Engineering technician Hayden Clarke sends us an AutoCAD tip that can help you make object selections more efficiently.
"Filter (Fi) is a very useful tool that could potentially improve the efficiency of any job, but not all users are aware of it. Some of my coworkers have used AutoCAD since it was first released, but have never used this command — and in some cases, have never even heard of it.
"Filter can be used to select blocks in a drawing that have a certain name, pick contours by elevation (even contours above or below a certain elevation), and much more. Quite often I use it to clean up imported drawings by selecting text but not by layer, or selecting text with a certain color, and moving it to my own text layer. This command is well worth the time spent to learn how to use it. Once you do, some strenuous tasks will become very easy."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: Many times we need to be very specific in what we edit in AutoCAD. Isolating layers is one method, but what if everything you need is only on one layer, with objects that you don't want? You can go through and select the items one at a time, or you could use the Filter tool. This tool can also save your frequently used filter settings.
Editor's Note: The code in Dave White's comment below has been repeated here, for improved clarity:
(initget "Hid 0 Phan Dim Ctr"); Defined layers in your drawing
(setq layer(getkword "Hid/0/Phan/Dim/Ctr <current> ")); Pick layer
(setq f1(list(cons 8 layer)))
(setq layset(ssget "X" f1))
(setq entnum 0)
(setq newset (ssadd))
(setq enttot (sslength pick))
(while(< entnum enttot)
(if(ssmemb(ssname pick entnum)layset)
(ssadd(ssname pick entnum)newset)
(setq entnum(1+ entnum))