In order to edit CAD drawings, we need to know how to select objects. Learning how to select objects is the first step for CAD beginners, which is very important.

Selecting objects is one of the basic operations in CAD, most operations in CAD would need users to select an object before any further operations.

There are many ways to select object, such as Quick Selection Tool, users can use it to quickly sort out the target object from a large number of objects. In this post, we will be introducing the very basic and most commonly used methods: point selection and window selection, which can help CAD beginners have a better understanding of the concept of selection.

Point Selection

Point Selection is to move the cursor to a certain line of the object, left click to select the object. By default, users can select multiple objects using successive selection.

Most CAD systems supports selection preview, which helps us preview select the objects that we want to select. When we move the cursor over the drawing, objects will show slightly different and this effect can be used to indicate the objects can be selected, as shown in the following picture.

normal display
selection preview effect

Selection preview is very useful if the whole drawing is very complicated, we can switch it on or off in the Options dialog box ( shortcut OP).

Window Selection

When we need to select multiple objects and when the drawings are more complicated, we’ll need window selection to provide us more flexibility, so window selection is most frequently used in CAD.

Window selection is very easy to use, just left-click on the whitespace and move your cursor, you can see the triangle you are actually “drawing”, as shown in the following picture.

Please note: when you move the cursor to form the triangle selection box, if the cursor moves from left to right, you can only select objects that are entirely included by the selection box, those objects that just have intersections with it won’t be selected. As shown in the following picture.

This is what we call Window and only when the entire objects are within the window can we say that we have selected the objects.

But things are little different when we move the cursor from right to left when selecting objects, this way we will not only select objects that are entirely in the window, but also objects that have intersections with the window selection box.

This is what we call Crossing, the whole object would be selected even if there is only one point of that object is selected.

Conclusion: Being able to quickly select objects help improve efficiency. Although CAD provides many tools for selecting objects, in most cases, point selection and window selection are just enough for most of us. Using which method to select mainly depends on the complexity of the drawing.

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