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Selecting overlapping objects has never been easy in AutoCAD. It always involved holding down special keys on the keyboard when making the selection. Well, not anymore. In AutoCAD 2011, we can easily select overlapping geometry using the new Selection Cycling toggle in the status bar. Let's take a look at how it works. On my screen I have four squares, and each of these guys was drawn on Layer 0. The only difference between them is each was forced to be a different color. I'd like to start out by stacking this geometry.
To do that, I'm going to come up and launch my Move command. I'll select this entity and right- click and I'll move them from the endpoint here to the endpoint here. I'll then hit my Spacebar to go right back into Move. We'll select this entity and right-click. We'll move them from the endpoint here to the endpoint here. We'll hit Space one more time. We'll move this entity from the endpoint here to the endpoint here. There we go. I now have four objects on top of each other. Let's say I'd like to move the red square.
Now that looks like it might be difficult. Let me show you how we can do it. I'm going to come up and launch my Move command and AutoCAD is asking me to select objects. I'm going to come down and turn on the Selection Cycling toggle. Notice I can do that in the middle of a command. Now I'll place my cursor over this entity and AutoCAD brings up an icon to let me know that it found multiple objects beneath my pick box. I'll click to select and AutoCAD will bring up a menu showing me all the objects that it found. Better yet, if I hover over each of these, AutoCAD will highlight the entity on screen, so I know exactly what I'm selecting.
Let's select the red one. Then I'll right-click to finish my selection and I'll move them from the endpoint here to the endpoint here. This time, let's try and rotate the blue square. I'm going to come up and launch the Rotate command. I'll place my cursor over this edge and click. We'll select the blue entity from the list. I'll right-click to finish my selection and I'd like to rotate them from the endpoint here and we'll rotate them 90 degrees. It's as easy as that. Now that we see how this tool works, let's try and use it in a practical application.
I'm going to back up a little bit and we'll pan our drawing over. On my screen, I've got a drawing of a swimming pool that is surrounded by a concrete walk. If I zoom in a little bit, we can see that the walk measures 3 feet 10 11/16 inches. Well, this walk was supposed to be 3 and a half feet wide. To fix this, I'm going to erase this outer line. I'll do that by selecting it and then I'll click my Erase tool. Then I'll back up a little bit and I'm going to create a new offset.
So, let's launch the Offset command. I'll type in my distance, 3 feet 6 inches, Enter. My object to offset is right here. AutoCAD found three entities. This one represents the boundary of my hatch. This one represents the edge of my walk. This one represents the hatch itself. So I'm going to select the magenta polyline and I'll click to this side to finish my offset. When I'm finished with the command, I'll hit my Escape key. There we go.
Let's zoom in and we'll fix our dimension. I'll select this. We'll select the grip and we'll place it to the Shift+Right-click, Intersection right here. Then I'll hit my Escape key to deselect the entity. Now I still have a little bit of cleanup to do. Let me show you a quick way we can do this. I'm going to type extreme. This stands for extended trim. This is an Express tool. Oddly enough, you won't find this on the Express tools tab. Let's hit Enter and then I'll select my cutting object and then I'll click on the side in which I'd like to trim.
Then AutoCAD will clean up my geometry and complete my drawing. The Selection Cycling tool is definitely a welcome addition of the status bar. Now whether you leave this tool turned on all the time or whether you activate it on a command-by-command basis, I'm sure you'll agree there's no easier way to select overlapping geometry.
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