard AutoCAD Trim command to trim hatch just like any other AutoCAD object.
  • Gap Tolerance.
    If you have ever tried to hatch an area that you thought was closed but AutoCAD didn’t agree, you will like this feature.  On the Advanced tab of the Boundary Hatch and Fill dialog box is an option to enter a Gap Tolerance.  This sets the maximum size of the gap that AutoCAD will allow in the objects that make up the Hatch Boundary.
  • The OSNAPHATCH system variable.
    If this is set to 0 (OFF), which is the default, AutoCAD ignores hatch objects when it is searching for geometry to use with an Object Snap.
    If it is set to 1 (ON), you can snap to any point within the hatch pattern.
  • Draw Order.
    The Draw Order of the Hatch Pattern can be preset in the Boundary Hatch and Fill dialog box.  So gone is the two step process of creating some hatch then sending it to the back with the Draw Order command.

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