Create and Save a Custom Linetype for Shrub Area Boundaries
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Create and Save a Custom Linetype for Shrub Area Boundaries

Want to use a custom boundary to use with plants you add to projects as Shrub Areas? Here's how to save your custom boundary into our system. Don't have a custom linetype yet, but want to make one? We've also included instructions for creating your own custom Shrub Area border linetype to save into our system.

Save Your Custom Shrub Area Linetype

Make sure you have the LIN (.lin) file for your custom linetype (ex. TRACKED.lin). If you need to create one, use our method for making a simple linetype file, outlined below. You can use a simple linetype, or a more complex one that uses SHX files.




Open an existing DWG file in the folder LandFX/Blocks/graphics/planting/shrub_areas.


In this example, we'll open the Scallop linetype.

Don’t see a DWG file in this location? Add a plant to a Land F/X project as a Shrub Area, then place it in a drawing. The system will download the boundary you selected for the Shrub Area, and you'll now see it in this folder.




You can now begin loading your custom linetype. Type LAYER in the Command line and press Enter to open the Layer Properties Manager.




Select the linetype of the layer L-TEXT-035M (example: Continuous).




Click Load to locate the LIN file for the linetype.




Click File.




Select your LIN file (example: TRACKED.lin).




Select your linetype, and click OK.




Your linetype should now be loaded in the Select Linetype dialog box.

Bad definition of (LINETYPE-NAME) at line 2 of file C:\LandFX\linetypes\LINETYPE_NAME.lin: Invalid number or bad continuation


At this point, you might see this error message, which is a sign of issue with the LIN file. Here's how to fix it:


1. The Text Style defined in the linetype file is most likely not defined in the current drawing. Create that Text Style, then try again.


Still getting the error? Move on to the next step.


2. Open the LIN file in a text editor such as Notepad.


3. Adjust the linetype by following our How to Make a Simple Custom Linetype File steps at the bottom of this page.


4. Save the text file.


5. Try loading your custom linetype again.

You can choose to change the color of your linetype to make it clear to your office which Shrub Area linetypes are custom to your office, as opposed to Land F/X defaults.


To do so, open the linetype file from the folder LandFX/Blocks/graphics/planting/shrub_areas, and assign the color of your choice to the line.




With your linetype DWG open, select Save as from the File menu, and save the file to the folder LandFX/Blocks/graphics/planting/shrub_areas as a DWG with the same file name as your LIN file (example: TRACKED.dwg).




Adjust the ratio of the open window to match the ratio of the existing default slides.




To create a preview slide for your custom Shrub Area border, type MSLIDE in the Command line and press Enter. Save the slide file to to the folder LandFX/Blocks/graphics/planting/shrub_areas/, giving it the same as your LIN file name (example: TRACKED.sld).




Your custom linetype should now be available to assign to plants you've added to a Land F/X project as Shrub Areas.

Assigning a custom linetype to a Shrub Area will not import that linetype into a drawing like our defaults will. Instead, make sure this custom linetype is already loaded in your office's template DWT (.dwt) file so all new drawings can easily use it.   More information on working with DWTs

How to Make a Simple Custom Linetype File

You have two options for creating your custom linetype.



Option 1: Use Our Custom Line Tool

This option is the simpler of the two, but won't allow you to build your linetype from more complex visual styles common to Shrub Area linetypes. If you want to create a linetype with more customization than these steps will allow, use the manual steps below.




Open our Custom Line tool:


F/X Site ribbon, Custom Line flyout

Graphics Line toolbar








or type FX_CustomLine in the Command line




Enter a value (name) for the custom linetype you're about to create (example: TRACKING.)




Follow our instructions for the Custom Line tool to create and save your custom linetype.




Option 2: Create Your Linetype Manually

You might need to use the following manual steps if you want to create a linetype with more customization or symbols than Option 1 allows. You can even start with our Custom Line tool, and skip down to the Anatomy of a Linetype section below to simply edit it (to shorten the dashed lines, for example) before adding it to the Shrub Area linetype options.




