To Sketch and Record Freehand Lines in AutoCAD

You can use the SKETCH command to draw freehand sketches. Freehand sketches comprise many line segments. Each line segment can be a separate object or a polyline. You set the minimum length or increment of the segments. Sketching is useful for creating irregular boundaries or for tracing with a digitizer. Small line segments allow for greater accuracy, but they can greatly increase the drawing file size. For this reason, use this tool sparingly.

Before sketching, check the CELTYPE system variable to make sure the current linetype is BYLAYER. If you use a linetype with dots or dashes and set the sketch line segment shorter than the spaces or dashes, you won’t see the spaces or dashes.
To sketch, use the pointing device like a pen, clicking to put the “pen” down on the screen to draw and clicking again to lift it up and stop drawing.

    autocad polyline icon

Freehand sketches

To sketch and record freehand lines

  1. At the Command prompt, enter sketch.
  2. At the Record Increment prompt, enter the minimum line segment length.
  3. Click the start point to put the “pen” down. When you move the pointing device, AutoCAD draws temporary freehand line segments of the length you specified. SKETCH doesn’t accept coordinate input. During the command, freehand lines are displayed in a different color.
  4. Click the endpoint to lift the “pen” up so that you can move the cursor around the screen without drawing. Click a new start point to resume drawing from the new cursor position.
  5. Enter r at any time to record (save) in the database the line you’re drawing and those already drawn. If the pen is down, you can continue drawing after recording. If the pen is up, click to resume drawing. The freehand line starts from wherever the cursor is when you click.
  6. Press ENTER to complete the sketch and record all unrecorded lines. If you want to use Snap or Ortho mode while sketching, you must use the keyboard toggles (F8 for Ortho, F9 for Snap). The status bar toggles have no effect. The Snap setting overrides the record increment if Snap is the larger setting. If Snap is smaller, the record increment takes precedence.

System variables SKETCHINC sets the size of freehand line segments. SKPOLY draws the freehand line as a polyline if it is not set to 0.


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