How to Make a Thick Line in AutoCAD 2005

Written by david ripley
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How to Make a Thick Line in AutoCAD 2005
Line thickneses add clarity to your drawings. (drawings image by Chad McDermott from

Giving lines thickness is a way of making your drawings clearer and easier to read. You can use differing thicknesses on various parts of a drawing. AutoCAD has two methods of achieving this Polylines and Lineweights.

Polylines allow you to define the line thickness as you draw in ModelSpace. Lineweights on the other hand are usually only applied as part of plotting in PaperSpace. It is up to you to decide which is the best for your project.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Open AutoCAD by double-clicking on the icon and start a new drawing. From the Draw toolbar pick the Polyline icon

  2. 2

    Click to define the start point of your Polyline. Type W>Enter. Enter the start width of your Polyline and press Enter. The prompt will ask for an end width so retype your width and press Enter.

  3. 3

    Left-click to place the end of your polyline. The polyline will have the thickness you specified at the prompt. This can be amended for each polyline segment by typing W>Enter once more after defining the segment's start point.

  4. 4

    Polylines with differing start and end thicknesses can also be created. After starting the polylines and typing W>Enter, enter the values you require. The sizes can be either way round; bigger to smaller or smaller to bigger as required.

  1. 1

    Open AutoCAD by double-clicking on the icon and starting a new drawing. From the Format menu pick Layers. In the layer manager, select the Layer you will be drawing on and define a Lineweight. Choose a thick Lineweight to start with, remembering that the size shown is the thickness of the line when it is printed.

  2. 2

    Close the Layer Manager and start drawing as you would normally. You will not see any difference in ModelSpace until you switch the Lineweight visibility on. To do this click on the LWT button at the bottom of the AutoCAD screen

  3. 3

    Zoom in and out of your drawing with Lineweights on, to see the effect. As the Lineweights maintain a constant thickness the drawing can be obscured. Now do the same thing in PaperSpace. The line thicknesses do not have the same effect as in ModelSpace.

  4. 4

    Change any Lineweights on individual elements by using Properties. Right-click on an object and select Properties from the sub-menu. Simply type over the existing value in the Lineweight box and press enter to make a change.

Tips and warnings

  • Only have your Lineweights switched on when in PaperSpace as they are meaningless in ModelSpace and can cause visibility issues.
  • Polylines can only create Lines and Arcs, although you can switch between the two modes while drawing. This might restrict the usefulness of Polylines to you so Lineweights might be a better option.

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