AutoCAD Line Type Scales, The Secret Truth.

The best thing about AutoCAD is that the programmers never throw anything away. The worst thing about AutoCAD is that the programmers never throw anything away!

There are now four AutoCAD variables that govern your line type scale. It can seem a little confusing, so hang on tight while we take a run through them…

Suggested values:





To change a variable’s value, simply type it in at the command line and enter a new value when prompted. These values are saved in the drawing, so it’s worth getting them right in your template file.

Why should I use these values?

Why have I suggested these settings? Let me run through each one in a little more detail.


This variable sets the Line Type Scale factor globally.

Use LTSCALE to change the scale factor of all linetypes for all geometry in a drawing. Changing the linetype scale factor causes a ‘REGEN’ so you can see the result of your changes straight away.

If you only draw and plot from Model space, you can use LTSCALE to scale all your line types to suit your plot scale. If you use Paper space layouts, just leave this set at 1.0.




Sets the Current Entity Line Type Scale  i.e. whatever you are about to draw next!

The CELTSCALE is relative to LTSCALE. By setting CELTSCALE to 0.5 the next line you draw will have a linetype scale factor which is half that of the lines drawn previously.

You can use this feature to vary the linetype scale of your lines as you draw them. You can also change the line type scale of some geometry after you’ve drawn it by selecting the geometry and looking for ‘LTSCALE’ in the properties palette.

Don’t forget to set the ‘CELTSCALE’ back to match ‘LTSCALE’  when you’re finished.




This variable controls the linetype scaling of geometry displayed in paper space viewports – Paper Space Line Type Scale.

This variable only has two settings. Setting ‘PSLTSCALE’ to 0 (Off) will mean that the linetype scale factor of your modelspace geometry will not be effected by the scale of your viewport.

Setting ‘PSLTSCALE’ to 1 (On) means that the line type scale of your modelspace geometry will be scaled to match the viewport scale.

If you use paper space layouts, turning paper space line type scaling on ensures that all your geometry will have the correct line type scale, no mater what the viewport scale is.

LTSCALE’ and ‘CELTSCALE’ Still effect the Line type scale of your geometry. You might need to use the ‘REGEN’ or ‘REGENALL’ command to see the result of any changes in your viewports.




This is a reasonably new (Since 2007), but extremely useful variable. Like Paper space line type scaling, Model Space Line Type Scaling only has two options. Setting MSLTSCALE to 0 (Off) is the default setting and will behave as Autocad always has.

Setting MSLTSCALE To 1 (On) will cause the Line type scale of any geometry in model space to be scaled by the Annotation scale. This allows you to have a preview of how the line type scale might look when seen through a scaled viewport.

MSLTSCALE Overrides LTSCALE and CELTSCALE in Modelspace, but it doesn’t effect Paperspace, so it won’t change how your geometry looks inside your viewports.

Using MSLTSCALE is a really good way of checking that your linetypes are going to look as you expect them to, without having to ‘Flick’ back and forth between Paperspace and Modelspace.

AutoCAD's Line type scaling - Explained!


Do you know how to which Linetype definitions you should use to meet the ISO Technical drawing standard? Read these posts on defining ISO linetype definitions to find out more.

33 Responses to “AutoCAD Line Type Scales, The Secret Truth.

  • this is a great article and yet, after studying all the options for linetype scale, trying out all combinations of settings, I still get solid lines that are supposed to be dashed. it is annoying to say the least, I am starting to think my old ways of adjusting linetype scales in the property box is the best way to get what you want. I have drawings where I generate schematics through Stabicad, and some lines will show dashed as supposed to, while generating a schematic in the next drawing gives me solids, while every setting for each drawing is exactly the same. please work on the bugs within autocad instead of flinging a new version with added frustration onto us. I am busy working around problems as much as I am actually working. every update by either stabi or auto will give you some new challenges to overcome. it never really gets any easier. after a million versions you would expect an expensive product to work.

    • Hi Niex,

      That sounds frustrating :/

      AutoCAD has many options. Once you start fiddling with them it can be hard to track what they are! It makes it more complicated that some of the settings are stored in the drawing, so working with a different template or applying your favourite settings to a drawing that you’ve received from someone else can have different results.

      The best advice I can give iis to post a copy of your problem file on the Autodesk forums here:

      I’m sure that we can help :)


  • Hayder Abed
    7 years ago

    What line type scale factor changes the relative lengths of spaces and dashes and dots line types per drawing unit? Hint: answer from lecture.

  • Ashwin
    7 years ago

    It helped me a lot.Really Thanks! buddy.

