AutoCAD Tip: Easy way to select element from a complex drawing

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by Dennis Collin


AutoCAD drawings can get immensely busy showing lots of information on different layers, but even with the best intentions there will be still be situations when trying to select an element that is underneath another element and invariably the wrong element gets selected.


Fig. Trying to select a wall line? Unfortunately, the hatch object is selected first in this example

The reason for this is that AutoCAD tends to select elements at the top of a draw order list first, but often it’s the other element that is required. A common situation is the selection of a polyline or hatch object where an area or perimeter length needs to be measured. Fortunately, there is a useful solution to this issue, enable the Selection Cycling Function, a feature introduced some years ago.


Once enabled the function will bring up a pop-up selection menu when an object is selected in a busy part of the drawing, offering users a choice of which elements to select from in a list. This is a very useful feature and is often missed or forgotten about by even experienced AutoCAD users!


Fig. A choice from a line, solid hatch or none is offered

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