AutoCAD: Drawing Construction Lines XLINE vs RAY

Two commands allow us to draw infinite length construction lines. Use them wisely
Català - Castellano
AutoCAD has two commands to draw lines of infinite length that can work as construction references for drawings. They are very useful to draw elevations or sections based on a plan. They are both very similar.
  • XLINE: Draws a line of infinite length. We can draw it free or set it to be horizontal, vertical, follow a certain angle, be the bisector of an angle or be parallel to certain line. If we draw the line directly after entering the command, we will draw it freely, if we check the command line, we will find the different options mentioned before.
  • RAY: Is like a simplified version of XLINE. RAY draws an infinite length line, but from a start point (a line wih a beginning but without end). It has no options like the ones availabel for XLINE, simply select a initial point and a second one will define de angle.
I personally tend to use XLINE much more than RAY becaus the diferent options and specially the possibility to lock them to horizontal or vertical makes XLINE ideal for translating dimensions from plans to elevations. Just one advice if you work in amultiuser environment where others wil have your drawigns as XREFs insertd in theirs, try to use this only temporarily, since it is quite annoying when suddenly an XREF that you have inserted suddenly shows a million XLINES.

kick it on


  1. Same here, I seldom use RAY commands, in fact I dont remember when I had used it.

  2. I'm not a real CAD user -- I tinker with it at work to adapt real blueprints to patent drawings and I use it at home to do "sketches" that might be good enough to give a builder to build a garage but are admittedly not blueprints.
    Since a lot of this emulates my paper drafting training, I use Draw Ray a lot, figuring it's like a T-square. I wish there were Draw Ray in some of the freeware CAD programs. It's enough to make me pay for AutoCAD LT


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