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Smart/quick way to trace ploygons over open line work ?

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I need to trace over lots of curved pathways drawn by others to make closed polygons which I can then colour fill.

I have beed trying combinations snapping which works well when I trace over buildinmg outlines that are square but curved lines are very hard to do.

I have resorted to using no snapping and slowly clicking along the line by hand.

Very slow indeed.


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So the easiest way to fill in a boundary is to use the polygon tool with the mode "polygon from inner boundary" second mode of the polygon tool. it looks like a paint bucket. All you do is click inside the boundary you want to fill and it fills that area in with a polygon. However if the area is extremely complex I usually draw lines across the boundary creating smaller areas which I then fill and after add polygons together. Another hint is that you should be able to see the entire space you want to fill on your screen.

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Another solution is to use the "Compose" command. The requirement here is that all lines, segments, curves, etc. are EXACTLY coincident at their intersecting corners/points. For example, draw a curve (or and arc) and then offset it, then connect the two ends with lines. Select all four objects (2 arcs, 2 lines) and then run Compose. You will end up with a closed polygon (or polyline, which can be filled or converted to a polygon and then filled).

Edited by CipesDesign
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Another note on the polygon from inner boundary (paint bucket) mode: all segments MUST entirely cross or connect otherwise the command cannot see the boundary you desire to fill. I have done this sort of tedious work before and my best solution has usually ended up being a combination of all of the methods: tracing, polygon from inner boundary and compose. There's no way around it - it's work! What has frustrated me to no end is that often these files originate in Autocad (or the like) and are "lines only" drafting (ie: no closed shapes!) and are very very sloppily drawn, therefore require a whole lot of cleaning up to get right. This is not necessarily the fault of the software, but of the draftsperson. Most people are just not that accurate as their printed result does not suffer from minor errors (much like hand drafting).

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Viper x are the paths in the source drawings hatched? If so you might be able to extract the hatch boundaries and use that.

If the path perimeters are a unique Class make that Class Active Only. Then you should be able to fill in the gaps by either drawing lines or connect the adjoining linework with the Connect/Combine tool.

You could also look at Vectorbits' ChainMaker tool. www.vectorbits.com

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