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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.
The Stretch command is often misunderstood by AutoCAD users because at first glance, it appears to be selecting more than what we intended. When it comes right down to it, the Stretch command is nothing more than an endpoint mover. We are going to take a look at the Stretch command. I'm going to come up and click my Open icon. And inside the Chapter 9 folder within the Exercise Files directory, I'm going to come down and go to the number 6 drawing, this is our Stretch demonstration. I will highlight that drawing and click Open to bring him up on screen.
Now, this drawing is currently set to architectural units. I know that because I created the drawing, but I can prove it to you in case you don't believe me. I can come down to Format and select Units. Yes, in fact, that is architectural. Let me click OK. I've got a rectangle on my screen. Let's say I would like to make this rectangle 3 inches longer. I'm going to do that by using the Stretch command. To launch the Stretch command, I'm going to come over to my Modify toolbar and click the Stretch icon. When I do, AutoCAD is asking to me select objects. If we look at the command line, we can see that we are supposed to select our objects to Stretch by using a crossing window.
OK, let's do that. I would like to stretch my rectangle three units to the right. So I'm going to click off in space, I will click once and I will make a crossing window around these endpoints. The Stretch command is an endpoint mover. So even though I'm using a crossing selection, the only part of my entities that's going to be changed are the endpoints that fall within the selection. Let me click to finish my window. Notice the entire rectangle highlights. Let me right-click to finish the selection.
Now, AutoCAD is asking me to specify base point just like the Move command. I'm going to move up and I'm going to use the endpoint right here. I've got a running Object Snap, so I will left-click. Notice, as I move my cursor, I'm stretching that rectangle and the only part that's really being adjusted are the endpoints that fell within that selection. Now, I would like this to be somewhat accurate, so I'm going to come down and click my Ortho button. Now, I can take and pull this guy to the right, type in 3 inches and hit Enter.
I'm going to back up. We are going to look at another example. Let me pan down. Let's stretch to this rectangle. I would like this guy to be 3 units longer as well. Once again, I'm going to come over and launch my Stretch command. So as the command comes up, AutoCAD is asking me to select objects. Once again, I'm going to use a crossing window. I'm going to click right here. I'm going to create my window around the endpoints that I want to move. And then, I will click to finish my window.
Notice, half of my screen is highlighting. Let me right-click to finish the selection. Even though all of that geometry is highlighted, the only parts that are going to be affected are the endpoints that fell within the selection. So AutoCAD is asking me to specify base point. Once again, I will grab the endpoint of the rectangle right here. As I move my cursor, notice that only the endpoints are being affected. So I'm going to take and pull in this direction and I'm going to type in 3 inches, Enter. I have just stretched that rectangle.
Let's try and use the Stretch command in a practical example. I'm going to back up a little bit and will pan over. I'm going to zoom in on this geometry. Let's say I'm a furniture designer and I've just finished creating this entertainment center and I would like to create a matching bookshelf. Well, I don't want to go through and redraft any geometry. I'm going to convert this entertainment center into a bookshelf using the Stretch command. First thing first, I don't need these components anymore so I am going to hit my Erase button and I will erase my components.
Let me select these guys and we'll get rid of them. Let me right-click to finish the selection. I don't need this divider, let's get rid of that. I'm going to click Erase and I will do a nice crossing window across my divider which selects those entities. You know what, I also don't need my drawer handles or the divider between the drawers, I'm going to create a crossing window right around here, this will select all of those entities. Let me finish the window by clicking and then I will right-click to finish the selection. Alright, let's use the Stretch command to create a bookshelf.
I'm going to come over and launch the Stretch command by clicking the Stretch icon in the Modify toolbar. AutoCAD is now asking me to select objects. I'm going to move to the upper right and click, and I'm going to pulldown to the lower left and create a crossing window around this geometry. Let me click to finish the window. I will right-click to finish my selection. And I want to stretch this geometry from the endpoint right here and we will bring it over to the endpoint right here.
Now that we have got the outer part of our bookshelf finished, let's finish the shelves themselves. I'm going to launch the Stretch command one more time, select Objects. I'm going to make a nice crossing window around the ends of the shelves. Let me finish the window by clicking and then I will right-click to finish the selection. Alright, now it's time to specify my base point. I'm going to zoom in a little bit. I would like to stretch this from the endpoint right here, so I will click and wherever I would like to place this, I'm going to use a perpendicular Object Snap.
I would like to stretch them such that they end up perpendicular to this vertical line. So let me come over and click my Perpendicular icon. And then, we will come back, I will put my cursor on the line and click. If we look at the Stretch command as an endpoint mover, it makes much more sense when selecting our entities and modifying our geometry. As you can see, if you can successfully use the Stretch command, you can make significant changes to your drawings in absolutely no time.
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