Open our Text Manager:


F/X Site ribbon, Text button



Graphics toolbar, Fonts button

F/X Graphics menu, Fonts button




or type *FX_Fonts in the Command line




Select the CALLOUT LIGHT Text Style, then click MTEXT.

The symbols from the symbol library are only available if you use the MTEXT option.




Click to place an MText box – even if you plan to only use symbols.





You can select symbols to use in your linetype from the Symbol flyout menu on the temporary Text Editor ribbon.




Select a symbol you want to include.


Click Copy, then paste the symbol into the MText box.




Explode the MText entry into a Text entry.




Type MKLTYPE in the Command line and press Enter. Specify a location to save. We recommend using the folder LandFX/Linetypes.




Input a name for the linetype in the Command line.


We recommend adding your company initials as a prefix, which will keep the linetypes clear when sharing this file with other consultants. You can choose to enter a description, or skip it.




Click to specify a start point. Note that any text and symbols must fall completely inside the start and end points.




Click to specify an end point. Ideally, turn on Ortho for this step to keep your text and symbols straight.




Select all text/symbols you want to include.




Your simple linetype is now saved and ready to use.


You can load it into new drawings or use it right away in the current drawing.

Anatomy of a Linetype

Use this guide when editing the look of your custom linetype (LIN) file.




Here's an example of what your linetype file might look like when you open it in a text editing application such as Notepad:



The example linetype file pictured above consists of the following items, all of which you can edit in your own custom linetype file as needed.

  • TRACKED: Linetype name.
  • Shrub Area Linetype for coniferous or spikey plants: Description of the linetype – 47 characters max. The description can be a text comment as shown or a visual description such as "____._____._____._____".
  • A: Designates for CAD the start of the linetype display (aka alignment code – A is currently the only option).
  • 1st 0 (i.e., A, 0): Length of the starting line (in this case, a dot – 0 will be a dot, and a positive value will be a line of that length).
  • 1st -.1 (i.e., A,0,-1): Gap length. Note: Any value followed by a minus sign (-) indicates the gap length of the linetype.
  • "\U+256B": The symbol unicode – formatted as ["string",stylename], ["string",stylename,transform]", or [shapename,shapefilename,scale,rotate,xoffset,yoffset] (shp file version example not shown).
  • CALLOUT LIGHT: The Text Style used in creating the linetype. Note: This Text Style must be defined in any drawing in which you load this linetype, or you'll get a Bad definition on line XX error.
  • Transform options:
    • r=##: Relative rotation. Use either this option or the Upright (u) option – not both.
    • u=## (e.g., u=0): Specifies upright or easy-to-read text. The text contained within your linetypes will remain plan readable (ie not upside down) when the Upright property is used.
    • a=##: Absolute rotation.
    • s=## (e.g., s=3.3): Scale or size of text.
    • x=##: X offset.
    • y=## (e.g., y=.1): Y offset.
  • 2nd -.1 (i.e., y=-.1): Another gap length.
  • 2nd 0 (i.e., -3,0): Length of the ending line before the pattern repeats itself.

Rules to .lin by:

  • The pattern line should not include spaces around the commas. Spaces are permitted in the Text Style name and any string text.
  • You can only define up to 12 segments in a linetype. (The example above has 5).
  • Linetype segment definitions can only be 80 characters max, so define your 12 segments wisely. Drop the leading "0" in decimal lengths, and round them up to the nearest .1 or .01 to save space.
  • The first segment definition after the A must be 0 or a positive value. You can't start a linetype with a gap.
  • You must have at least 2 segment definitions for a linetype.
  • If you need to display the inch mark (aka quotation mark) in your linetype, use two single quote marks instead to prevent the linetype from thinking the string ended at the inch mark.

Common issues:

  • Error: Bad definition of (LINETYPE-NAME) at line 2 of file C:\LandFX\linetypes\LINETYPE_NAME.lin: Invalid number or bad continuation   Solution
  • The character length of the linetype definition can sometimes cause problems. Try simplifying decimal numbers to reduce the number of characters.
  • Another common issue with the MKLTYPE is that it won’t include the end line length. Try putting that comma-zero (,0) at the end, which can often correct the issue.


References used:

Last modified on Wednesday, 08 January 2020 11:20


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