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    by Martin Phelps


    The “Purge” command is used to remove unused items from the drawing file, so reducing the size of the drawing file, allowing faster file opening and quicker navigation of the file contents.

    Figure 1 shows the “Purge” dialogue box as per AutoCAD 2019 and prior.


    Figure 1.

    The “Purge” dialogue box for AutoCAD 2020 and 2021 has been enhanced to include  “Preview” and “Options” panels. The 2020 / 2021 dialogue box is shown in Figure 2.


    Figure 2.

    Both the “Preview” and “Options” panels can be resized by dragging the dividing bar between the two panels. The panels can also be closed, but both panels cannot be closed at the same time.

    All other functions generally remain the same but are now easier to access.

    In the “Named Items” panel, the “Nodes” are now both collapsible and expandable, by selecting either  the “-” or “+“ signs to the left of the category.

    Although not a new function of the “Purge” command, but easier to identify, in the “Options” panel is the “Zero-Length Geometry”. By checking this box lines with a length of zero can be deleted, this option only becomes active if this type of object exists in the drawing, otherwise the option will remain “Grey”.

    By default, the ”Purge” dialogue displays “Purgeable Items”, but by selecting the “Find Non-Purgeable Items” panel at the top of dialogue box, the dialogue displays all items that cannot be “Purged”. Selecting an item within a category will show a preview of the object, possible reasons why that item cannot be “Purged” and the details of that item.

    A selected “Block” is shown in Figure 3, with the reason why this item cannot be “Purged”.


    Figure 3.

    In the case of selecting a “Layer” as in Figure 4, there is no display in the “Preview” panel, but in the “Details” section all the objects remaining on the “Layer” are listed, making it easier to locate and manipulate these objects.


    Figure 4.