Creating Your Own AutoCAD Line Type

AutoCAD default linetypes usualy enough for common purposes. But sometimes it’s just not enough sometimes we need to have our own. The problem is creating custom linetype can be difficult to do. But if you have express tools installed, creating custom linetype can be very easy.

I like to use it, even for drawing complex objects. It is easier, faster, dan consume less hardware resources.

Let’s see this object below.

I actualy use lines to create this bushes. Only three lines. Imagine if you have to create it by using blocks then copy it several times. Takes more time.
I’m going to discuss how we can make custom linetype easily. But remember, you have to have the express tools installed on your computer.
If you don’t have it, you need to install it first. See how you can add the Express Tools installation later here. It was for AutoCAD 2002, but still apply for later version.

Creating linetype that contains simple objects

First, I’m going to create a simple one. I draw one line, and one single line text as shown below.

I’m going to convert those object in to a custom linetype.

  1. Access from ribbon or AutoCAD Menu: Express>Tools>Make Linetype. Or if you are a command line fans, you can type MKLTYPE.
  2. Type you line type file name, then click save. This file name is what you’ll see when you load the .lin file in windows dialog box.
  3. Type your linetype name, then press [enter]. This line type name is what you’ll see in the name list.
  4. Type your line type description (optional), then press [enter]. This description should be able to give you a brief description about this line type.
  5. Specify starting point and end point. In this example, I choose left end point of the line as start point. And somewhere slightly on the right of the text.
  6. Select objects. Select them both, then press [enter].
There you go. Change the linetype properties, and try to draw lines, arc, or any other objects.

Linetype that contains more complex objects

If you have complex object in the definition, the result can be unpredictable. Most of the time, the definition will be unusable.

I will create a line type from this AutoCAD sample block. Insert to drawing, and explode it. To create a line type from this complex geometry, we will have to create a shape file. Don’t worry, express tool also have an excelent tool to create it.

From AutoCAD ribbon (or menu), choose: Express>Tools>Make Shape. Or type MKSHAPE then [enter].
  1. Type the file name, then click save.
  2. Type the shape name, then [enter].
  3. Hit [enter] to accept default resolution value.
  4. Define the insertion point. This is the as you define insert point in block creation.
  5. Select the shrub, then [enter]. The shape is created.
Now to avoid confusion, delete the shrub.
Type SHAPE to insert the shape we just created. Type the shape name then [enter]. Press [enter] twice to accept default value for scale and rotation. Exactly as you insert a block.
Now, create a line type from the shape. Follow the steps in creating a simple line type.
Don’t you think this is cool? ;)

The linetype scale doesn’t look right?

If you have problem controlling linetype scale, you might want to see that you can control linetype scale in 3 easy step! You might need to have several attempts to comfortably work with it.

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  1. Sam says

    This is very useful. Thanks a lot. But I have some issue with creating this line type below.
    –o– , After creating line type not showing the circle. Because can not select the circle. Pls tell me how to solve this issue.
    Thanks ….

  2. selven says

    Hi edwin,

    hey buddy your a hero for real..thanks enormously for these tips really really useful to me at work & for my own

  3. ravikumar says

    I have created linetype whenever i tried to open the drawing it is asking the path of the file. I have stored the files in tools-options-source of file. as per your directions.
    what shall i do

  4. Marco Valerio says

    I created a a shada with a block of an arrow(perfect), the I created linetype with that shade… the only problem is that the arrow is very very little… i follow the tutorial to scale the line, but I can’t resolve this problem… can you help me please?

  5. Barbara says

    I’m trying to make a linetype with a shape in it. I created the shaped and have it saved on my hard drive. Now I want to incorporate this linetype into our company standards but when I do, the others can’t get the shape file. Where should I have saved the shape file so that everyone on the network can get this line type?

  6. zubair khan says

    i have created a line type and line shape.but when i open that same drawing in any other PC that line shape and line type are not coming.It's coming in dot dot line can u give me a solution for this.

  7. Drewski says

    I've tried to make a simple linetype with a solid line followed by a single line text. The linetype works except the text overlaps itself. I tried to choose an end point far to the right of the text which works but is hard to dial in the right spacing. Also, the text is not centered vertically on the line. I've tried different settings for "justify" text i.e. ML (middle left) with no change. Any tips?

  8. zubair khan says

    i have try to make a line shap but i cant able to get that same shape which i have make only simple line is coming when i use that line type which i have make.even i have make that shape in polyline but i cant able to see that same shape which i have make.

  9. Emily says

    This is great. You may not know, but I figured I'd take a shot. I'm using SprinkCAD in conjuction with AutoCAD and there is an option to "tidy pipe" which basically, i don't know what, puts a thicker linetype over anything that is drawn as pipe so that it is bolder and easier to see in the building layout…anyway I've created a line type with text as you've instructed. However when I finish my drawing and use the "tidy pipe" option, the thick line goes right over/through the text. It does not break at the text (or make bold text). I've tried changing the linetype in the properties manager for the tidypipe layer but it doesn't change anything. Any ideas?

  10. Chris_birkbeck says

    Sorry, didn't work for me. I was trying to create a dashed line interspersed with diamond shapes. No matter what I do I just get dashes waaaaay apart interspersed with dots. This is 
    not a scale problem no matter how far you zoom in the dots are really there. Object is just a square at 45 degrees.

  11. Arunkumar says


  12. Bcdlrp says


  13. MarV says

    Hi There, Im trying to create my own line type (—– 2 LINE——), after I have made it and begin drawing with it the text does not show? But if I draw a really stupidly long line then it appears, so there is something wrong with the scale? is there a way around this?

    • MarV says

      Ah hah… nevermind I have just found the scale control within the line type options.

      Thankyou for this post by the way :)

  14. Dmzubairkhan says

    will creating line type the ling shape is not coming according the procedure line shape is not coming.can u give me the solution.thanks

  15. Tdonnelly says

    Hi Edwin,
    I've created a Railroad Track line type from a shape I created, but is has "dots" running through it. I assume this may have something to do with where I picked the starting and ending points? Any way to fix this?


  16. Bshrestha says


    I wanted to know if it is possible to make the shapes with solid hatch so that it could be used in making linetype.

    Thank you

  17. Ricahrd says

    I appologize, my post was not clear. The original line continues to be visible, is what I meant to say. It is a honeycomb pattern that stays 90deg to outside face and is always 1/2+1+1/2 cells wide, for a bendable plastic extrusion. I repeated the process various times for the 10mm version with the same result. However, when I tried with the 8mm version (imagine the same pattern but squished down) of the hatch that I'm trying to create the line was not present. So, my solution was to use the 8mm scaled up. Not 100% accurate, but more than close enough. Thank you for the tutorial by the way.

  18. Richard says

    for some reason this maintains the center of the line. nothing in the .lin file would indicate that it should. maybe a global variable?