How to Fix Blocky Circles & Arcs

If you have worked on large drawings or have had to zoom in and out a lot you may have noticed that curved objects like circles and arcs appear blocky or look more like polygons rather than circles. Don’t worry, you have options to fix this.

1) Set the system variable WHIPARC to a value of <1> This variable determines if curved objects is displayed as a smooth curve or as a series of “vectors” Setting this variable to <o> (zero) turns off the smooth curves.
After setting the WHIPARC Variable, do a REGEN – RE <enter>

2) Change the “View Resolution” in the command line.
VIEWRES <enter> Y <enter> to acccept “fast zooms” then set a value up to 20,000. The lower the value, the more blocky circles and arcs will appear. With newer computers, you should not have any problems settings this to the maximum value of 20,000.

3) Set the “View Resolution” in the Options Dialog box.
Open the “Options Dialog” by either entering OP <enter> or by a right clickin the drawing area and selecting “Options”.
Click on the “Display” tab
In the “Display Resolution” area of this tab, set the value of the “circle and arc smoothness” to a value of up to 20,000 (same as above)
When you are finished, click OK


About AutoCAD Tips

This blog serves as a knowledge base for myself (and anyone else) so that I can reference tips & tricks that I have learned and also refer others to it as well. I hope that this blog helps you learn at least one tip to make your drafting/design experience better.
This entry was posted in BASICS, Customization, Settling In, TIPS. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to How to Fix Blocky Circles & Arcs

  1. Ahmed says:

    i appreciate it.
    thanks a lot for the help and the easy way for explanation.
    regards ;)

  2. Pingback: Saved per Drawing or in the Registry | AutoCAD Tips

  3. Pingback: Express Tools: CLIPIT | AutoCAD Tips

  4. helenwest23 says:

    In that case you need to professional software restores autocad files any version.

    I would suggest you the next one tool supports fixing autocad 2000-2012 .dwg files

  5. joko says:

    ok thanks for the tips, I also want to ask for further levels: how the circles and arcs as in extruded (EXT) so as not to look like polygons.

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      To make rounded 3D objects look smooth try adjusting the system variables:
      FACETRES from to The higher the number the more smooth…
      ISOLINES from to try to keep this low. The default value is 4, Try changing by increments of 20 and see what works for you.

  6. Maya says:

    really helpful! thanks

  7. arhelo says:

    hello , what about drawing with auto cad architecture walls ?? its doesn’t appear smooth when exporting to pdf please help

  8. vinod says:

    thank you very much

  9. tolke says:

    How to change Arc smoothness permanently? Now I need to change it in each drawing separately.

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      If you have a startup routine in an anad.lsp or acaddoc.lsp you can add the changes there.

      The WHIPARC variable is saved in your registry so it should remember that setting regardless of what drawing is opened.
      The command VIEWRES however is not a “setvar” (variable) it is a command that may be different in each drawing.

      (command “WHIPARC” “1”)
      (command “VIEWRES” “Y” “20000”)

      Script form:

  10. Dave Crawford says:

    Thank you it worked like a charm!

  11. What does that 20000 indicate ? Is it the resolution or something ? Why is it set as the maximum value ?

  12. SAAD says:

    Can anybody help for:
    I want to set my design in curve like any design go straight and then curve smoothly and continuously same decore. how to do plz

  13. Hogslayer903 says:

    Thanks for the tip and excellent “step by step” walk through! I’ve been working with AutoCAD for over 10 years and am still learning new little tips and tricks everyday.

  14. Hogslayer903 says:

    By the way, I have a question you fellow drafters may be able to help me with. Several years ago I worked with AutoCAD Mechanical and that version had a “Join Entities” command. It was EXTREMELY useful but I haven’t been able to find a lisp routine for it or find anything about it on all these forums. Any help would be appreciated.

  15. Frankie says:

    Perfect fix… It was viewres for me.

    Just a note. your webpage is not loading properly you may want to check your code…….

    Great content always trumps visuals anyway.

    Thanks for your work

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      Thanks frankie – I am glad it helped.

      I am wondering if you are viewing the blog (or internet) through Internet Explorer?
      Because this blog is built off of a WYSIWIG basis, so there isn’t any code to check. And Internet Explorer doesn’t display the animations well if at all. Try using Chrome or Firefox


  16. Mazhar mubeen says:

    when i export a drawing to .KMZ format curves are still not smooth even i have regenerated the drawing. please help

  17. Lilly says:

    I tried what u said but my circles are not circles with any of my values. :/
    I want it to be a complete circle without broken lines in it
    The command regen never worked with me.
    Thank you

  18. arun says:

    thanks for the commends..

  19. Santosh says:

    while using spline it is very hard to control it, it goes in a zig-zaggy way, especially in 3d modelling.I donno how to use it,it goes in all 3 axes.How to control it?
    are there any settings for it?

  20. Ehsan says:

    I have this problem with Cylinder in a 3D design. I follow the steps in this tutorial, but it dose not worked.

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      3D Solids that have curved edges, like Solids (cylinder) are controlled by different variables:
      Try adjusting:
      Below is the description of the variable ISOLINES:
      “Specifies the number of contour lines displayed on the curved surfaces of 3D solids.
      Valid settings range from 0 to 2047.”
      Try setting it to 10 and see if that helps. Don’t go overboard with this setting.

      Default Number = 4″

  21. Rahul Subramaniam says:

    Thanku :) it was very helpful

  22. Patrick says:

    I though for sure these tips would help, but no. When I select a polyline, a dashed (smooth with fine arcs shape) is displayed so I can see what the shape should be. But I can not get it to display right when un-selected. Any other ideas? Thanks!

  23. Antuan Kouros says:

    I have view problems at Shaded or Hidden View Styles
    (Conceptual, Realistic, Shaded, Hidden, X-Ray).

    I have in the same drawing, is a small drawing, two pipes (3d solids) diameter 400 mm.
    1st (small) extruded 1000 mm and at any Shaded View Style look fine…
    and 2nd (big) extruded 10000 mm and at any Shaded View Style looks very bad! like be a polygon when plot to PDF and also on Paper Space not good. At model at any Shaded View Style the big looks good. The small looks fine everywhere at any View Style.
    At 2D Wire frame View Style both are looks fine.

    AutoCAD 2018
    VIEWRES= 20000
    FACETRES= 10.0
    ISOLINES= 16

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