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AutoCAD is a computer-aided drafting and design program that is the industry standard for a wide variety of 2D and 3D work. AutoCAD 2008 features several improvements over previous versions, but the core functionality and workflows have remained consistent for years. Users who have any of the more recent editions of the software will find AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training to be a valuable resource. Instructor Jeff Bartels has taught and used AutoCAD for a decade, and in this course he focuses on the difficult to master concepts that matter most to professional AutoCAD users. Exercise files accompany the course.
Sometimes joining our line work together can make it easier to work on a drawing. AutoCAD's P-edit Command will allow us to join entities into a single Polyline. Let's try using the P-edit command I'm going to come up and click my Open icon and inside the Chapter 9 folder within our Exercise Files directory I'm going to come all the way to the bottom of the list and will select the Pedit drawing number 10. We will highlight him and click Open. Now on my screen I have got an abstract example of some stairs, this drawing happens to be an architectural drawing.
You know one of the way we can tell that the drawing is architectural if we look down the lower left hand corner inside our status bar I can see that my coordinates are given in architectural measurements. Let's say I would like to offset these stairs 3 inches. Here is my problem. If I click on the stair segments I can see that they all are individual entities. That means in order for me to do the offset I would have to offset each piece one at a time and then clean up the geometry, which would be very tedious. I'm going to hit Escape to clear the grips. Instead I would rather join all of these lines together into a single polyline and then offset the polyline one time.
Now a polyline is a line with multiple segments and those segments can be straight lines or arcs. Let's use the P-edit command and join this line work together. To find the P-edit command I'm going to go up to my Modify pulldown. I will click Modify, I'm going to come down to Object and in the flyout I'm going to select Polyline. At this point AutoCAD is asking me to select the polyline that's because of this command edits polylines. Well, I'm going to come over and I'm going to click one of line segments and AutoCAD is going to say hey that's not a polyline, do you want to turn it into one? Well, yes I do.
So I'm going to hit Enter to accept the default Yes. From the menu I'm going to select Join. I would like to join my lines together so I will click Join. And now AutoCAD is asking me to select objects. Which objects would I like to join together? I'm going to make a nice window selection so I'm going to click right up here of in space, I will move down to the lower right and I will click to finish my window and then I will right-click to finish my selection. Now one of the unfortunate things about the P-edit command is there is really no official way to get out.
Now this is the menu I have there is no exit. If you want to get out you have to hit the Escape key. Now that the command is over I'm going to click one of my lines and notice that this is now considered a polyline. Let's try and use the P-edit command in a practical example. If I pan over to the right I have got the outline of a 5 panel door that I'm going to be drafting and through the miracle of time lapse photography we will pan over and you can see where I have created my offsets, pan over a little bit more you can see where I have created the offsets for my horizontal lines and then lastly I have gotten to the point where I have created my panels.
I have used the Trim command to clean up my geometry. In order for these to look like panels I need to offset these inner-rectangles in one time such that we can see the raised area. Here is my problem, since these rectangles were generated using the Trim command I can see that these guys are individual pieces. So instead of offsetting each one individually let's join these guys together and then offset it as one piece. Let me hit Escape to clear the grips and I'm going to join these using the P-edit command.
Let's come up to the Modify pulldown, we will come down and select Object and then we will come over and select the Polyline. AutoCAD again is asking us to select polyline I will click this guy. Do I wish to turn it into one? Yes, I do. Let me hit Enter. And the option I'm going to use is Join. Let me select Join. AutoCAD is asking me to select objects I'm going to make a nice window selection around these 4 entities. Let me click to finish my window and then I will right-click to finish my selection.
Now before we cancel out of this command I want you to take a look at the command line. Notice AutoCAD is saying 3 segments added to polyline. That's good. That means that the command worked. You see we can only join line segments together so long as they touch exactly end to end. If you look down at the command line and it says 0 segments added to polyline you have got a problem with your geometry make sure and check your corners. I'm going to hit the Escape key, clear the command because it worked fine. If I click on this guy now I can see he is a closed polyline.
Let's offset him. I'm going to hit Escape to clear the grips, we will come over and we will launch the Offset command by clicking on the icon. Offset distance, I'm going to offset him 2 inches and I will hit Enter. We will then grab our panel and then I'm going to click on the inside to create my offset and we will hit Escape to get out of the command. Now one of the drawbacks to the P-edit command is that it's a one-at-a-time deal. I can take and join lines together, I can create one polyline at a time.
I still have 4 panels left to go. Let me show you how we can create multiple polylines. I'm going hit Escape to clear the grips. We are going to go back up to Modify, we will come down to Object and we will move over and select the polyline. This time before we grab our polyline take a look at the command line there is a sub-option of Multiple. I'm going to right-click and select that sub-option. This will allow me to create multiple polylines.
So AutoCAD is asking me to select objects, you know what I'm going to window all of these guys. I will click once and then I will come down here and click again to finish my window. And then I will right-click and finish my selection. I can't hurt an existing polyline so I can really select whatever I want. AutoCAD is saying Convert lines and arcs to polylines. This is the same question as do you want to turn this into a polyline. AutoCAD is just saying hey you selected so much stuff that you just want to turn it all into polylines.
Yes, I do I'm going to hit Enter to accept Yes. Now I can use my Join command again. And I select Join and now AutoCAD is asking me to specify a fuzz distance. Since I'm creating multiple polylines I'm joining multiple lines together AutoCAD wants to know OK well how far a part do you want your end segments to be before we don't join them. Well, I'm going to leave it at zero. This way it's going to guarantee that my line segments will only join so long as they are touching end to end.
So I'm going to leave my fuzz distance at zero I'm just going to hit Enter. There we go that command has been done, if I look at the command line I can see 12 segments were added to 4 polylines, let me hit Escape to get out of the command and I can see that each one of these guys is now a joined polyline. All right let's finish it up. I'm going to come over and launch offset. AutoCAD remembers the previous distance so I will hit Enter and I will accept 2 inches and we will offset this panel to the inside, this panel to the inside.
Notice I have got a Running Object Snap be careful. I will click this panel and I will make sure that I am clicking inside without getting the Object Snap when we click inside it is last one we will click here and we will click inside. I will hit Escape to clear the command. So the next time you have to modify several individual components see if it is possible to join them together first. If your components meet end to end it might be fast to turn them into a polyline before making your changes.
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