Hatches in DraftSight

Article by Mike Walloch, CSWE updated February 21, 2024

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DraftSight makes hatching a drawing quick and easy, especially compared to the ancient era of the drafting board when every single hatch line had to be drawn by hand. I can tell you from thankfully brief experience, that was no fun. With DraftSight it only takes a few clicks, a few selections, and you’re done!

The Hatch Command in DraftSight

The HATCH command, or the -HATCH command if you prefer keyboard entry in the command window, is a powerful and flexible tool. It allows you to add clarity and legibility to drawings by filling an enclosed area with a predefined hatch pattern.

A large selection of ANSI, ISO, Sample, and Custom hatch patterns are pre-installed with DraftSight. User-defined patterns can also be created. Control options including Angle, Scale, Spacing, etc. are available to adjust the selected pattern as needed.

In DraftSight 2022 and earlier the HATCH command, and the closely related FILLAREA command, always launch the same dialog box. It has two tabs, one for hatches and one for fills. 

Hatch Command in DraftSight

Hatch / Fill Dialog Box

Starting with DraftSight 2023, instead of the dialog box the HATCH command launches a custom Hatch Creation tab on the ribbon menu. This keeps your graphics area free of obstructions. Selecting an existing hatch will activate the virtually identical Hatch Editor tab.

Hatch Editor tab in DraftSight

Hatch Creation / Hatch Editor Tab

But the old Hatch/Fill dialog box is not gone. The HATCH command still uses it in the Classic workspace, where ribbon menus are not available.

The FILLAREA command still uses it too as of DraftSight 2024. So, you can issue the FILLAREA command and switch tabs if you prefer to create hatches the old way.

For more information on creating solid fills and color gradients with the FILLAREA command, check out this blog:

Color Fills and Gradients in DraftSight using FILLAREA Command (javelin-tech.com)


Apply a Hatch Pattern

The normal workflow to create a hatch is simple and quick. Select the hatch pattern you want to use, then click inside the area you want to hatch, or vice versa. You can select a pattern from the drop-down selector, or by clicking the button to the left of it to access the ‘Select Pattern Style’ dialog box. Adjust settings such as Angle and Scale as needed.

Hatch creation in DraftSight 2024.

Hatch Creation and Pattern Style Selection

When you click inside the region you want to hatch DraftSight will automatically detect the hatch boundary. You can select multiple enclosed regions, and the resulting hatch will be a single entity. Hovering over an area will give you a preview of the hatch with the currently selected options. You can also use the ‘Specify entities’ button to select an existing border you’d like to use for your hatch area, such as a polyline.

Sometimes there will be internal regions you do not want to hatch inside the hatch boundary. These ‘islands’ are automatically detected. You can change the behavior of how they are handled using the Display options Normal, Outer, and Ignore in the Placement section of the Hatch tab. Note and SimpleNote entities are treated as internal regions so they will not be covered in hatch lines.


Editing a Hatch Pattern

Making changes to hatch entities is easy. In DraftSight 2023 and later clicking on an existing hatch activates the Hatch Editor tab where you can access all the settings.

In the Classic workspace, and in DraftSight 2022 and earlier, double-clicking an existing hatch launches the Hatch / Fill dialog box. The dialog box can also be accessed in any version using the EDITHATCH command.

The -EDITHATCH command allows you to access all the hatch settings from keyboard options at the Command Line. This can be useful with LISP or other automated routines.

Editing a hatch at the command line.

-EDITHATCH Command

Hatch Example

Hatches really help make a drawing pop, especially when combined with good use of layers and colors. For example, compare the two Front Elevations below. Both contain the same information, but the one with hatches gives you a better idea of what the house will look like from the street.

Hatches in DraftSight

Hatch Entities – With and Without

There are many options available for hatches, fills, and gradients. To learn more, consult DraftSight Help:

About Creating Hatches, Fills and Gradients – 2024 – DraftSight Help (solidworks.com)


Conclusion

DraftSight’s preloaded hatch patterns and efficient workflow make hatching a breeze. Settings and options provide nearly limitless variety in the hatches you can create. Whether you just want a simple section view of a part, a spruced-up elevation, or a complex site map, DraftSight has got you covered.

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Mike Walloch, CSWE

Mike Walloch is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Expert (CSWE) and works as a Process & Training Consultant at TriMech