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AutoCAD for beginners
About Lesson

If you want to change one of the existing objects, you must first select it. Thereby

it doesn’t matter if you plan to delete it, move it, copy it or some other operation, the so-called Select Object Prompt.

I’ll use this architectural drawing as an example and immediately run the Move command. After that, instead of the usual cursor, a small square will appear on the screen next to which it says Select objects. The simplest way to select the desired object is to click on it and this is called Picking in AutoCAD. If you want to change multiple objects in one go, simply go ahead and select everything you need. This method of selection is really simple but also quite inefficient because it would take me a long time to select all the elements that make up this staircase. In such situations, it is much easier to make a selection by framing the area where the desired objects are located. To that end, I’m going to click on this empty space next to the staircase and try to make the selection box include all of its elements. As you can see, everything inside this box is automatically selected, which is much more efficient than selecting individually. If for any reason you are not satisfied with this choice, you can cancel it by simply pressing the Esc key.

I’m going to bring up the Move command again, because I’d like to show you another way you can speed up your selection. This time I will define the position of the frame from the opposite side, I will first click on its lower right corner and then move to the left side. The area that I cover will now be shown in green, which means that the so-called Crossing mode selection. It allows me to include in the selection elements that are only partially included and thus speed up the selection. It is for this reason that the line representing the fence is included in the selection, regardless of the fact that its position deviates significantly from the selected area. To make it more clear to you how this selection system differs from the previous one, I will repeat the Move command and frame one part of the staircase. Since this time I made the selection from left to right, the program automatically activated the so-called Regular selection mode, which means that only those elements that are completely covered by this frame will be selected. By dragging the mouse to the opposite side, the Crossing mode is automatically activated, and a partial touch is sufficient for a successful selection.

If you don’t like using a rectangular frame when selecting, use the so-called Fence mode. It allows you to freely define the desired area and thus cover individual elements even more precisely. To show you how it’s done, I’ll run the Move command and press F and Enter to go into the desired mode. In this case too, all elements that I touch will be selected, and the best thing is that I can freely move around the entire drawing. The so-called works in a similar way. Lasso mode and the only difference is that in this case you can mark the desired area without any restrictions. It is enough to press the left mouse button at the appropriate moment and hold it until you capture what you need. It does not matter the direction in which you make the selection, because only those elements that you cover in their entirety will always be selected.

In the rest of the lesson, I will show you how you can undo a wrong selection. To that end, I will click several times on the drawing and select individual elements. If it turns out that I have made a mistake, it is enough to press the Shift key and click on the corresponding element again. AutoCAD will automatically remove it from the selection group so I can release this key and continue with the normal selection. If you need to remove several elements from the selected group, use the following procedure. Without interrupting the currently active command, press the R and Enter keys and thus activate the so-called Remove object mode. If you then click on one of the selected objects, it will be excluded from the selection, and you can repeat the same procedure until you achieve the desired result. To return to the normal mode in which new elements can be selected, it is necessary to press the keys A and Enter. I will use the opportunity to select a few more lines and after that press Esc to terminate this command.

Before I show you some more ways you can make a selection, I’ll draw two independent lines. If it turns out that something is wrong with the last element, there is a shortcut that allows me to automatically select it. To show you how to do this, I’m going to run the Move command and press L and Enter. This will result in the selection of the last drawn element, which is the line on the right. After that I can go ahead and complete the Move command.

To properly demonstrate the following shortcut, I need proper preparation. So I’ll run the Move command again, select both lines individually, and move them to a new location. If it turns out that I need the same elements for the next step, I can select them in a much simpler way. It is enough to run the corresponding command and to activate the shortcut called Previous by pressing the P and Enter keys. AutoCAD will automatically select the elements I used previously and allow me to continue working. Even if some new elements appear in the drawing, the program will still remember those that were included in the previous selection, so I can repeat the copy function and use the same lines with Previous.

If you want to select all the elements in the drawing with one stroke, there is a corresponding shortcut for that as well. To that end, I’ll run the Move command and in response to the selection, type All and press Enter. At that moment, practically the entire drawing will be selected, although there are exceptions, which I will tell you about in one of the next lessons. I won’t need these extra lines anymore, so I will remove them from the drawing.

Now it’s time to show you another interesting way you can select related elements. Namely, if the need arises to move the entire staircase, none of the selection systems shown so far will be of particular use to you. That’s why I advise you to simply click on one of the horizontal lines and thus take the first step. If you press the right mouse button after that, a menu with additional options will appear on the screen, so it will not be difficult for you to select the item called Select Similar. At that moment, AutoCAD will automatically select all related elements, which in this case is the entire staircase. The only condition for a successful selection is that all objects are of the same type (in this case, lines) and that they are on the same layer.

If I repeat the same process with this small circle that represents part of the fence, AutoCAD will automatically select all the circles that are on the current Layer. Unfortunately, this selection will not include any lines, regardless of the fact that there are many more such objects on the same layer.

Before I finish this lesson, I’d like to show you a few more ways you can make a selection. To begin with, I’ll type the following string of characters P R O P and that will be enough to bring up a shortcut on the screen to launch the Properties function. If I press Enter after that, I will be able to select an icon called Quick Select from this palette and go to the next box. As you can see, it allows me to apply different criteria and thus select certain elements. I don’t want the entire drawing to be used, so I’ll click on this icon and select its right half. After that, the inscription Current selection will be placed at the top of the frame, which means that only those objects that I previously selected will be taken into account. As an additional criterion, I will select the Line option from this list in order to limit it to one of the existing Layers. Maybe it’s better to choose the Color parameter instead and close this box with OK. As you can see, AutoCAD will efficiently extract only those elements that meet the set criteria, which is much easier than if I had selected them in some other way.

There is another interesting feature on this palette. It is called Pickadd, and if I activate it, it will greatly affect the way certain elements are selected. Namely, until now you could create an increasingly large group by selecting individually, but if you activate the Pickadd function, each subsequent selection will cancel the previous one. This practically means that you can select only one element at a time. It doesn’t work for me right now, so I’ll turn this feature off and go back to normal mode.

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