Creating and Working with Groups
Groups provide an easy way to combine drawing elements together that you need to manipulate as a unit.
Use the roller-wheel to zoom in on the office cubicle that already contains furniture. When you move the cursor over the furniture, you can see in the tooltip that each is an individual block reference.
Suppose you want to place copies of each piece of furniture into the other office cubicles. You could certainly do this by selecting each individual object and then copying all of the objects. But when you know that you want to edit several objects together, you can first combine them into a group so that you can then select all of the objects at once. In spite of them being part of a group, however, you will still be able to select the individual objects and edit them separately as needed. In addition, you can change the objects in a group as you work by adding or removing objects.
To combine all of the objects in the office cubicle into a group, on the Home ribbon, in the Groups panel, click the Group tool. The program prompts you to select objects, and there are two additional options. If you simply select objects, they will be grouped together into an unnamed group, which will be assigned a default name. But if you choose the Name option, you can specify a name for the group. As a general rule, if you know that you are going to reuse the group often within the drawing, you should name the group. But if you are only creating the group for temporary convenience, you do not need to take the time to name the group.
In this case, right-click and choose the Name option. The program prompts you to enter a group name. Type “OFFICE-CUBICLE” and press ENTER. The prompt to select objects repeats, and you could use the Description option to enter a description of the group to provide further details. But in this case, that is not necessary, so simply select the objects to be included in the group. You can use any convenient object selection method. Use a crossing window, but purposely leave out the chair for now. Once you are done selecting objects, press ENTER to complete the command.
Now, when you move the cursor over any object in the group, all of the objects highlight, and if you click one of the objects in the group, all of the objects in the group are selected. Also, you can see a single grip at the center of the group. Press ESC to deselect the group.
On the Home ribbon, in the Groups panel, there is a tool called Group Selection On/Off. By default, this tool is toggled on, as indicated by the blue background. Click to toggle this off. Now, when you move the cursor over the desk, only the desk highlights, and when you click to select the desk, only the desk is selected. When Group Selection is off, only the objects you choose are selected, even if the objects are part of a group. Click to toggle Group Selection back on, so that the tool is highlighted blue once again. Now, when you move the cursor over any object in the group, they all highlight, and when you select any object in the group, all of the objects are selected.
Of course, the chair is not highlighted because it was not included when you created the group. But, you can easily add it to the group. To do so, on the Home ribbon, in the Groups panel, click the Group Edit tool. Since you already had a group selected, the program immediately prompts you to Enter an option. If you did not have a group already selected, you would have first been prompted to select a group.
Choose the Add Objects option. The program prompts you to select objects. Again, you can use any convenient object selection method and select as many objects as you want to add to the group. Click to select the chair. Once you are done selecting objects, right-click. The chair is immediately added to the group. Now, when you move the cursor over the chair, all of the other objects highlight, and when you select any object in the group, all of the objects are selected.
Now that you have combined the objects into a group, it is much easier to make copies of those objects. For example, start the MIRROR command, select the group, and then right-click to complete the object selection. Then, use the midpoint object snap to specify the mirror line down the center of the office partition, specify the second point of the mirror line, and complete the command. You only need to click a single object to select the entire group.
Start the COPY command. When the program prompts you to select objects, click any one of the objects you just copied to select the entire group. Then, right-click to complete the selection. Click to specify the base point, and then right-click and choose the Array option. Enter the number of items to array-in this case, 4 -and then specify the second point of the array. And that quickly, you have made the additional copies.
Each of the copies is a new, unnamed group. When you move the cursor over any object in the group, all of the objects in the group are highlighted. To make a change to an individual object within a the group, toggle Group Selection off before selecting the object. For example, click to select the chair in the right-most cubicle and now only that object is selected. Now, you can manipulate that single object. For example, use the ROTATE command to rotate the chair. Then, toggle Group Selection on again. Now, you can see that the chair is still part of the group.