Are You an AutoCAD Offset Wizard?

25 Jan, 2015

Although the Offset command is a fairly basic one, there have been some amazing additions over the past few releases. Do you know them all? Watch this video tip from Cadalyst and Lynn Allen to learn the ins and outs of the command, and you’ll become an Offset wizard!

Video Transcript

Hello there, this is Lynn Allen. Welcome to another AutoCAD tip, courtesy of Cadalyst magazine. Thank you so much for joining me.

Today I'm going to talk about all things Offset. I know what you are thinking, "Lynn, I know all there is to know about the Offset command." Well, maybe you do, maybe you don't. Let's take a look at some things that most people don't know about the Offset command. We'll start with the basics, of course. I'm going to be a big girl, and I'm going to grab the Offset command from the ribbon and practice what I preach.

I'm sure you at least know that there's two different basic methods of offsetting. You can give a specific offset distance. Or you can do a Through option. Let's start off with Through, which is the default. I'm going to grab this nice, big green slot there. You get this nice preview there, which was added into AutoCAD a few releases ago. Then, of course, whatever point you select, that is where the object is going to go through. Right? Easy enough.

Let's try it again. Let's set a specific distance this time. I'm going to do a distance of 5. I'm going to select the original object again, and you can see that I get a very nice visual as far as where it's going to go. Easy, peasy. Let's undo those and put it back to the beginning.

Now I'm going to go back into the Offset command, still continue to behave and grab it from the Ribbon. I'm going to do a distance again. Now this time I'm going to use the Multiple option. This is great for those of you who need to do many, many offsets at one time and you're tired of going back and picking that original object again and again. You'll see that there is this great multiple option. So I'm going to go ahead and select Place and another Place and another Place -- and you just have a little Offset party. I can even grab other objects, if I need to along the way. Hit Enter to go to the next object, and I can continue offsetting that one as well. That's when you want to do a whole bunch of Offsets to the same object over and over and over again.

Let's get out of there. Let's undo that. There isn't undo inside of the Offset command. That only undoes the last Offset. I want them all back to the beginning, so I did a real live Undo. Let's go back into the Offset command again. Let's see what else is in there. What else is hiding in there?

I want you to notice that it has some settings across the top there. There's a setting for Erase Source. So the way we have it set up right now is it keeps the original object when it does the offset. But I could say E for Erase, and say, "I want you to erase the source object when I'm done with it." Let's do Through again. I'll go ahead and grab the spot, pick any place on the screen. Now you can see it kind of fades the original object. That's because it's going to go away. Do it again over here with these holes. You can see the original object is faded. That's because we told it to erase the source. We'll undo that.

Let's take a look again -- I typed it in; I cheated. The Erase Source is still set to Yes. How about Layer? So as we do offsets in AutoCAD, by default the offset lands on the same layer as the object that you selected. What if I want the offset to go on the current layer? Let's try that. Let's go in and select the L for Layer, and this time instead of Source, we're going to say C for Current layer. You can see the current layer is Layer 0. So let's go ahead and I'll get give it value. Select the object, and you can see it's very clear that it's going on a different layer this time. It still says Erase Source is still set, so the original one goes away. But now when I do the Offset, I'm doing it onto the current layer -- whatever the current layer happens to be.

So let's go right back there one more time. You've learned about Erase Source, you've learned about Layer. The OffsetGapType I covered a few tips ago -- you'll have to go back and look at that one if you are not familiar with that. And we also talked about the Multiple option. Lots of different things you can do in the Offset command. I hope you learned at least one trick. Now you are an Offset Wizard. Oh, yeah. Thank you so much for joining me. I'll see you back here in two more weeks.

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