Earlier, when you selected the door, little squares appeared at the endpoints and midpoints of the lines and arcs. These squares are called grips. Grips can be used to make direct changes to the shape of objects, or to quickly move and copy them.
So far, you have seen how operations in AutoCAD have a discrete beginning and ending. For example, to draw an arc, you first issue the Arc command and then go through a series of operations, including answering prompts and picking points. When you are done, you have an arc and AutoCAD is ready for the next command.
The Grips feature, on the other hand, plays by a different set of rules. Grips offer a small yet powerful set of editing functions that don’t conform to the lockstep, command/prompt/input routine you have seen so far. As you work through the following exercises, it is helpful to think of the grips feature as a “subset” to the standard method of operation within AutoCAD .
To practice using the Grips feature, you’ll make some temporary modifications to the door drawing.
Stretching Lines Using Grips
In this exercise, you’ll stretch one comer of the door by grabbing the grip points of two lines.
1. Press the Esc key to make sure AutoCAD has your attention and you’re not in the middle of a command. Click a point below and to the left of the door to start a selection window.
2. Click above and to the right of the rectangular part of the door to select it.
3. Place the cursor on the lower-left comer grip of the rectangle, but don’t press the pick button yet. Notice that cursor jumps to the grip point.
4. Move the cursor to another grip point. Notice again how the cursor jumps to it. When the cursor is placed on a grip, the cursor moves to the exact center of the grip point. This means, for example, that if the cursor is placed on an endpoint grip, it is on the exact endpoint of the object.
5. Move the cursor to the upper-left comer grip of the rectangle and click it. The grip becomes a solid color, and is now a hot grip. The prompt displays the following message:
<Stretch to point>/Base point/Copy/Undo/eXit:
This prompt tells you that the Stretch mode is active. Notice the options shown in the prompt. As you move the cursor, the corner follows and the lines of the rectangle stretch.
6. Move the cursor upward toward the top end of the arc and click that point. The rectangle deforms, with the comer placed at your pick point.
Here you ‘saw that a command called **STRETCH** is issued simply by clicking a grip point. As you will see, a handful of other hot grip commands are also available.
1. Notice that the grips are still active. Click the grip point that you moved before to make it a’hot grip again.
2. Right-click the mouse. A popup list of grip edit options appears .
3. Select Base Point from the list, and then click a point to the right of the hot grip. Now as you move the cursor, the hot grip moves relative to the cursor.
4. Right-click again, and then select the Copy option from the popup list and enter @1<-30.J. Metric users should enter @3<-30.J.Instead of moving the hot grip and changing the lines, copies of the two lines are made, with their endpoints 1 unit (or 3 units for metric users) below and to the right of the first set of endpoints. .
5. Pick another point just below the last. More copies are made.
6. Press .J or enter X.J to exit the Stretch mode. You can also right-click again and select Exit from the popup list.
In this exercise, you saw that you can select a base point other than the hot grip. You also saw how you can specify relative coordinates to move or copy a hot grip. Finally, with grips selected on an object, a right-dick of the mouse opens a popup list showing grip edit options.
Moving and Rotating with Grips
As you’ve just seen, the Grips feature offers an alternative method of editing your drawings. You’ve already seen how you can stretch endpoints, but there is much more you can do with grips. The next exercise demonstrates some other options. You will start by undoing the modifications you made in the last exercise.
1. Click the Undo tool in the Standard toolbar, or type U.J. The copies of the . stretched lines disappear.
2. Press ↵ again. The deformed door snaps back to its original form.
3.. Select the entire door by first clicking a blank area below and to the right of the door.
4. Move the cursor to a location above and to the left of the rectangular portion of the door, and click. Since you went from right to left, you created a crossing window. Recall that the crossing window selects anything enclosed and crossing through the window.
5. Click the lower-left grip of the rectangle to turn it into a hot grip. Just as before, as you move your cursor, the comer stretches.
6. Right-click the mouse. Then in the grip edit popup list, select Move. The Command window displays the following:
<Move to point>/Base point/Copy/Undo/eXit:
Now as you move the cursor, the entire door moves with it.
7.. Position the door near the center of the screen and click there. The door moves to the center of the screen. Notice that the command prompt returns, yet the door remains highlighted; telling you that it is still selected for the next operation.
8. Click the lower-left grip again, and right-click the mouse. This time, select Rotate from the popup list. The Command window displays the following:
As you move the cursor, the door rotates about the grip point.
9. Position the cursor so that the door rotates approximately 180.
Then, while holding down the Shift key, press the mouse/pick button. A copy of the door appears in the new rotated position, leaving the original door in place.
10. Press ↵ to exit the Grip Edit mode.
After you’ve completed any operation using grips, the objects are still highlighted with their grips still active. To clear the grip selection, press the Esc key twice.
In this exercise, you saw how hot grip options appear in a popup list. Several . other options are available in that list, including Exit, Base Point, Copy, and Undo. You can also make adjustments to an object’s properties using the Properties option.
Many of these grip edit options arc also available by pressing the space bar or ↵ while a grip is selected. With each press, the next option becomes active. The options then repeat if you continue to press↵. The Shift key acts as a shortcut to the Copy option. You only have to use it once; then each time you click a point thereafter, a copy is made.