Control Modifier: Polyline Selection

I am a avid user of polylines within my design files to make selection easier as I only need to select one chain of line segments as opposed to individual segments formed from lines and arcs. Working with polylines sometimes appear to be overly cumbersome for many users when it comes to editing these types of objects. If you feel that way and have been steering clear of polylines, this blog post aims to alleviate these concerns.

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Figure 1: Typical Polyline Selection

Many times, I the idea of cleaning up a segment or segments in your polyline tends to use construction lines to establish a cutting edge. Once construction lines have been added, a TRIM command is commonly used to remove the unwanted segments, as well as follow-up cleaning to remove the construction lines. This is because selecting one segment in your polyline selects the entire polyline as shown in Figure 1 above. This entire process is shown in the following figures below:

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Figure 2: Adding Construction Lines for Trimming

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Figure 3: Trimming to Construction Line

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Figure 4: Construction Line Cleanup

Instead of using construction lines next time you are dealing with this cleanup process, use the Control key to modify your selection. As you select the polyline segment you would like to remove, hold Control on your keyboard to select only that segment. This also works for window selection sets as well. Once the segments you are concerned with are selected, simply press the Delete key on your keyboard to remove these polyline segments. Examples are shown below in the following figures:

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Figure 5: Direct Selection with Control Held

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Figure 6: During Window Selection with Control Held

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Figure 7: After Window Selection with Control Held

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Figure 8: Pressing Delete after Selection with Control Held

Next time you encounter polylines and are tasked with modification of these object types, remember to hold control to select only the segments you are interested in deleting to save you from an otherwise cumbersome workflow of using construction lines simply by holding Control. This seemingly simple function within AutoCAD has saved me precious time on my projects throughout the years. If you were unaware of this ability, it should now save you time as well.

About the Author

Archie Dodge

Civil Solutions Applications Expert<br><br>Over 12 years of experience in geotechnical engineering design, and land planning design, ranging in projects from dams, gypsum stacks and coal ash piles, to subdivisions, parks, and an airport expansion. Autodesk Certified Professional in Civil 3D and an expert in Autodesk infrastructure software. Trainer and consultant with IMAGINiT Technologies.

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