Selection Cycling in AutoCAD

October 24, 2018

Jeff Morris | Sr Applications Expert

AutoCAD drawings and its vertical applications like Civil 3D, Architectural, Plant 3D, etc. can quickly become rather complex and convoluted with lots of overlaying information. It can become difficult to select objects on top of each other.

One option is to arrange the display order of the objects, shuffling objects above or below each other or bringing them to the top (Front) or the bottom (Back) of the heap. These options are available form the right-click menu once an object has been selected.

The other options for bringing annotations to the front or hatches to the back are accessible through the modify dropdown menu on the Home Tab within the Modify Panel.



This however can be tedious. These display orders are not really meant for easing selections of objects on top of each other, for that, there is another tool known as Selection Cycling. It can be invoked by using the <Ctrl> W key combination or by using the Double Square icon on the status bar.

(If the icon is not available on the status bar, then go to the Customizing Icon in the far-right corner of the status bar and select it form the list.)



Now, when one hovers over an area where there are multiple objects, the crosshairs display a small icon of 2 stacked squares, indicating that there are multiple objects. When selecting the object, a list appears showing all the objects that are coincident. Then one can select the desired object from that list.



If however one knows (trough the display orders mentioned above) that the object of choice will always be “on top”, this selection cycling can be annoying. In that case, simple turn off that feature the same way it was invoked.

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