Tipster Justin Manson shares a technique for editing hatch objects in AutoCAD that separates hatches to individual areas.
"I become frustrated when users hatch drawings and I find multiple areas all hatched with one hatch object. Well, while working late — and maybe thinking outside the box — I tried this, and it worked! I should never be surprised by the power of AutoCAD. To divide an object of multiple hatched areas into separate objects, I clicked on the hatch, right-clicked and scrolled down to Hatch Edit, and on the first tab within the Options area of the dialog box clicked Separate Hatches and pressed OK. Voila — separate hatches."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: Hatch objects in AutoCAD can be managed in several different ways; using separate hatch objects for each area or using one hatch object is up to you. Either method can have benefits that could appeal to you. One hatch is easy to edit; the edit changes the entire hatch pattern in just a few clicks. But if you need one area of your hatch to appear differently, then you need separate hatches. If you find yourself with one hatch object and you need them to be separated, just follow the instructions provided in this tip.
AutoCAD 2011 and 2012 have contextual ribbon tabs for editing your hatch objects. You can still right-click on a selected hatch and get to the "old-fashioned" Edit Hatch dialog box, or you can just navigate to the Options Panel on the Hatch editor contextual ribbon tab, expand it, and click the Separate Hatch button.