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How to Edit an Array in AutoCAD 2014

If you click any arrayed element (not the path of a path array), AutoCAD displays the Array contextual tab on the Ribbon. From here, you can revise pretty much every aspect of the array definition. In addition, the Options panel appears near the end of the Array tab.

You need a special tool for tinkering with the entrails of associative arrays, and AutoCAD provides it with the ARRAYEDIT command. The three items on the Options panel link to the three options of this command. Start with a typical scenario: You just finished the drawing of the garden path when the client comes in and announces that the steppingstones need to be bigger.

No problem. Select any one of the steppingstones (but not the spline path curve itself) in the array. Now click the Edit Source button in the Options panel of the Array tab, and then select any one of the arrayed items.

Edit it to your heart’s content, including adding and moving objects, changing layers, and deleting objects. When you’re finished, select Save Changes from the Edit Array panel at the end of the current tab of the Ribbon, and all the arrayed items update.

So far, so good, but now the client wants a square steppingstone to replace one of the circular ones halfway down the path. No problem. Step through the following steps (pun intended):

  1. Draw the new steppingstone.

    The easiest way to do this is to use the RECtang command.

  2. Select the array you want to edit.

    Select any object in the path array.

    Don’t select the path itself, or you’ll be editing the path, not the array.

  3. Click Replace Item on the Options panel of the Array contextual tab.

  4. Select the replacement stone. Press Enter to continue.

  5. Select the base point of the replacement rectangular stone.

    Select a point about in the center of the rectangle. This is the point that will end up sitting exactly on the path.

  6. Select one or more existing circular stones to replace in the array. Press Enter to continue.

    The objects you select in the array are replaced with the new object.

  7. Press Enter or select eXit from the context menu.

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Oops! You replaced the wrong steppingstone. No problem. Select the array, and then select Reset Array from the Options panel of the Array tab. Voilà! Your changes are undone. Now you can replace it with the correct one.

It is important to select an arrayed item in a path array and not the path. The reason for this is simple: The path can be edited separately. Simply select it and then edit it like the object that it is. When you’re finished, the path array updates to match the revised path.

And no matter how much tinkering you do, you can always revert to the original state by clicking Reset Array on the Options panel of the Array tab.

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