AutoCAD Platform – Multiple Ways For Object Selection

AutoCAD Platform – Multiple Ways For Object Selection

If you have been using the AutoCAD platform for a while you have probably run into issues with congested drawings trying to select certain objects. Most of the selection tools in AutoCAD are hidden which is disappointing, but at least the 2012 release is trying to expose some of them. In 2012 with no command active, select an open spot in drawing and look at the command line.

Fence, WPolygon and CPolygon are shown to help you select objects, which isn’t the typical way most people work. To see all of the different ways to select things in AutoCAD, start the Move command and type xx and hit enter. There are 18 different ways to select something in AutoCAD. Let’s look at these tools from the very basic that you might already know, to the super-secret ones.

A. Pick Single
You can pick single object when AutoCAD asks you to select objects.

B. Window/Crossing/BOX
You can define a crossing window selection by clicking at two points. Click first point on the right side, and 2nd point on the left side. This will select all elements inside and whatever is touching the window.

If you pick your points left then right, then it will be window selection and selects what is inside the window. These two are the default window selections in AutoCAD. If you want to activate window selection, type W, C or BOX then [Enter] you can do this when AutoCAD ask you to select objects.

C. Fence
You can select drawing elements by defining a ‘fence’ that touch any objects you want. Just type F then [Enter] to activate it, select multiple points to build the fence and then press [Enter] to finish.

D. Window/Crossing Polygon
This option behaves as the first window selection tools but you can define a multi-sided window. Just type WP then [Enter] to activate it and all elements inside the window will be selected.

E. Touching Objects
When AutoCAD asks you to select an object, type ‘FS then [Enter]. You have to use the ‘ for this to work correctly. Pick your object and then all of the objects touching it will be selected. At the command you might see FASTSEL. This is an express tool so if you don’t have express tools installed this might not work. If you want to learn more about this command, type in FSMODE then [Enter] and then F1, this will bring up the help system.

F. Cycle Overlapping Objects
If you have overlapping drawing objects, there is a great way to cycle between them by pressing [shift] + [spacebar]. Hold your [shift] key, and press [spacebar] several times until you find the object you want, once it highlights the correct object click with your mouse. If you are on a newer version of AutoCAD, use the Selection Cycling found at the status bar at the bottom of your screen.

G. Select Previous Selection or Last Object

If you have ever done a Move and then a Rotate, you probably could have used this command – just type P then [Enter] when AutoCAD asks you to do a selection. Or how about the last object inserted or drawn? Type L then [enter] and now it is selected.

H. Remove/Add
Sometimes it’s easier to select all elements then remove some of them from your selection set. You can do this by holding down the [shift] and select objects you want to exclude, or you can type R then [Enter] to switch to remove mode to activate add objects, type A then [Enter].

Bonus: Undo Selection
You can undo your last object selection by typing U [Enter] while your selection set is still active, this undoing only your last selection.

Jarod Schultz