April 22, 2018
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To Create Your Own Linestyles for Chief:

Linetype creation requires editing the file "material.dat" in the Chief Architect installation folder (prior to version X1) and the file "legacyLineStyles.dat" in version X1. Make sure to backup these files before changing them and saving the originals somewhere safe in case you make any errors editing.

Linetype definitions follow the AutoCAD® paradigm and consist of two lines:
1. Header line: Contains name and sample of the linetype
2. Data line: Contains information defining the pattern in detail
Parameters which are not recognized by Chief Architect are noted as such, below.

Line 1:

Line 1 looks like this:

*NAME, .. _ . _ .. _ . _ .. _ . _

The components are:

* (Asterisk)
Indicates the start of a new linetype definition. Here, "NAME" is the name of the linetype.

, (Comma)
Separates the name from the description.

Description: A graphical sample of the linetype, in this example: __ . __ ..
This depicts the linetype, up to a maximum of 47 characters

Line 2:

Line 2 contains defining data, and can look like this:

A, .25,-.1,0,-.1,.25,-1,0,0

The components are:

Each definition line begins with this character, followed by a comma

Length of a dash when LtScale = 1.0; every linetype data line must begin with a dash.

Length of a gap when LtScale = 1.0; every linetype data line must follow the initial dash with a gap.

A "0" indicates a dot.

Length of the next gap

Final two dots in the pattern

The above are the elements of the linetype and they are set forth to the extent necessary to complete the pattern which repeats.

More complicated linetypes may contain letters, numbers, and other characters and shapes. Their definition lines contain more information, as can be seen in the following linetype definition:


*HOT_WATER_SUPPLY,---- HW ---- HW ---- HW ---- HW ---- HW ----

The first line follows the typical pattern, naming the linetype and depicting a sample of what it will look like. This is a Hot Water Supply line linetype and consists of dashes and the letters "HW".

The definition line contains the usual components, as described above, and also includes components inside square brackets. All the elements are as follows:

The mandatory first character, followed by a comma

Length of the initial dash

Length of the gap following the dash

In brackets is the information defining the text elements which next appear in the linetype:

The leading characters, in quotation marks, are the characters to be printed in the linetype

Apply this text style to the text. This is optional.

Specifies the text scale factor.
(1) when the text style's height is 0, S defines the height; in this case, 0.1 units
(2) when the text style height parameter is not 0, the text style's height is multiplied by this number. In this example, the text would be displayed at 10% of the height defined in the text style.

The following 4 parameters (R, A, X, and Y) do NOT work in Chief Architect. They are described here as part of the standard AutoCAD paradigm.

Rotates the text relative to the direction of the line; 0.0 means there is no rotation. The default measurement is degrees; use "r" to specify radians, "g" for grads, or "d" for degrees. This parameter is optional and, when omitted, there is no rotation.

Rotates the text relative to the x-axis; this ensures the text is always oriented in the same direction, no matter the orientation of the line at any given point.

This parameter, measured relative to the linetype scale factor, shifts the text elements of the linetype in the x-direction from the linetype definition vertex, which helps center the text in the line.

This parameter, measured relative to the linetype scale factor, shifts the text elements of the linetype in the y-direction from the linetype definition vertex.

The length of the gap following the text characters "HW"

Again, as many components are included as are needed fully to define the pattern which repeats.

Any line beginning with a semi-colon will be ignored; such lines are used to add comments and other information for the user.

Save the file in Notepad or other text editor; you will need to copy the information into the legacy_linetype.dat file in Chief X1 or into the linetype section at the end of the material.dat file in earlier versions of Chief.


;This is a comment line to remind me that this linetype is used to define new work
*NEW,New ---- NEW ---- NEW ---- NEW ---- NEW ---- NEW ---- NEW

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