Tip 1015: Keep the hatch patterns displaying behind the linework

There’s a world of difference between truth and facts.  Facts can obscure the truth.    –Maya Angelou

Here’s a CAD tip for anyone who has experienced having a hatch pattern cover up linework in a drawing, when you want the linework to display “in front of” the hatch pattern.  This issue comes up often in xreffed drawings, but it may also affect “live” drawings.

First, the easy solution, to be used when both the linework and the hatch pattern are “live” in your current drawing (that is, not xreffed in).  In this case, just select the hatch object and invoke the “Send to back” command.  You can find this command in the ribbon by going  Home tab, Modify panel, click on the arrow in the Bring to Front pull-down menu.  See below:

The pull-down menu for Draw Order options

You can also use the same pull-down set of commands to select the linework and move the linework objects “in front of” the hatch patterns.

Note that there is a command at the bottom of the pull-down menu that will “Send Hatches to Back.”  This forces all hatches in the drawing to be displayed behind all other objects.

If you prefer typing commands, you can type “DRAWORDER” in the command line and follow the prompts.  You can also type “HATCHTOBACK” to send all hatches behind all other objects.

The more complicated issue occurs when the hatch object and the linework are in an xref and the hatch “moves” to the front of the linework in the xref, even though the DRAWORDER has been set properly in the original drawing.  This occurs very frequently, and has been a recurring bug for many versions of AutoCAD.

My solution, which is just a work-around, is to copy the hatch to the Windows clipboard, paste it into the “second,” downstream drawing, and send it to the back of the draw order in the second drawing.  I also freeze the hatch layer in the xref, so that it cannot cause any problems.  I admit that this is not a very satisfying solution, because of  the hassle, but it works consistently.

If any readers have a simpler suggestion, please leave me a comment.  I always enjoy learning new tricks, and hearing from readers.

Happy CADDing!  🙂