AutoCAD: Selecting without layers

In AutoCad, it is difficult to select certain elements in a drawing especially when layers haven’t been used and the drawing is made up of numerous parts. By using the Quick select tool it is possible to select specific elements. This article shows how to change line colours suitable for the laser cutter by using the quick select tool.

Below shows a drawing that uses colours which the laser cutter can’t read. No layers have been set up either.

Main Drawing

AutoCAD drawing

Incorrect Colours

Incorrect colours

Creating Layers

First of all, it is worth creating 3 new layers. A layer for inner lines which will be blue (0,0,255), a layer for outer lines which will be magenta (255,0,255) and a layer for labels which will be red (255,0,0) to engrave.

New Layers

Set up new layers

By creating these new layers, it will be easier to select specific parts of the drawing quickly by turning layers on and off.

Selecting elements and changing colours

There are several ways in which you can select parts of the drawing but by using the Quick Select tool you can select all lines of the same colour. This is particularly useful in this instance as the windows and doors (inner lines) are different from the elevation outlines (outer lines); They are just not laser friendly.

Firstly, you need to make a note of the current colours being used. In this case, the inner lines are 46,48,146 and the outer lines are 0,165,80.

Next you need to select the whole drawing. Then type QSE to open the quick select option box. Click on the “more options” button as shown below

Quick select option

Quick select option

Select “Colour” then “=” then “Select Colour”. Make sure “True Colour” and “RGB” are selected and simply enter the RGB values for the inner lines that you wrote down earlier. (46,48,146).

Change Colour

Colour select

Hit “Ok” and “Apply” and you will notice that all the lines with the colour 46,48,146 are selected only.

Blue Select

Selected components

To change the colour to be laser friendly simply select blue (0,0,255) for inner cut lines on the Color drop down menu on the right. While the inner lines are still selected, it is worth moving them to the correct layer which you created at the start. You can do this by right clicking on the main viewport and selecting “Move to layer”.

Colour And Layer

Move to layer

To change the outer lines to Magenta (255,0,255), simply repeat the above steps by selecting the whole drawing and entering QSE. Select “Colour select” and type 0,165,80 for the outerlines and change them to Magenta (255,0,255). Don’t forget to move them to the new “outer lines layer”.

Posted on February 16, 2016, in Techniques & Processes

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