Join Scott Onstott for an in-depth discussion in this video Selecting objects, part of AutoCAD 2016 Essential Training.
- This video is all about selection. Before you can modify objects, you need to select them. And it doesn't really matter how you want to modify them. You might want to move them, copy, rotate, scale, what have you. But all those commands start with a Select Objects prompt. Open the Architectural sample file and let's go ahead and click Move, up here. It says Select objects. The most obvious way to select something is just to click on it. It's called picking.
This works well but it's very inefficient. Let's say I wanted to select all of the objects comprising this stair, I don't want to sit here and click on each and every line. Fortunately, there's a better way to do that. You can create a window around the stair. Click, right about here, and then move the cursor down to the right. If I click right here, watch what happens. All that gets selected. I'm just going to press "esc" to cancel the command.
Let's try that again. Go back to Move. This time, instead of starting up here, start in the lower right corner of your intended selection area. And go up to the left. The window is green. This means that it's a crossing window. It's going to select anything that this window crosses. And this is different, I got a lot more selected because it got, say these handrails here that go way over this far, let's try that again.
Move. So I make a window going this way. Only the objects that are completely contained in that window get selected. If the window goes over this way, anything that the window crosses get selected. So this is really an important distinction. It's the difference between what we call a regular selection window and a crossing window. Another way you can select is using a Fence.
I'll click Move and at the Select objects prompt, I'll type f for fence and enter. Notice that it's not an option, you have to know this. It doesn't prompt you for it on the command line. F enter indicates that I want to select using a fence. The fence works like the crossing window in that anything that it crosses gets selected. This allows you to select things that are not necessarily in a rectangular region.
Another way you can select is using the Lasso. And this works at any Select objects prompt. Simply start dragging. You can draw out this lasso. It selects objects that are completely inside the lassoed area. It doesn't matter, with the Lasso, which direction you drag in. I can drag in this direction or the other one. And it's only going to select objects that are completely contained in that lassoed area.
Let's go back to the Select objects prompt just by clicking any of these modification commands. I'm going to select a few objects manually. And let's say that I accidentally selected something like that that I didn't want to select. I can remove it from the selection set by holding down the shift key. Now if I pick on this object, it will remove it from the selection set. I can then let go of shift and keep selecting.
If, on the other hand, you've built up a large selection set and you want to just focus in on the things you want to deselect, you can type r for remove and press enter. That actually changes the prompt. Notice it says Remove objects now. So without holding shift, I can use any selection method to remove objects from the selection set. Now let's say I want to go back and keep selecting objects again. I can type a for add, enter. And then prompt goes back to Select objects.
Here I can go ahead and add more to the selection set. I'll press escape again. So now, I'd like to draw just two lines over here. Doesn't matter where. And I'd like to show you a couple of very useful selection modes. The first one is called Last. Last selects the last object that you created. But it's only good for a single object.
So let's say I want to move the last thing I just created, I'll type l enter for last. And it got that line right there. I can then proceed to move it. Let's try... moving both objects. I'll select them both just by picking them. And I'll go ahead and move them. This time, let's say I realized "Oh, I didn't want to move those, "I actually wanted to copy them." I could undo and redo this but, another method is just to use the previous selection set.
So I'll click Copy. And type p enter for previous. That's gonna select whatever I was just working on and it can have more than one object in the selection set. So I can then copy those objects. Now let's say I want to do that again. Let's try copying the previous selection set. It doesn't select the very last objects that I created. It selects those same objects that I was working on. Those first two lines.
So, previous is sort of a great power tip that I use all the time. It saves time in having to reselect what you're working on. There's also All, you can select all the objects in the drawing by just typing all. So I'll go to Move and then at the Select objects prompt I'll just type in "all" and it gets everything in the drawing and then you can go ahead and modify that. Say I want to move it, however, All does not select objects that are frozen.
And that's another story. You'll learn about that with layers. There are a few other selection methods that are quite useful. Let me just erase these lines that we've been experimenting with here. Now, let's say that I want to select all these stairs. And it's a bit tricky because the handrails go through them, the stair has a lot of horizontal tread lines, and some vertical lines that complete the stair.
So it's just a bit of a selection nightmare. In this case, I might select just one object by clicking on it, without even using a command. This turns on the grips. I can then right-click to get a special shortcut menu. And I'll choose Select Similar. This is going to get all of the lines in the stair. And what this does is it actually analyzes the whole drawing and it checks to see if the objects are on the same layer and if they are of the same type.
So, in this case, it's looking for lines that are on this A Floor Stairs layer. I'll just press escape. Now I'm gonna zoom in here on the handrail. Or on this guardrail here and I'll click on this little circle, right-click, and say Select Similar. It's going to select circles that are on that layer on A Floor Handrail. But it's not going to select lines. So Select Similar is specific to the object type and the layer.
Let's take a look at, yet, a few more selection methods. And I promise we're almost done here but I think these will suit you well in the long run. Selection is something that you do all the time and it's important to find the best tool for the job. So I'm gonna type in P R O P for properties. This opens up this palette. And there are few selection tools in the corner here. Quick Select is very powerful.
It allows you to select objects by type and other properties, so, for example I could apply this selection filter to the entire drawing or to a subset of it. I could select, say, this whole area to work on. Enter. So that's gonna apply this filter to the current selection. And then I could say, "I wanna select all of the lines "that are in that selection. "And I want all of the lines that are on a specific layer." Or I could say, "All of the lines that are a specific color." And click OK.
And ti's going to select that very specific set of criteria that you set up. This here is called PICKADD. And if you turn that on, it changes the way that selections work. Normally, you can keep adding to a selection. But when PICKADD is on, only one thing can be selected at a time. So I can go ahead and click on different things and you'll see that only one object is selected at a time. When this mode is off, I can continue adding to this selection set.
Like that. So there you have it. You've seen many different ways to select objects.
Note: The course is an update to our 2015 training, including new movies on working with object snaps, writing multiline objects, making dimension objects, and more.
- Changing workspaces
- Converting drawings to new units
- Drawing lines, circles, splines, polygons, and more
- Moving, copying, rotating, and scaling objects
- Mirroring, lengthening, trimming, and joining objects
- Drawing accurately with coordinates and snapping
- Creating gradients
- Making dimension objects
- Managing object and layer properties
- Reusing content
- Making external references (including xrefs)
- Adding annotations
- Packaging and publishing CAD data
Skill Level Beginner
Q: What is the free Certification Objectives PDF that accompanies this course?
A: The course's exercise files come with a PDF that correlates the course's video chapters to the AutoCAD Certified User and AutoCAD Certified Professional exam objectives. This mapping helps identify which chapters correspond to specific learning objectives in the certification exams.