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Lengthen (or Shorten) AutoCAD Lines in a Flash!

9 Nov, 2015

If you need to lengthen lines a specific distance or to a total length, then you should be using the handy Lengthen command! Join Lynn Allen as she shows you how handy the Lengthen command can be when editing your objects.

Video Transcript

Hello there, this is Lynn Allen. Thank you for joining me for another AutoCAD tip, courtesy of the fabulous Cadalyst magazine. Hope you are having a great week so far. So far, so good for me, which makes me happy.

Today I'm going to share with you a tip that has to do with the Lengthen command, which is a command that I find a lot of people either don't know about it or they aren't using it or they forgot about it. It is actually a very handy command. Today we're going to focus on lengthening lines. If you are good, we'll come back and we'll look at arc later.

You can type in the Lengthen command or you can behave yourself and go to the Ribbon, and you can click on the Modify panel of the Home tab of the Ribbon. Right there is the Lengthen command. Very simple command. One of the nice things about the Lengthen command is it will tell you very quickly how long an object is. You can see right there, it told me the current length is 15.

Maybe that's not what I want. Maybe I want to tell it the total length. I wish the total length was 22. You can go ahead and click whichever object you want to be 22 units in length. Notice that it matters which end you go on. Which endpoint is going to determine which side is lengthened. Or you can make it shorter as well. So Lengthen will also make an object shorter, which is counterintuitive. So that was easy enough.

So let's go back into the Lengthen command, and we'll select this line again. Once again, it tell us now it's 22. It really, really did work. Let's try Delta. Delta is how much longer you want the object to be, in this case, it will always lengthen it. Let's say I want it to be 5 units longer. It's very visual. Once again, whichever end you select is the end that it will make longer, that it will lengthen. Pretty straight forward; very visual on the screen.

Let's go back in. This time we're going to do Percent. Let's say I want my object to be 25% of the lengthen that it used to be. You can make it longer. You can say 150%, or you can make it shorter. I'm gong to say 25. So as I move my cursor around, you will see the end that I select is the end is this case is going to be cut off. In this case it's going to be 25% of the total length. I'm only going to get the other side of that line. You can see the same deal. Kind of interesting. Once again you can make it longer by giving it a value higher than 100%. If you make a mistake, of course, you can Undo while you are in the command. Very, very simple. Very straightforward.

Okay, the last option -- we did Delta, we did Percent, we did Total -- is Dynamic. Now to be honest, Dynamic is not really my favorite. To me it's easier to do this with grips using the multi-function grips, but you know, whatever works for you. I'm going to go ahead. You'll see I'm going to select this object, and it tells me now to -- it's only going to lengthen it in the same direction. You should know that. Even if I turn my Ortho off, it's not going to make any difference. It's going to lengthen the line, keeping the angle the same.

So as I move my cursor, you can see it's telling me the distance it's lengthening it, or shortening it, depending on where you go. You can type in a value if you want. I'm going to go ahead and just select. That one's not so exciting. Nevertheless, you will see that back in the Lengthen command, some pretty cool options in there to help you very quickly lengthen or sometimes shorten an object, depending on what you are doing.

I hope that you found that tip to be valuable. We'll take a look at arcs later on. I'm going to see you back here in two more weeks. Take care! Behave.


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AutoCAD Tips!

Lynn Allen

In her easy-to-follow, friendly style, long-time Cadalyst contributing editor Lynn Allen guides you through a new feature or time-saving trick in every episode of her popular AutoCAD Video Tips. Subscribe to the free Cadalyst Video Picks newsletter, and we'll notify you every time a new video tip is published. All exclusively from Cadalyst!

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