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    By Martin Phelps 

    As well as using layer properties to control the visibility of AutoCAD objects, there is also the “Hide” / “Isolate” command, not particularly new to AutoCAD, but a much over looked method of quickly controlling the display of objects within a drawing. 

    The “Hide” / “Isolate” command allows the user to control the display of objects regardless of the objects layer properties.

    This function can be accessed in two ways, either by right mouse click and select “Isolate” from the displayed menu, as shown in figure 1.

    Acad-objectsvisibility-1.PNG 

    Figure 1.

    Alternatively, selecting the icon located in the “Status Bar” at the bottom of the screen as shown in Figure 2.

    Acad-objectsvisibility-2.PNG 

    Figure 2.

    Both options allow the user to either “Hide” or “Isolate” the selected objects and as with many AutoCAD commands, the command can be selected then the required objects or select the objects then the required command, this is known as noun / verb selection. Objects can be selected by any of the selection methods within AutoCAD.

    Figure 3 shows part of drawing with objects drawn over several layers.

    Acad-objectsvisibility-3.PNG 

    Figure 3.

    To reduce the complexity of the drawing, select the objects, right click and from the menu select “Isolate” and then select “Isolate Objects”, objects not selected are not displayed as in Figure 4.

    Acad-objectsvisibility-4.PNG

    Figure 4.

    To reduce the objects displayed even further, select the objects to be removed, right click to display the menu, select the “Isolate” option, but this time select “Hide Objects”. The Selected object will now also be removed from the display. Make any changes to the drawing.

    To return the drawing back to the display prior to use of the “Isolate” and “Hide” selection, either right click to display the menu, select “Isolate” and “End Object Isolation”, or select the “Isolate / Hide” icon in the status bar and again select “End Object Isolation”.