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In AutoCAD 2011: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets, Jeff Bartels shows AutoCAD users how to become more efficient power users, reducing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task, increasing profit margins, and strengthening marketplace competitiveness. The course covers everything from shortcuts used in geometry creation, to program customization, to real world solutions to common problems. Interface customization, block and reference management skills, and express tool usage are also covered. Exercise files are included with the course.
AutoCAD can display referenced content from many sources. Two of the most popular choices are images and other AutoCAD drawings. Not only can you display referenced content, you can also clip those references using any shape you like, so long as that shape only consists of straight segments. Well, that's the way the default settings work anyway. In this lesson I'm going to show you how you can clip a referenced file using curved geometry. On my screen I have a drawing of a proposed high school gymnasium. I'll zoom in a little closer and as you can see I have referenced an image into this file.
This is a center court photo from the existing high school facility and I would like to display this image at the center court area of my proposed CAD design. All I have to do is clip out the wood floor around the outside of the logo. Let's open the Layer control. I'm going to turn on a layer called Clip Boundary and as you can see, I have already traced this logo using a closed Polyline. Let's try and clip this image using the standard clipping tool. To do that I'll select the image and in the context sensitive menu, I'll select to Create Clipping Boundary.
I will then right-click and choose Select Polyline and I'll select my Polyline. Now here's the problem. The default clipping tool only supports straight-line geometry, so it's shooting right past the arcs in my clipping path. Let's click Undo and to do this clip I'm going to visit the Express Tools tab. I'll open the Modify panel and I'll select Extended Clip. Extended Clip allows me to clip any referenced AutoCAD drawing, block, or image using curved geometry.
I will then select my Polyline and my image and then AutoCAD asks me for an allowable error distance. The smaller the distance, the closer the clipped image will match the selected boundary. I'm going to type 1/8 inch and I'll press Enter. Now I don't need my Polyline anymore, so I'll select this and I'll press delete to remove it, and as you can see, my center court logo now works nicely in the drawing. Using the Extended Clip command, you are no longer tied to simplistic straight edged clipping boundaries.
Now, you can use nearly any closed Polyline to clip your referenced content.
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