LT On-line: Lesson 13

31 Mar, 2001 By: Mark Middlebrook

Select and edit objects

Page 1: Edit Styles

In AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT you spend a lot of time editing-far more than drawing objects from scratch, in fact. That's partly because the design and drafting process is iterative by nature, and also because it's easy to edit objects cleanly in a CAD program.

AutoCAD LT inherits many editing tools from AutoCAD. Some of these methods differ from those found in illustration or diagramming programs. Many differences are the result of backward compatibility, but many come from the exacting demands of CAD. Many CAD drawings contain lots of closely spaced, overlapping, and squeezed-together objects. CAD programs have to provide flexible, but precise, ways to let you select and edit objects.

Because you'll spend a lot of time selecting and editing objects in AutoCAD LT, it's worth improving your efficiency at these tasks. Small gains in object selection and editing efficiency result in large gains in your overall CAD productivity.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image
Figure 1.

The procedures described here work with AutoCAD LT 98-2000i and AutoCAD Releases 14-2000i. The descriptions assume that you use the default selection configuration settings, as shown in figure 1. You'll find these settings in the Options dialog box (in AutoCAD and LT 2000/2000i) or the Ddselect and Ddgrips dialog boxes (in AutoCAD Release14 and LT 98). You can make AutoCAD object selection work very differently by changing these settings, but if you do, you will probably find this lesson pretty confusing! I recommend that you stick with the default settings, at least until you understand how they work.

Click for larger image
Click for larger image
Figure 2.

Edit styles
AutoCAD LT offers two main styles of editing: command-first editing and selection-first editing. Within the selection-first editing style, you can choose to use actual, named commands or direct manipulation of objects without named commands. Here's a review of these editing styles:

   Command-first editing (a.k.a. verb/noun editing): Choose a command, then select the objects you want to apply the command to (figure 2). This is the classic AutoCAD editing style, and the one that most

Click for larger image
Click for larger image
Figure 3.
drafters use. It's the most consistent and flexible method in AutoCAD LT, but some users find it backwards at first.

   Selection-first editing with named commands (a.k.a. noun/verb editing): Select objects, then choose a command to operate on those objects (figure 3). From AutoCAD's point of view, this editing style is a backwards variation of command-first editing. Selection-first editing works with some but not all commands.

    Selection-first editing with grips (a.k.a. grip editing): If you select an object while no command is active, you can directly manipulate

Click for larger image
Click for larger image
Figure 4.
it by pushing around the little squares that appears in (figure 4).

If you plan to edit a lot, and learn only one AutoCAD editing style, it should be the command-first style. You can perform just about any editing operation with this style, and it gives you many object selection options. In addition, it's worth knowing how to do selection-first editing with grips, which is a bit more efficient in some situations, especially in crowded drawings.

Select and edit objects
  Page 1: Edit styles
  Page 2: Object selection for all editing styles

About the Author: Mark Middlebrook

More News and Resources from Cadalyst Partners

For Mold Designers! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the mold design professional. Sponsored by Siemens NX.  Visit the Equipped Mold Designer here!

For Architects! Cadalyst has an area of our site focused on technologies and resources specific to the building design professional. Sponsored by HP.  Visit the Equipped Architect here!