Thursday, April 25, 2013

How to Reverse Your Polyline When Text-Based Linetypes Are Upside Down


Many AutoCAD users have custom linetypes with embedded text.  We use these lietypes to help visually identify what the line represents.  Here is an example of an existing water main with a linetype having the text “EX-WM” in it.

Figure 1: An example of a custom linetype going the wrong way.
You can easily tell which lines represent the existing water main.  In this example we have a situation where two lines meet but the linetype text is oriented differently.  It is upside down.  We want the text to “flow” just like we want the water in these pipes to “flow”.  The issue lies in the direction of the line.  These two lines are LINE objects.  They are not joined polylines.


One way to fix this is to rotate the offending line 180 degrees.  That might not be practical.  The case might be that the offending line is a polyline that has many segments.  This would make rotating it difficult.  If the backwards line isn't a polyline, select it, and pick the “Convert to Polyline” option.  If it is already a polyline then that option will not be available.

Figure 2: Right-Click on the backwards line to select the "Convert to Polyline" option.

Depending on your version of AutoCAD (or AutoCAD vertical), right-click the backwards polyline and pick the REVERSE option.  If you have older versions of AutoCAD, start the PEDIT command (type PEDIT on the command line), select the backwards polyline, and pick the REVERSE option.

Figure 3: Using the PEDIT (Polyline edit) command, select the REVERSE option to reverse the direction of the polyline.
This will reverse the direction of the polyline so that the orientation of the linetype text will match the other lines.  This is what it will look like when finished:

Figure 4: Once reversed, the embedded text in each line is in the same direction.

Everything matches and “flows” properly.

This situation happens because linetypes with text embedded in them have a set orientation (in reference to the text) determined by the first end point drawn for the linework.  Regular lines don’t have this issue because dashes and dots can’t be upside down or backwards.  If you ever find yourself in this situation just reverse the line.

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