Things used to be so simple back around, oh, AutoCAD 2011. ARray was unequivocally a modifying command, just like COpy or ROtate. You filled in values in a dialog box, and after a bit of tweaking, you ended up with multiple copies of the source object(s), neatly arranged in geometric patterns: either in evenly spaced rows and columns, or in evenly distributed radially about a center point.

Then Autodesk programmers decided that old-fashioned arrays weren’t enough, so Autodesk took the old ARray command into the lab, wired electrodes to its brain, and threw the switch — and up arose the new super array!

Follow these steps to create a rectangular associative array with the ARRAYRECT command:

  1. Start a new drawing and then create a couple of simple objects — say, a line passing through a circle — in the lower left of the screen.

  2. Type ARRAYREC and press Enter.

  3. Select the objects (a line and the circle, if you followed our lead) that you drew in Step 1 and then press Enter.

  4. AutoCAD displays a three-row-by-four-column preview with six blue grips.

  5. Click and drag the grips to change the number of rows and columns in the array, change the spacing between the rows and columns, and relocate the array.

  6. Press Enter to create the associative array.

    To see what associative means, click any of the objects in the array.

    Magic! The blue grips come back, and you can change the number of rows and columns and their spacing.