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Grip Editing

You may have noticed in previous exercises that when you preselect objects, the objects highlight and little squares show up on them. These squares are known as grips. Grips appear when you select objects when there is no active command. Grips are located at strategic points on an object. For example, on a circle, grips appear at the center and the four quadrants of the circle. On lines, grips appear at the ends and midpoint of the line. On dimensions, they appear on the dimension text and the ends of the dimension lines and arrows.

Grips give you a quick way to modify objects by giving you access to commonly used editing commands and commonly used object points. There are five grip editing modes: Stretch, Move, Rotate, Scale, and Mirror. When you select a grip, AutoCAD starts the grip editing command and places you in Stretch mode. You can toggle between the different editing modes by pressing <Enter>. Like other commands, the grip editing modes have prompts and options.

Notice that when you stretched the center and midpoints of the objects, the end result was that the objects moved. It’s a subtle distinction but worth noting. AutoCAD defines circles by a center point (the center grip) and a radius (the quadrant grips). Since you stretched only the center point, only the location of the circle changed, not its size. The same thing applies to the line; because you stretched just the midpoint of the line, the size and direction of the line didn’t change, only its location.

In the previous exercise, once you selected a grip, AutoCAD immediately switched to Grip Edit mode. It is possible to select multiple grips and modify them as a group. To do this, you simply hold down the <Shift> key while selecting the grips. Once you’re finished selecting grips, release the <Shift> key and then pick one of the grips to start the editing process.

The order in which you select the lines is important. The first line you selected determined which dimension would appear in the dynamic input box. You should have also seen the associative dimensions in action again. The dimensions updated to follow the changes in the geometry.

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