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    by John Flanagan

    Tips & Tricks: Selecting Objects in AutoCAD

    In an earlier blog (Tips & Tricks: Using the Shift Key in AutoCAD – 17th Jan 2013) I promised to outline some useful tips for selecting objects in AutoCAD

    There are many ways to SELECT objects in AutoCAD. Be aware of the different options when working “Noun/Verb” (picking objects, and then issuing a command) vs “Verb/Noun” (issuing a command, then selecting your objects).


    Verb/Noun Selections:

    Picking, Windowing (W), and Crossing (C) are the most familiar. Don’t neglect Fence (F), WindowPoly (WP), and CrossingPoly (CP). These are useful for making selections of entities in odd shaped areas. (L) for Last and (P) for Previous are also useful. Type R to remove objects while selecting.

                For instance: Type MOVE, then CP (or WP, etc.) and start moving the mouse and clicking. You’ll see a polygon being created that will select objects if they are inside and touching the polygon (CP) or just inside the polygon (WP).

    Noun/Verb Selections

    Just start picking or pick drag to select objects. You can also type in SELECT and pick objects using the selection methods above. Use Shift + pick or Shift + Window/Crossing (dragging mouse) to remove objects.

    Quick Select: Accessible from a held down right click or from an icon at the top of the properties dialogue box.

    See Help

    • Right Click Customisation if you don’t get a pop up when holding down the right mouse button

    Quick Select allows you to apply a set of basic filters to select certain objects. For instance you can Quick Select all Lines on the A-Wall-New layer, or all Blocks with the name Chair.

    The SELECT SIMILAR option is available in the pop up menu (2011+) by picking one or more objects, Right click > Select Similar.

    SSX is a powerful selection routine available in AutoCAD, but not LT. This ancient command line routine allows you to find objects based on certain properties. It builds a selection set, and then you issue the command (Erase, Move, Copy, etc.) and type P for Previous to bring back that selection set found by SSX.

    Trimming and Extending can be done by Crossing (version 2006+) and Fence.

    The Filter command offers a variety of selection options. For example, you can find (or FILTER) all Circles on the Layer M-STEL with a diameter of 50 mm or smaller.



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