Lesson 5 – Express Tools



AutoCAD Express Tools is a collection of productivity tools to help you work more efficiently in AutoCAD.

  • these tools can be used for layer management, dimensioning, object selection, object modification and other useful tasks.
  • one way to invoke these tools is from the Express pulldown menu and it appears before the Window menu by default.

If you install AutoCAD using the Full option then a sample collection of Free Express Tools is automatically installed.

  • even if you did not install Express Tools initially, you can rerun the AutoCAD installation, choose Add and select Express Tools.
  • additional information about express tools can be found by the Web Links and FAQ information in the Express pulldown menu.

You can use the Get Selection Set tool to build a selection set that matches either the layer or object type (or both) of selected objects.

  • you are first prompted to select an object on the desired layer but you can press <enter> if you want to select objects on all layers.
  • then you are prompted to select an object of the desired type but you can press <enter> if you want to select all object types.

AutoCAD builds a selection set that matches the selected object with respect to either layer, object type or both criteria.

  • AutoCAD reports the number of objects in the current drawing that match this criteria but these objects are not highlighted.

After you get a selection set of the desired objects you can then invoke the desired edit command (e.g. Erase).

  • when AutoCAD prompts you to select objects you can enter P to use the Previous selection set found with Get Selection Set.

For example, suppose you wanted to Erase all TEXT objects on the layer called TITLEBLOCK.

  • when no command is running you would pick Express Tools + Selection + Get Selection Set.
  • then you would pick an object on the Titleblock layer and after that you would select any TEXT object.

Select an object on the Source layer <*>: (pickanobjectontheTITLEBLOCKlayer)
Select an object of the Type you want <*>: (pick any TEXT object)

Collecting all TEXT objects on layer TITLEBLOCK…
24 objects have been placed in the active selection set.
Command:

  • then you would invoke Erase & enter P as the selection set and press <enter> to Erase all TEXT objects on the Titleblock layer.

Command: ERASE
Select objects: P
24 found
Select objects: ↵
Command:

All Express Tools can select objects even if they are NOT displayed on screen or if they are on layers that are Frozen or turned Off.

  • you must be very careful or you could modify the wrong objects accidentally.

All of the other Selection tools in the Express pulldown menu have the Exclude prefix in common.

  • use familiar selection tools (e.g. Window) to specify objects but have AutoCAD select all other objects instead.
  • you can invoke these selection tools transparently at the “Select objects” prompt (AFTER invoking the desired edit command).

For example, you could invoke Erase and use Exclude Window to define the Window shown below.

  • AutoCAD would Erase all objects in the drawing (even off screen or on Frozen layers) that are NOT entirely inside that Window.
  • think of these tools as the inverse to the corresponding standard selection tools (see pages 3 to 8)

PRACTICE USING EXPRESS TOOLS TO SELECT OBJECTS

» 1)Close the drawing from the previous exercise if it is open.

» 2) Open the T201_5.dwg drawing file in your personal folder.

» 3) Pick Express + Selection Tools + Get Selection Set. Press <enter> when prompted to select an object on the Source layer. Then select the CIRCLE near P1 at the prompt for an object of the Type you want.

Command: getsel
Select an object on the Source layer <*>: ↵
Select an object of the Type you want <*>: (pick the CIRCLE near P1)
Collecting all CIRCLE objects in the drawing…

5 objects have been placed in the active selection set.
Command:

4) Pick Modify + Erase and type P to use the Previous selection set found in the last step. Press <enter> to Erase these objects.

5) Pick Edit + Undo to undo the last Erase command.

»6) Pick Express + Selection Tools + Get Selection Set. This time pick any Red object on the Dimensions layer as the object on the Source layer. Then press <enter> at the prompt to select an object of the Type you want.

Command: getsel
Select an object on the Source layer <*>: (selectanyredobjectontheDIMENSIONlayer)
Select an object of the Type you want <*>: ↵

Collecting ALL objects on layer Dimensions…
11 objects have been placed in the active selection set.
Command:

7) Pick Modify + Erase and type P to use the Previous selection set found in the last step. Press <enter> to Erase these objects.

8) Pick Edit + Undo to undo the last Erase command.

9) Pick Modify + Erase. Pick Express + Selection Tools + Exclude Window. Pick two corner points to define the Window shown below. Press <enter> to complete Erase.

10) Close this drawing file without saving your changes.

 

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