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    By Dennis Collin

    Back with AutoCAD 2006 the development team greatly enhanced many editing tools in AutoCAD, like the trimming of hatch objects, multiple object copy to name but a few. They also improved the Rotate command to include a Rotate and Copy option. Unfortunately rotate and copy is limited to a single operation. Although one could perform a Polar Array users  may sometimes require a more bespoke function where elements are copied and rotated to a more irregular arrangement. This function has in fact been in AutoCAD for a great many years and was introduced back in the days of MS DOS, pen plotters, floppy disks and 'Release 12' if you can remember such things!

    The multiple rotate and copy option is a part of the Grip editing suite and means you can do many popular edits without having to use the rotate command on the ribbon menu at all!

    The regular Rotate tool is a bit limited in options

    Simply select an object like a Block or a Polyline or Window select a group of objects and click on a 'Grip Handle' as shown, The object will then Stretch in a given direction and users can use snaps, drawing aids and direct draw options to relocate the object as precisely as the usual mainstream AutoCAD commands.

    However if the user presses the spacebar (or uses a right click menu) the default stretch operation can be changed to move, scale, mirror or rotate, one can also choose a copy option which can be used multiple times. Unlike the standard rotate!

    The Grip Menu can only be accessed as elements are being edited notice the difference to the standard right click menu shown below

    Once the correct menu has been accessed we can use Grip Rotate, with copy option and rotate items as many times as desired as can be seen in the image below. Intermediate lines have been placed on a dashed layer for clarity.

    This method can be used in many ways to show clearances for doors, hatches, fire evacuation plans and required access for building equipment etc.   Thus providing a useful alternative to AutoCAD’s object array options.