Purging in 2020 AutoCAD-Based Products

May 15, 2019 Bryant Quinney

From  my first use of it, the revamped AutoCAD command ‘purge’ has already proven valuable. I was helping a user track down a text style that refused to leave the drawing (while working in version 2019), when I decided to give the 2020 version a small test run. It was noted that the command had been improved upon so I opened the troublesome drawing in the new version, invoked ‘purge’ and almost immediately found out that the text style to be removed was buried in a linetype as well as a couple of Civil 3D styles. With that bit of knowledge in tow, I went directly to the problem areas, made changes, then successfully purged the text style. I was able to zero in on where it was in use through the ability to find ‘Non-Purgeable Items’ listing.


Thankfully, when it told me the text was in two profile view styles, I only had two in the drawing from which to investigate. I say “thankfully” because the Details section does not tell you the name of the style, just the object handle. As in previous versions, you could see a listing of what could be purged and what could not be purged, but this new design rework helps clean out drawings with less fuss.

When attempting to purge blocks, the Possible Reasons pane directs you to the Details pane for more information on why it could not be purged. AECC-type objects are listed by type, then each by handle. For layers, you get a bit more interactivity in the Details pane. When a layer cannot be purged, the dialog proves it to you by giving you the ability to see what objects in the drawing are on that layer. This easily beats a generic dialog box popping up stating you cannot purge/delete a layer because an object is on the layer. Okay, so it’s on there… which objects?? Clicking the icon (blue box with magnifying glass) takes you to the drawing, dismissing the Purge box so you can handle those objects as seen fit. This is helpful folks!

However, notice from the image that you do not get that functionality when the objects are inside blocks. I’m sure that would prove to be too tricky for the programmers to work out. Oh well, at least it gets me a count on where and how my layer is being used! Notice that it tells you if the objects can be found in model space or paper space.


When looking to get rid of linetypes, you are told what layers are using it (including the state of the layer: on, frozen, etc.) and what Civil 3D styles are using the linetype. The rest of the categories of objects found in the purge command have pretty similar capabilities, so take a look around and find out why it may have been difficult to rid your drawings of clutter!

About the Author

Bryant Quinney

Civil Solutions Applications Expert<br><br>Working with clients to implement various technologies and techniques within civil engineering disciplines. With my travels, I teach/train, troubleshoot, solve, configure, and implement solutions based on client needs. Drawing on many years of experience across various types of projects, I continue to enjoy doing this type of work.

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