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Purge the Unpurgeable
Tip# 3336 By Mitch Hirschklau On 07-Feb-2010
Rated By 2 users
Categories : Purge
Software type : AutoCAD 2010
Rename File To : No Files to download.
Sometimes the best way to purge an unwanted item is to purge something else instead. Rename is your friend in this process — with a little help from Change or Properties.

One of our Tip Patrollers, Mitch Hirschklau, shares a tip on purge-resistant items in AutoCAD.

"On the subject of purging unwanted and seemingly unpurgeable layers (and Dimstyles, linetypes, textstyles, and other items), I have a low-tech trick which might help when all else fails. Sometimes the best way to purge an unwanted item is to purge something else instead. Rename is your friend in this process — with a little help from Change or Properties. Here is what you do:

  1. Change the Properties of objects on a layer you always have (like 'A-GRID') so that they now reside on one of your unpurgeable layers.
  2. Purge that now unused, typical layer out of your drawing.
  3. Rename the unpurgeable layer to the name of the just-purged layer. (Don't forget to change the linetype, color, etc.) Your layer list is now reduced by one.

In general, this same technique works with linetypes, Dimstyles, and textstyles too. Mtext can sometimes get a little 'sticky' with respect to textstyles. And, you'll usually need to redefine some textstyles (and/or Dimstyles), as well as re-name them. In all honesty, this is more of a 'Now you see it, now you don't' kind of trick than a real fix. If the problem is unneeded items contained in a block, the next time you perform an Insert, they'll be back! Still, hiding stuff is sometimes quicker and easier than removing it."

Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: AutoCAD files will develop issues like unpurgeable items from time to time. What happens is that AutoCAD thinks the unpurgeable layer has at least one object on it, even if you select all and delete everything. This can be caused by a zero-length line or empty text objects. The items exist, but since there is nothing in them, there's nothing actually there. In AutoCAD 2010, a Purge Zero Length Geometry and Empty Text Objects feature was added. Try that new feature first, and if it doesn't work, turn to this tip — it's a very creative way of getting around this problem.


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User comments
Comment by Anonymous
Posted on 2010-02-08 15:43:41
My preferred method is to: 1. Open the Properties dialog box. 2. Click the Quick Select button. 3. Select the necessary criteria in the fields and click OK. This usually highlights with grip points whatever the invisible culprit is. 4. Type "E" for erase, enter, and purge again. This works for me 99% of the time.
Comment by McSwain,R.K.
Posted on 2010-02-08 15:56:28
Items that cannot be purged are being referenced by something else in the drawing. For example, a shape file that cannot be purged might be referenced by a linetype. Sometimes these references go beyond graphical items and are buried deep in the drawing database. Manusoft has a product called SuperPurge that will purge anything, but with the caveat of potentially deleting whatever is referencing the "unpurgable" item.
Comment by Krushert,Ted
Posted on 2010-02-09 10:03:34
Lets not forget the command "Layer Merge" and "Layer Delete". These tools were old express tools and are now part part of the core program.
Comment by Hollingsworth,Michael
Posted on 2010-02-11 08:53:29
As far as Empty Text Fields were concerned, I used to toggle Qtext, which allowed me to see dots where the null text fields were located. I could then delete them, toggle Qtext back, and get on with my work. A coworker some years back had a field of dozens of empty strings that wound up being copied many dozens of times, and became embedded in several base drawings used to build a great deal of our library of CAD details. I developed a LISP routine that would toggle Qtext and Zoom All, whereupon I could see the "cloud" of hundreds of dots and delete them. Thanks Autodesk for the Purge Zero Length Geometry and Empty Text Objects features!
Comment by Hollingsworth,Michael
Posted on 2010-02-11 09:13:19
Cudos to Autodesk for finally making this easier.