  • martin
    8 years ago

    hi Paul
    I am really really new to autocad 2016<i got it as a gift from a friend and have been playing around with the software in a bid to try and learn how to use it which i have to a small point,i have been able to make a small 2d drawing but problem is when i print it to pdf all the lines are the same weight and you have to zoom in to get the dimensions,what am i not doing<what should i be doing /

  • If you are using custom linetypes, it’s possible that 1.0 is not the proper setting for LTSCALE. It could be 0.5, or 10, or 0.1. But as noted here, start with 1.0 and work from there. If you’re making new linetypes, use the same relative scaling so that you do not have to tweak CELTSCALE for certain linetypes.

  • gennaro
    8 years ago

    Since you wrote this article I’m using this method. The only problem that arises is that you loose any control over linetypes with a second dimension, like batting.
    I would love if autodesk could implement an absolute scale value for theese.

  • caroline
    8 years ago

    Thank you so much !! you saved me… wasted so much time, and got very frustrated. I didn’t know ‘MSLTSCALE’… Now I am good… and my line types are correct in model space.


  • yogendera
    9 years ago


    i have autocad 2015 student version and my line settings are @ by default that means when i enter co-ordinates for the next point i takes previous point as the base point instead of the (0,0) can you help me out. please

  • rhoda
    9 years ago

    This was a good article, I never knew about MS & PSltscale before. But I’m still having an issue which I cannot find an answer to at all. I’ve set ALL ltscales to 1, and my Hidden lines show correctly in paper space, but not in model space (it is still showing continuously). I even tried copying everything into a new drawing.
    Thanks in advance.

  • marco
    9 years ago


    Nice article. Never knew there were so many choices in editing line scale. I do have one question/issue. After setting all values to 1, I drew a center line as a test and found that when drawn in short lengths, I found that the breaks weren’t visible. After stretching the line out I could see the breaks. would this be a case where you would set the CELTSCALE to a different value? What would be a good value to use without the center line from looking to small?
    Than k you.

    • Hi Marco,

      How long is the line? If it is very small you may not see the dashes. Try drawing a line 100mm long to test the linetype scale.

      You could also try using the model space scale to preview what the line type scale will look like when you plot it, or create a viewport in paper space and set that to different plot scales.

      Finally, don’t forget to ‘refresh’ your view to regenerate the drawing each time – type RE at the command line and press the SPACEBAR to complet the command.

      Does that help?


  • Steve
    9 years ago

    Great article, MSLTSCALE has solved all of my problems. Cant believe I’ve put up with linetype errors in my viewports for sooooo long now.

    Cheers man!

  • Hi,

    I was just wondering how you change the scale of a single line? Every time I go to change it all the others change too!

  • Letitia
    12 years ago

    Hello Paul,

    I am using AutoCAD LT 2012. My LTScale, PSLTScale, MSLTScale, & Celtscale are all set to 1. My hidden lines show up properly in model space & in paper space. However, when I plot, they show up as continuous lines. I don’t know how to fix this. I cannot find anywhere online that talks about this issue either. Please help! Thank you!


    • Hi Letitia,

      I would start by looking at the STB/CTB file that you are using. This can override the Line types that you are plotting.

      Also, Check and see whether the same problem happens when you plot to PDF/DWF – this will illuminate the plot driver as a culprit.

      I always suggest that you post in the Autodesk forums, there are a lot of knowledgeable folk there who could help you out. If you do – post me a link so that I can Join in :)


      • Letitia
        12 years ago

        Thank you! That was it! I had accidentally set them all to solid when I created the ctb file. Thank you so much. This has been driving me crazy! LOL

  • Cheryl & Paul,

    I have been working in AutoCAD since version 12 (1995-ish), and have run across this very issue for years. Knowing about the MSLTSCALE, PSLTSCALE, CELTSCALE, & LTSCALE settings (all set to 1), I still run accross a drawing from time to time that just will not properly display the linetypes when working in model space. I am not sure if it is just a bug, but have found the fix to be to just copy everything out of the “bugged” drawing, and into a fresh template drawing. Unless there is another setting that I am missing, I truely believe that it is just a bug which can not fixed within a drawing. Any additional thoughts that anyone has to offer on this subject, I would certainly be interested.



  • Cheryl
    13 years ago

    Thanks for the info. I was hoping it would fix an issue I’m having with my autocad 2010 template but unfortunately it didn’t. I changed all ltscale settings in my template to 1 as suggested, but everytime I launch a drawing with the template my linetype scales changes to 2. Even when I change it to 1 in the properties manager then save and close it reverts back to 2 when I reopen the drawing. Any ideas on how I can fix this?

    • Hi Cheryl,

      The LTSCALE value is saved in the drawing, so if it is correct in the template, it should be correct for every drawing that is created from that template.

      The ‘Linetype scale’ in the properties pallette is changing the CELTSCALE value not the LTSCALE VALUE.

      Do you have an ACAD.lsp or an ACADdoc.lsp running on your system? Do you have any third party apps or vertical products running that might be changing the LTSCALE variable?

  • iPinda
    14 years ago

    Great article. Didn’t know about the MSLTSCALE until now. ;-)

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