How to Use the –ARray Command in AutoCAD 2014

The -ARray command is a supercharged COpy: You use it to create a rectangular grid of objects in AutoCAD 2014 at regular X and Y spacings or a radial arrangement of objects around a center point at a regular angular spacing. For example, you can use rectangular arrays to populate an auditorium with chairs or use a polar array to populate a bicycle wheel with spokes.

This kind of array is the old-style — but still very useful — non-associative array. Non-associative arrays are simply copies of the source object; they dwell on the same layers as their source, and they can be edited individually, even in older releases of AutoCAD.

The following steps describe how to create a rectangular array, which you’ll probably do more often than you create a polar array:

  1. Press Esc to make sure that no command is active and no objects are selected.

  2. Type -ARray (don’t forget the leading hyphen) and press Enter.

    Typing a hyphen in front of an AutoCAD command normally tells the program to run the command line prompts rather than a dialog box. Starting with AutoCAD 2012, however, typing -ARray (with the leading hyphen) versus typing ARray (without the leading hyphen) runs two different commands. The difference is that ARray creates associative arrays, whereas -ARray creates non-associative ones.

    AutoCAD prompts you to select the objects you want to array.

    Select objects:
  3. Select one or more objects; then press Enter.

    AutoCAD prompts you to choose the type of array you want:

    Enter the type of array [Rectangular/Polar] <R>:
  4. Type R and press Enter to create a rectangular array.

    AutoCAD prompts you to specify the number of rows and columns you want, and the distance between each of them:

    Enter the number of rows (---) <1>:
  5. Enter a value and press Enter.

    AutoCAD asks for the number of columns, the distance between rows, and (finally) the distance between columns.

    The Rows and Columns numbers include the row and column of the original objects themselves. In other words, entries of 1 don’t create any new objects in that direction.

  6. Enter values for the number of columns, and the distances between adjacent rows and columns, and then press Enter.

    AutoCAD creates regularly spaced copies of the selected objects in neat rows and columns.

    To create regularly arrayed objects in rows and columns or arranged around a center point, you must use the command line version of -ARray: Type a hyphen in front of the command name. Typing ARray without the hyphen creates new-style associative array objects. Associative arrays are more powerful and versatile, but non-associative arrays may still be adequate for many applications.

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