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Create a Custom Array
Tip# 3823 By Danny Korem On 13-Feb-2012
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Categories : 2D Editing
Software type : AutoCAD 2012
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Copy objects and array them with grip edits.

Frequent tipster Danny Korem shares an AutoCAD tip that allows you to copy selected objects and create a quasi-array of them by using nothing but grip edits.

"When you select an object and grips appear, click a single grip to make it hot (or several by holding the Shift key as you click), then right-click again and pick the Copy option. Indicate the copy direction with your mouse and type in the distance. Now for the magic: Hold the Control key and choose any direction. AutoCAD will place the selection set at the distance first assigned, turning the copy into a very accurate tool for positioning. It's not as accurate as in the Array command, but this gives you the option to place your objects in locations you select instead of in predefined rows and columns."

Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: It is easy to overlook the power of grip edits. Often times they are only used to stretch the endpoints of lines or to move objects, but they can do much more than that, especially in newer versions of AutoCAD.

When using this tip, try to choose a grip that makes copying easy. For example, the endpoint of a line will copy the line, but will only move that endpoint. It may be better to select the midpoint of the line instead. While I was testing this tip I found that if I made more than one grip hot, I could not get the Copy option to show up. I tried changing the right-click options to ensure that all of the right-click shortcut menus would be displayed, but that didn’t help. It seems that when multiple hot grips are selected, the hot-grip shortcut window does not display, but I always got it to appear when I had only one grip selected.

I also found that when I selected more than one object, the object that I hot-gripped is the only one that copied. If I tried to hot-grip two grips, I ran into the issue of not getting the proper shortcut menu. Once the Copy option with a distance has been executed, you are still in copy mode (unless you have canceled the command). Pressing the Control key will lock in the distance you input previously and allow you to copy the object at that distance from the originally selected object. It also allows multiples of this distance; if I typed in 100 units and followed this tip, I could place objects at 100 units, 200 units, 300 units, etc.

 

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User comments
Comment by Palm,Bernd
Posted on 2012-02-14 01:51:25
Comment to Brians note: It is important to get the right Grip command. The default is Stretch (heaven knows why...). Hitting the space bar it switches to Move and typing C gives you Copy, regardless if you use end- or midpoints, one or multiple objects. The trick with activating several Grips is holding Shift while selecting all Grips you want and then selecting your Basepoint (without Shift) on one of the red Grips.


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