AutoCAD 2011 Object Selection and Creation
Here is some more detail on the changes in object selection and creation for AutoCAD 2011. I have included some animated images in the main story.
- The first three features were all released in an Advantage Pack for AutoCAD 2010. Follow the link for more details.
- Tools for controlling object visibility, independent of layer control.
- A new command named "Select Similar" - see link above.
- A new command named "Add Selected" - see link above.
- There is a new Transparency property by which you can set the amount of transparency an object or objects on a layer have. This property works like the color, lineweight, and linetype properties in that you can assign a transparency value to an object or to a layer. When setting the transparency value on an object, it can be set to ByLayer, ByBlock, or a value from 0 to 90. The higher the value, the more transparent the object will appear.
The Help File says "For perfomance [sic] reasons, plotting transparency is disabled by default. To plot transparent objects, check the Plot Transparency option in either the Plot dialog box or the Page Setup dialog box." - and I have learned that if you do want to plot transparency, the entire plot file is converted to a raster, possibly resulting in larger plot files
So even though this is a great new feature, it remains to be seen if the raster plots will prove to be more trouble than the transparency is worth.
- Polyline editing has been enhanced with the addition of additional grip points and commands to go with them.
- New "midpoint" grips are shaped like a rectangle. Hover over one and a small menu appears which will allow you to Stretch the segment, Add a vertex, or convert the segment to its opposite (Arc or Tangent).
- Vertex grips allow you to Stretch the vertex, Add a vertex, or Remove the vertex.
- The default action for both grip types is Stretch.
- The JOIN command now allows you to join 3d Polylines, 2D Polylines, lines, etc. If you want to select multiple types, select the more complex entity first and the joined entity will be of that type. For example, if you have a 3D polyline, an LWPOLYLINE, and a LINE, select the 3D Polyline first (as the "source"), then select the other entities. The resulting entity will be a 3D Polyline.
- One of my favorite new features in 2011 is the new Object Selection dialog. If you have objects that lie directly on top of one another, this makes choosing the right one a breeze. If you have Selection Cycling enabled (hint: look in the status bar), then when you are selecting an object, a small visual indicator will appear as you hover and before you click. Then if you click on the entity, a small dialog will appear listing each entity in the "stack". As you move your cursor in the dialog, the entity under your cursor will highlight on the screen, helping you choose the correct one.
- Hatching has changed a lot, but not so much that you won't recognize it.
- The main difference is that now, when you initiate the HATCH command, AutoCAD starts by prompting you for a point in the drawing. As you move the cursor over closed areas, a hatch preview appears on the fly. If it looks good, just click. If not, look up in the Ribbon --- the hatch properties are now found here and you can adjust the scale, pattern, color, etc. all the while, never leaving the HATCH command and the ability to preview your changes on the fly.
- Hatch Editing is very similar to the above process, select the hatch to edit and the properties appear in the contextual Ribbon tab.
- Lastly, you may not even need to look in the Ribbon to edit a hatch due to the new center point grip. Click on a hatch pattern and a new center grip appears. From this center grip, you can perform the following edits: Stretch, Change the Origin, Change the Scale, Change the Angle, all DYNAMICALLY while you move the cursor.
That is all for now...