When using gCADPlus, it is important to understand how to use the various methods that can be used to select entities and to manipulate the resultant selection set. Many drafters do not completely understand that when they 'pick' an item in a drawing using their pointing device, they are creating what is called a selection set. Once a selection set is created, it can be manipulated in many different ways. 

Improving your ability to manipulate selection sets can definitely assist your CAD productivity. Facility with selection sets is essential if you want be be able to confidently (an efficiently) use many of the edit commands such as the ERASE, OFFSET, MOVE, COPY, STRETCH, and BLOCK commands.

Noun/verb vs. ve​rb/noun selection

If you start (say) the ERASE command (perhaps using the E shortcut) and then pick (select) an entity such as a circle, you are using the verb/noun selection system -  ERASE (the verb) CIRCLE (the noun). However, rather than issuing the command first and then responding to it by selecting entities (our preferred method), GardenCAD Plus also allows the use of verb/noun - selection or 'pick' the entity method simply clicking on an entity (the noun) and then issuing the command (verb). Either system can be used, it is your choice. 

Window selection

As mentioned, selections can be made with​out responding to a command prompt. You can simply click to select entities or you can use a Window-inside or Window-Crossing option. The way a selection rectangle is formed  - the direction in which you define the points of the rectangle (left-to-right or right-to-left) determines which type of window you create. This will greatly influence entities that are gathered in the election set. These two methods of selecting entities are explained below. .

Selecting entities by window-inside

Click a point in a drawing below and to the left of a group of 3 symbols. Click to the right (and up) to select a second point such as all three symbols are totally within the selection box as shown in the figure below.

 

Result: All three symbols are selected.

Select a point somewhat  higher up on the left and somewhat lower down on the right as shown below.

Window inside 3

Result: only the one symbol totally inside the box is selected.

Selecting entities by window-outside

 

Window crossing

Result: All three symbols selected even though only one symbol is totally inside the box..

Window crossing 2

Note that window inside is indicated by a continuous line around the selection box while a crossing​ window is indicated by a dashed line.

The value of the Properties box

No matter how you work, the Properties box is a useful aid when selecting entities. As each entity is selected, its name appears in a drop list in the Properties box. As shown in the figure below, a single pick provides information in the box about the entity - its type, x and y coordinates, layer, color etc.. A rectangle is selected.

Properties box rectangle

When several entities are selected, the Properties box changes its appearance and tells you the total number selected. Shown below where the box tells us that several entities have been selected.

multiple entities

It is possible to scroll down the list of entities and display information on each in turn.

In the figure below, a line has been selected from a list 5 entities and its properties are now listed.

Line preoperties

The importance of the Shift and Control keys (and Global Settings) when selecting entities

gCADPlus allows the shift and control keys to be used with the pick button to good effect - adding and removing items from the selection set. Note that the response is dependent on the gCADPlus settings. the current method in operation can be changed by adjusting Global Properties, but can be effected much more conveniently by a switch in the Properties box. the switch is a toggle and changes from a 1 to a + - single pick using the shift key to add extra entities to allowing adding to the selection set with each click of an entity.  

Using shift

The remaining two icons adjacent to the Using Shift button presently have no effect. They will probably be implemented used later. Selection options is likely to be used for overrides like AutoCAD's fence option and the Filter option to filter the selection set isolating a group in the selection set on the basis of color for example..

See our information on Global Preference for information about making permanent changes to gCADPlus's behaviour in this regard.

Global settings

The Tools drop down menu has several other menu options that aid entity selection.

Selection options

Select all and un-select all are self explanatory.

Select by current layer

A really useful option that selects every entity on the current layer. The figure below shows those entities on layer zero, leaving entities on other layers unselected.

Select by current layer

When selecting by polygon, make sure that you select the original start point as the final left click. That action closes the polygon.

Selection How to select and erase a line obscured by another line lying on top.

Selection set  Manipulating selection sets.

Selection