By Dennis Collin
Grip controls have been in AutoCAD for many years, but tend to get ignored by many users, which I find strange as they are so useful. Similar control points are apparent when working in popular Microsoft applications like Powerpoint, Publisher or Paint. In AutoCAD grip handles are the little blue square control points that appear on the screen upon the selection of objects. If this is not the case check that grips have been enabled and the selection mode is noun/verb within the selection tab of the options dialogue box.
Another worthwhile function is the dynamic input. This will provide on screen measurement and adjustment options without having to know many AutoCAD commands. This is useful for the occasional AutoCAD user who only needs to edit drawings periodically.
With these options enabled AutoCAD offers so much useful functionality for everyday tasks.
E.g. Select an object and hover, but don’t click the cursor over a blue corner or end vertex will provide a quick method of measurement.
Note the editing tooltips, they can be used to resize and modify elements too!
Editing the length of a line. Use the tab key to switch between overall and delta length and angles. Move the cursor in a desired direction to make the line shorter or longer.
Adding a vertex to a polyline, which is a quick alternative to the ‘PEDIT’ command. Since AutoCAD 2012, hatch objects can be edited in the same way, provided it hasn’t been exploded of course!
As well as moving items, grips are also useful for reformatting multi-line and single line text objects, particularly when text spills over to the next line.
Dimensions are also easily adjusted to provide drawing clarity.
As well as working to dimensional lengths, grips also accept object snaps and tracking references for additional flexibility.
Grips have so many other functions as well, but even using these basic options when editing and creating drawings, grips provide a very useful method of getting things done quickly.