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When selecting and using the line tool in AutoCAD a single line is created. This may contain multiple segments but each segment can individually be edited or deleted as required.
This is useful when you may wish to remove sections, however is not so useful when wanting to offsets of multiple sections.
Offset of a line will give n exact duplicate of the line a specified distance from the original as shown below.
In this example a single line segment has been offset by 20 and as shown this give another line 20 away but exactly parrallel to the first line.
However if offsetting multiple section as shown below this may not be the desired outcome.
Using the polyline tool will create a multi-segmented line but it acts as a single section that is edited as a whole polyline object.
Offset a line to a polyline
This is the effect of offsetting the same object as shown aboove but when it is drawn as a polyline
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