Can You Convert a Circle to a Polyline in AutoCAD?

Can You Convert a Circle to a Polyline in AutoCAD?

If you’re an AutoCAD user, you may have come across situations where you need to convert a circle to a polyline. While circles and polylines serve different purposes, there are instances where converting a circle to a polyline can be beneficial. In this tutorial, we’ll explore the process of converting a circle to a polyline in AutoCAD.

Understanding Circles and Polylines

Before we dive into the conversion process, let’s quickly review what circles and polylines are in AutoCAD.


A circle is a closed shape that consists of all points in a plane that are equidistant from the center point. In AutoCAD, circles can be easily created using the “Circle” command or by specifying the center point and radius.


A polyline is also a closed shape but is composed of one or more connected line segments. Polylines are versatile as they can have straight and curved segments, making them ideal for representing complex shapes or boundaries. In AutoCAD, you can create polylines using the “Polyline” command or by converting other objects like lines or arcs into polylines.

The Conversion Process

Now that we understand what circles and polylines are, let’s look at how we can convert a circle to a polyline in AutoCAD.

Step 1: Select the Circle

The first step is to select the circle that you want to convert. You can do this by using the “Select” tool from the toolbar or by typing “SELECT” in the command line and then picking the circle.

Step 2: Use the “Explode” Command

Once the circle is selected, we need to explode it to convert it into individual entities. To do this, type “EXPLODE” in the command line and press Enter.

Note: Exploding a circle will convert it into separate arc segments.

Step 3: Join the Arc Segments

Now that the circle is exploded, we have multiple arc segments. To convert these arcs into a polyline, we need to join them together.

To join the arcs, type “PEDIT” in the command line and press Enter. Then select all the arcs by clicking on them or using a window selection. After selecting all the arcs, press Enter to confirm your selection.

Step 4: Use the “Join” Option

With the arcs selected, AutoCAD will prompt you with various editing options. Type “J” for “Join” and press Enter.

Step 5: Convert to Polyline

The final step is converting our joined arcs into a polyline. After selecting the “Join” option, AutoCAD will ask you if you want to turn your selection into a polyline. Type “Y” for “Yes” and press Enter.

Congratulations! You have successfully converted a circle to a polyline in AutoCAD.

Benefits of Converting Circles to Polylines

You may wonder why you would want to convert circles to polylines in AutoCAD. Here are a few reasons:

  • Simplifying Complex Geometry: Polylines allow for more flexibility in representing complex shapes or boundaries that may not be easily achievable with circles alone.
  • Enhanced Editing: Once a circle is converted to a polyline, you can easily modify its vertices, length, and other properties using AutoCAD’s extensive editing tools.
  • Compatibility: Some applications or software may require polylines instead of circles for importing or exporting purposes. Converting circles to polylines ensures compatibility with such systems.

In conclusion, converting a circle to a polyline in AutoCAD is a straightforward process that can be useful in various situations. Whether you need to simplify geometry or ensure compatibility with other software, knowing how to perform this conversion gives you more control over your designs.

Now that you are familiar with the conversion process, feel free to experiment and explore the possibilities of working with circles and polylines in AutoCAD!