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Filling a Closed Area of Line Work

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You can't fill an area inside of lines.

Lines have no surface. Any graphic needs a surface to apply itself to. Therefore, you cannot apply a hatch, image, or gradient to those objects.

You can select the lines and compose them, then convert it to a polygon (all under the Tool menu)

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Hmmm very unfortunate.

This will greatly increase drafting time not being able to fill areas closed by non-planar objects. It is very often not feasible to use polygons in drafts since there is no way to apply a broken edge to one of its sides, especially when the broken line must extend beyond the boundary of a polygons edge. Using a filled poly with a broken line means retracing the entire closed areas as masks. This leads to drawing bloat and complications when making adjustments to drafts. A simple fill area would solve this instantly. (treating the drafting page as a plane, with non-planar objects defined as boundaries)

My list of simple requests is building here, for this almost perfect application.


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That's what convert to poly does.

If the lines aren't touching, compose is needed.

If the lines are all touching point to point, you can just convert to poly or convert copy to poly - which gives the object a surface.

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You can select the lines and compose them, then convert it to a polygon (all under the Tool menu)

This is what I was responding to with "Isn't it already a polygon when composed?"

If the lines are all touching point to point, you can just convert to poly or convert copy to poly - which gives the object a surface.

I don't understand, when I select all the lines touching point to point, convert to polygon, nothing happens, they are still lines.

[ 02-05-2004, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: raylibby ]

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I'm sorry. I got past my thinking. I"m doing a million and 3 things at one time. Lesson learned.

Yes, compose makes it a poly.

If the lines aren't touching end to end, connect combine is needed.

I had convert to poly on my mind .. I've been using it all day.

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to achieve (something of) what you want;

either compose the lines, or draw the poly and hide one edge as Kristen said, or just draw the poly with the appropriate edge missing; fill it with the hatch you want; draw the dashed line extending past the hatched boundry as you want, and group the lot.

It will then be resizable with the 2D reshape tool, and editable by the usuall methods.

Maybe not as simple as you want, but not exactly bloated or time consuming either. ;-)



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Hmmm yes, the compose tool. I can not seem to apply it correctly, it often times 'polys' an unwanted area..

This is most likely because the line segments only butt together and do not join point to point? Also part of the boundary of the proposed poly is composed of broken lines butted to a dado joint. I have been playing with the compose tool and it works fine if composing a poly of lines which end points are joined, but has very predictably unfavourable behaviour when a poly of lines are merely butted to each other to form a closed area. ie. compose in this case joins end points and does not help to 'fill' a closed area.

Perhaps there is a procedure I am not making here. I have tried using the join tool, but this simply butchers the draft lines. I have also tried grouping then composing with the same effects.

For now I am tracing over my entire work with a polygon to hatch in closed areas, it does double my work for these areas although VW does save me heaps of time in other places...

Thank you for the replies! Much appreciated!

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Thank you Katie for helping soo much on this subject.

Using the connect/combine tool does not seem to help. All these lines are already 'connected'. Not by their endpoints but connected in 2D space none the less.

For experiment I have been drawing a trapazoidal box with sides that extend beyond their intersection points, much like a childs drawing of a house with the roof extending. The bottom line I use a broken line (say the ground) which extends beyond the "walls". All lines are connected to one another, and using convert to poly seems to do nothing and compose (although is shows a fill value) will not allow for any fills to be seen or triangle fills are formed from the endpoints of the lines.

Essentially there is no easy way to quickly fill an area in VW as in a simple illustration/paint program, so be it. The only way I can seem to fill an area I desire is to retrace over the closed area with a polyline.

Anyways thank you for all your help, I have learned a lot more about connect tools and composing, and perhaps will find a need for these tools in the future.


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I still don't fully understand what exactly you are doing ..

I'm sure there is a way to get the lines to connect to make a poly which can be filled. I suggest emailing the file to Tech Support and have them look at it.

As for making a fill object like Illustrator or PS, keep in mind VW is a CAD program based on vectors and geometry. It's very difficult, when possible to get a vector-based application to operate like graphic based applications.

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A Ha! I started experimenting with the 'Combine into Surface' Tool and this is the closest thing I could find to a simple 'fill' tool. I had tried this before with with my object area except that the area I wish to fill has a boundary line which is a 'break line'. For whatever reason VW does not treat 'break lines' the same as normal lines, polylines, or surface areas such as rectangles. The only way to fill this area is to trace over the break lines with multiple lines, this combines the area into a proper surface fill.

So I wonder if this is a glitch with break lines, or that break lines were simply left out of the algorythm?

I must concede that I have just started testing use of VW at work, and have found the learning curve very very smooth. I am simply baffled at this little teeny quirk I have not been able to figure out till now. A VW user at work told me he simply traces over areas with a polyline to fill complex areas with breaks in them.


keep in mind VW is a CAD program based on vectors and geometry.

Yes I absolutely understand this, I suppose I have been spoiled by other CAD programs such as Pythagoras and Illustrator with CAD plugins. I know comparing a $2000US Pythagoras is not fair, and Illustrator with CADtools is childs play compared to VW. I was just hoping to find a simple solution to adding fills in my situation.

Thank you a bucket of pucks!


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Instead of combining, you may also use 'clip surface'. The choice depends on the overall situation, but I have had situations when 'combine' has not worked or was not convenient to use.

So, you start with a simple poly that covers the entire area of the desired poly. Now, one by one, bring the other polys 'on top' (or send the new poly 'to back') and do the clipping, until you have the set of points that are not members of any of the original polygons, so to speak... well, that is the sought poly in set theory-parlance! .

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  • 7 years later...

this was so helpful, thank you everyone! I realise now why the Combine tool wasn't turning my line-drawn shape into a polygon: even if all the corners are touching they can't overlap at ALL, so you have to trim everything that extends in order to get perfect corners. A bit time consuming but definitely easier than tracing over line drawings with a polygon.

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