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Zoom Extents — Where Did Everything Go?
Tip# 3852 By Danny Korem On 26-Mar-2012
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Categories : Zoom
Software type : AutoCAD 2012
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If you use Zoom Extents when the outermost objects in your drawing are very far apart, it will look like your drawing has disappeared.

Tipster Danny Korem shares a trick he uses to clean up an AutoCAD file if the screen looks blank after a Zoom Extents is performed.

"While browsing the Cadalyst CAD Tips, I saw Tip No. 3800, Zoom Extents Alternative. It reminded me of a standard procedure I've been following for some time now. If the drawing seems to disappear while you are using the Zoom Extents command, try this process:

  1. Zoom to the window you want.
  2. Manage the layers so they fit your needs.
  3. Optional: Create one or several named views, so you can quickly achieve what you expect; for example, a specific zoom factor with specific layer state. The view will take a snapshot of the visual state.
  4. Type E for Erase, and All for creating a selection set. While pressing the Shift key, drag the crosshair to create a crossing window selection (right to left). Do this to remove your linework from the selection set. All of the remaining objects included in the selection set (outside the crossing window you just made) will be erased. Of course, you should be careful since you are erasing something that is invisible, but those objects should not be there anyway.
  5. Execute Zoom Extents to check the results. If it fails, check for locked layers, suspicious blocks, etc."

Notes from Cadalyst Tip Reviewer Brian Benton: This happens all the time. You perform a Zoom Extents, only to be zoomed way out, leaving your screen looking as if it were blank. Often a rogue object was copied or inserted erroneously, and it requires a simple Undo or Delete.

Zoom Extents will zoom out in your view until everything in the drawing area is displayed. If the outermost objects are very far apart, it makes them difficult to see. You have to either move the objects closer together or remove some of them. Sometimes you just can’t find what it is that is causing you trouble. If that’s the case, be careful. Don’t erase what you want to keep. Sometimes, even after following this tip, it still happens. Check the files that you are referencing; they may have outlying objects that are causing this. Check all frozen or turned-off layers.

 

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User comments
Comment by McDonnell,Dennis
Posted on 2012-03-27 10:46:27
I have used this process for years but I usually do a "List" prior to erasing so that I can see what I am getting rid of before I accidentally get rid of something significant. Worth the seconds it takes. After review if I plan to truly erase all I simply use the "Previous" option of selection set creation and proceed to "Erase" - "All" with confidence.
Comment by McDonnell,Dennis
Posted on 2012-03-27 10:46:35
I have used this process for years but I usually do a "List" prior to erasing so that I can see what I am getting rid of before I accidentally get rid of something significant. Worth the seconds it takes. After review if I plan to truly erase all I simply use the "Previous" option of selection set creation and proceed to "Erase" - "All" with confidence.
Comment by Wallner,Mark
Posted on 2012-03-28 13:52:31
I use the same procedure, except I zoom out well beyond the window I want just to be sure I don't miss including geometry on the edges. For a long time this procedure was failing me, then I finally realized that while dimensioning in 3D, some of my snap- points were landing way far into the background. The dimension locating points were automatically put on the DEFPOINTS layer, which was frozen/locked by default, so these points (and the associated dimensions) were not being deleted; since I never knowingly put anything on DEFPOINTS, it never occurred to me to thaw it. I believe my DEFPOINTS were actually within the X-Y confines of the window, but that a huge Z-component resulted in Zoom Extents giving me a huge X-Y window just the same. I can't swear to it, though. (Only AT it.)
Comment by Lyons,Eddie
Posted on 2013-07-31 11:44:35
A simple method to avoid the occurrence of rogue objects well beyond the intended extents of the drawing is to set Limits and turn them on. This has been in AutoCAD since the very early days, but is often forgotten. With the limits set and turned on, any attempt to place an object outside of these limits will result in an error message. It is a very simple safeguard against a common error.


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