Join Shaun Bryant for an in-depth discussion in this video Using ARRAY and ARRAYCLASSIC, part of AutoCAD Tips & Tricks.
- [Instructor] In this particular Tip and Trick in AutoCAD, what we're going to do is look at the ARRAY and ARRAYCLASSIC commands. Now you might have thought that there was only the ARRAY command available to you in AutoCAD. Well, that's wrong in some respects now. The reason being is we have the regular ARRAY command, which is the newly enhanced feature built version of the ARRAY command, but we still have the ARRAYCLASSIC command. Now this will change roughly around AutoCAD 2012 and we're running AutoCAD 2017 now, so it's been around a little while.
However, the ARRAYCLASSIC command is still there for those of you that prefer a dialog box driven ARRAY command. So, I've got a drawing open, 01_ARRAY&ARRAYCLASSIC.dwg, fairly self-explanatory. You can download that to follow along with this particular Tip and Trick. So what were going to look at is a Rectangular Array and a Polar Array. And we're gonna see how the ARRAY and ARRAYCLASSIC commands work differently.
It's not difficult, and basically, you can use whichever one of these you choose. They both will give you the same output. Slightly different output, and I'll show you why in a moment, but the same output. So let's look at a Rectangular Array command using the regular ARRAY command, not the ARRAYCLASSIC command. So I'm in the Home tab on the ribbon in AutoCAD and the ARRAY command is up here in the Modify panel and it's just here, this little flyout here. And you can see I've got a Rectangular Array, a Patch Array, and a Polar Array.
We're gonna be using Rectangular and Polar for these two particular arrangements that we've got in the drawing. You can see the purple rectangle there and the two yellow circles to the right. I'm gonna go for Rectangular Array, like so, and I come in to the drawing area and you can see that it's telling me to select objects. So, off I go using the Pick Box, select the rectangle. And then I can either right-click or press Enter and as if by magic, hello, I've got a Rectangular Array with one click.
Now, this is a default array with a default number of rows and columns and spacings, and what happens is, well, you'll notice is the ribbon kind of goes a little bit ballistic as well. And it gives you all of the settings that you've got. Now the one panel on the ribbon that you can ignore, in this case, is Levels. That's when you're working in 3D and this is a 2D drawing right now. But what I love about this particular array command is I can come up here, change the number of columns to, say, three, and press Enter, and I've got three columns.
Change the number of rows to, say, two, and press Enter, and I then got two rows as well. If I just pan out a little bit, you can see how that's change. Now the nice thing is, is I can click on these little grips here and as I drag, I can actually change that there and Select grips to edit array. So if I click though like that, click, and as you can see, I can have as many columns as I want, like so, click back. And it's the same here with the rows as well. I can go up. I'll just zoom out slightly and pan down.
And as I come up, I can have as many as I want. So it's all very, very visual and that's what I really like about it. Now, if I close that array, what you'll find is if I select it now though, it's a group. And it's grouped already and you can notice this here. So if I come in here, you can see Options, Edit Source, Replace Item, Reset Array, it automatically groups it. So what you would have to do, if you want those to be individual objects now is go back to the Home tab on the ribbon and just Explode that group.
And now they're all individual rectangles again. Very quick and easy. Now, let's have a look at that with the ARRAYCLASSIC command. So let's go back again. So up to here to Undo. Just take it back to the original rectangle, like so, Now, the ARRAYCLASSIC command isn't actually available on the ribbon. You have to type it. Now you notice I've got my dynamic input on and my coordinates on my crosshair. That's just the way I like my AutoCAD set. So I'll type in ARRAYCLASSIC now. Now as soon as I do that, Suggestion menu helps me out, so I go ARRAYCLASSIC.
Notice there's no icon next to ARRAYCLASSIC. And that brings up the old-fashioned dialog box, which I'm sure you all recognize and remember. Same process, Rectangular Array, just what I need. I select the object for the Rectangular Array, the rectangle, like so, right-click or Enter to confirm, it takes me back to the dialog box. Then I can select the number of rows, so let's say I have two rows and I'll have three columns. I still got that nice, little preview box there over on the right and I can hit Preview here, like so, as well.
Now the Row offset at the moment is one. Now my rectangle is, by no means, one by something. Now this is where the ARRAYCLASSIC doesn't fall over as such, but you've got to define the value. Now I know that that rectangle I've drawn there is 50 by 35. So I'm gonna do a Row offset there of, say, 75 and a Column offset of, say, 100, like so. I can preview that by hitting the Preview button and there they are there like so.
Now, the thing is with that one is I've got to put all the data in hit the Preview button. I then got a "Pick or press Esc to return to the dialog "or right-click to accept the array." So it's a little bit more long-winded, but if people are used to it, use it. So that's your ARRAYCLASSIC going on there for a Rectangular Array. Now I'm just gonna Cancel that now. Let's have a look at a Polar Array. So I jump up here to the Modify panel and Polar Array. Again, select object, so I'm gonna Polar Array the circle, right-click or Enter to confirm, center point of the array will be the center of the smallest circle, and there we go.
There's my default array with six items, and it's very much like the rectangular one. We put in a value, eight, and Enter for the number of items. And that will update automatically. I can also click on the grip and drag, and can you see? As I drag that around and click again, it changes the angle between the items, for example. And if I close the array like that on the ribbon, you'll notice it's all grouped together around that center point. And again, I have to go back to the Home tab, click on Explode to get them back to the original circles, like that.
So again I'll go back up to Undo, take it back a few steps to the original circle, like so, and I'll type ARRAYCLASSIC again. And as soon as I do that, again, Suggestion menu finds it for me and I'm gonna go for a Polar Array using the dialog box. So, center point is there. I need to select the objects first. So there's the object, right-click or Enter to confirm. Center point, I use the icon in the dialog box, center snap to the smallest circle. Total number of items, let's go for eight, like so, and I'll tab that.
And notice I've got different options there, three different methods. Now I've only got three different methods for a Polar Array in the ARRAYCLASSIC command. And again, I can preview that, and there's my preview, and then it's a right-click to accept or Esc to return to dialog box. If I hit Cancel, obviously that cancels the command. So you can see there how those arrays differ. The one in the ribbon, the new ARRAY command or new-ish ARRAY command, is quite visual and quite graphical and you use grips to move things and change the rows and the columns, and also the spacing, the angles between objects on a Polar Array.
Whereas, we go back to ARRAYCLASSIC, you can see that ARRAYCLASSIC goes back to that old way of doing AutoCAD via the dialog box. Now it's up to you which one of those array commands you use, ARRAY or ARRAYCLASSIC. I'll let you have a play with the drawing now and you decide which one you prefer.