The new Hatch contextual ribbon (instead of the old dialog box) is a very cool addition to AutoCAD. With this new feature when you hover over an enclosed area (where the hatch will go) the hatch shows a preview of how it will look.
Another great feature is that you can create multiple separate hatches without having to start the hatch command repeatedly. Note-this only works when “Create Separate Hatches” is turned on found in the Hatch ribbon > Options panel. (seen below)
If you’ve ever made a hatch and then realized that it was on the wrong layer, you’ll appreciate this other new feature. While creating your new hatches, expand the Properties panel and select the layer that you would like the hatches to be on.
A function that is not new to 2011 but is either not known or to is easily forgotten is the “Set Origin” function. this is helpful when you are either creating or editing a hatch that needs to line up with a corner or other point. To do this:
Select the hatch to be edited, and then select “Set Origin” found in the “Origin” panel (this tool has its own panel).
Now that you have started this command, all you have to do is select the “Origin.” In this example, I picked the upper right corner. The hatch will adjust itself around the new Origin point.