Created Dotted Patterns using Objects On Path


How do I draw a dotted line? The dash patterns and dash pattern editor only allow me to create very short, square, dash patterns and I'd like dots instead.


Any version of PowerCADD running OS? 9 or OS X.
PowerCADD 7 and Mac OS Tiger recommended


While it is possible to easily create custom dash patterns in PowerCADD ( by choosing Attr menu > Dashes... ) the segments are typically rectilinear in shape. The best we can therefore create is a very short dash segment and white space which is square. The dots are very fine and might be a reasonable approximation of a 'dotted' line. However, if you truly want a dotted line which is composed of round dots (verses small squares) then a multiple step process is required.

While there are some disadvantages to a multiple step process, the level of control provided is considerable thereby making it a technique well worth considering. In this article we discuss how to create a dotted line effect using PowerCADD's Objects On Path... menu item. PowerCADD users who also own WildTOOLs may also want to consider using the WildTOOLs Linear Patterning Tool which also provides a great deal of control and excellent visual feedback.

What to do

To create a truly dotted line pattern (that is, a series of true circles representing the dots), do this:

  1. draw the path defining where you want the dotted pattern to follow
    • (the path may be a line, polygon, bezier curve, circle, or other PowerCADD object)
  2. draw the circle representing the dot with the desired attributes (color, line weight, etc.)
  3. select the circle drawn in step (2) and choose Edit menu > Copy (or Cut)
  4. click once on the path drawn in step (1) to select it
  5. choose Tool menu > Objects On Path... , a dialog box will open
  6. click the Clipboard? radio button
  7. choose the desired Placement options for spacing or quantity of objects
  8. press the OK button
  9. the object selected in step (2) is applied to the path

From here, you may choose to group the dots for easier editing later. The original path drawn in step (1) can be deleted or moved to it's own layer for save keeping in case it needs to be edited later.

quicktime Demo Movie (1.1MB). In our example we insert dots along a path defined by a bezier curve to give you an idea of how smoothly the dots follow even complex paths like bezier curves. Please note, the demonstration movie does not contain audio and is converted to grey scale (no color) to increase internet performance ( need movie help? )

We hope that helps

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Note the WildTOOLs Linear

Note the WildTOOLs Linear Patterning Tool could also be used to achieve the same result

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