AutoCAD: Selection

Many AutoCAD commands will prompt you to Select objects. The following are acceptable methods of responding to the Select objects prompt. Each time you add an object to the selection set, it is highlighted (i. e. it appears dashed). When you are finished selecting objects using any one or a combination of these methods, press [Enter] to continue the original command.



Click on objects one-at-a-time.

OR draw a window around the object(s). AutoCAD uses a click-click method to define a selection window, rather than the standard click-drag-release. “Standard” selection windows are drawn from left to right, and select only those objects completely within the window. “Crossing” windows are drawn from right to left, and select all objects within and contacted by the window.


OR type F (for Fence), and draw a selection line (a “fence”). Like a crossing window, a fence selects any objects it touches. This method is useful for making precise selections in restricted areas.

OR type P (for Previous). This selects whatever object or objects were previously selected.

OR type L (for Last). This selects whatever individual object was last selected or created.

OR type U (for Undo). Deselects the last object(s) selected. Use this if you make a mistake while defining a complex selection set.

OR type ALL. Selects everything in the current space.

OR type R (for Remove). Switches the selection mode from “adding” to “removing”. Type A (for Add) to switch back. Use this function while defining a complex selection set.


It is possible to preselect objects before issuing commands. This technique is frequently useful in 3D (three-dimensional) work, but it can be used in 2D as well.

To preselect an object or objects, click [esc] two or three times in succession, and then either click on objects one at a time or window several objects at once. As you preselect more objects, they display highlighted (i. e. dashed) with grips. Grips are like “handles” at object corners and other critical points. You can click on highlighted grips to stretch and move objects.

After an object has been preselected, you can issue any modifying command (such as ERASE, MOVE, COPY, etc.).

To clear preselected objects from the selection set, click [esc] two or three times in succession.


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