Sep 3, 2011

Adding custom hatches on ARES CE, Bricscad and DraftSight

Adding a custom hatch on ARES CE, Bricscad and DraftSight is quite different than on AutoCAD. You cannot link a folder that contains the custom hatches in program's settings. However adding one or more custom hatches isn't difficult.

All these programs have one .pat file that contains all hatches. So you have to edit this file in order to add any custom hatches.

The path for the file is:

/home/username/Bricsys/Bricscad/V11/en_US/Support/default.pat for Bricscad V11

/home/username/.config/DraftSight/1.2.163/Support/Sample.pat for the current version of DraftSight

/home/username/.config/ARES Commander Edition/1.2.175/Support/Sample.pat for the current version of ARES CE

So you only have to copy the contents of your desired .pat file at the end of the above files to use your custom hatch with these programs.

This might be easy for a few hatches but what happens if you want to add a lot of hatches?
There is an easy way to do that with some bash power.
  1. Move your .pat files in one folder
  2. Open a terminal in this folder
  3. type cat *.pat > allhatches.txt
  4. Test the output file allhatches.txt for formatting errors. An easy way is to open this file with your favorite text editor and search for the character *. This character indicates the start of every hatch pattern. Check if there are formatting errors (undefined characters, unnecessary empty lines, bad formatting etc) and correct them. You must have some basic knowledge about how a .pat file must look like. Save the corrected file.
  5. Copy the contents of the file allhatches.txt at the end of the above mentioned files in order to use them with your favorite program.
Notice that if you add a lot of hatches, the "select hatch pattern" dialog box of your program may have performance issues. 

 The "select hatch pattern" dialog box in Bricscad after adding a lot of hatches


  1. I have tried the method above and have still had no luck adding stone hatches to DraftSight. Any other suggestions? Thanks!

    1. This post is quite old.
      Newer versions of DraftSight can handle multiple file locations.
      So you don't need to edit the Sample.pat file anymore.
      Just go to Tools-->Options
      Then add the directory that contains your .pat files on
      File Locations-->System-->Support Files Search Path
      Save your new settings and restart DraftSight

  2. Thanks for your reply! I added the new .pat files to the support files in both locations (Documents & Settings and Program files), but even after restarting, the new patterns are not there. Drawings created in AC that have the patterns will open with the patterns intact, even calling them by their correct names in the property list, but if I try to use the paint command to apply them to a newly-created hatch, it will not apply. What am I missing?

    1. Don't copy your patterns in these locations.
      You have to create a new location that contains your custom patterns.
      Just read the instructions below:

  3. Thank you for trying to help me! This is so frustrating. I have followed the instructions, but STILL can't find the new hatches. I created new folders (in both default files locations), custom hatches, as described, added them to the search path, even bumped them to the top of the list, clicked apply and okay. I then exited the program and restarted a few minutes later. When I run the "hatch" command, I only see the old hatches. I know they are valid files because I've been using them them with AutoCad at work for years. Is there a different way to access them that I'm ignorant of?

    1. Make sure that you select "Custom" as Pattern Type on the Hatch Dialog Box of DraftSight.

  4. Yeah, thnx for the post....
    I love this CAD....