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How to Use the BReak Command in AutoCAD 2014

The BReak command isn’t what you use before heading out for coffee. The BReak command in AutoCAD 2014 creates gaps in lines, polylines, circles, arcs, or splines. BReak also comes in handy if you need to split one object in two without actually removing any visible material.

The following steps show you how to break an object (don’t worry — in AutoCAD, you won’t have to pay for it):

  1. On the Ribbon’s Home tab, click the label of the Modify panel to open its slideout, and then click the Break button.

    AutoCAD prompts you to select a single object that you want to break.

  2. Select a single object, such as a line, a polyline, or an arc.

    The point you pick when selecting the object serves double duty: It selects the object, of course, but it also becomes the default first break point. Thus, use one of the AutoCAD precision techniques, such as an object snap, to pick the object at a precise point or use the First point option to repick the first break point.

    AutoCAD prompts you to specify the second break point or to type F and press Enter if you want to respecify the first break point:

    Specify second break point or [First point]:
  3. If the point that you picked in Step 2 doesn’t also correspond to a break point (see the preceding Tip), type F and press Enter to respecify the first break point. Then pick the point with an object snap or another precision technique.

    If you type F and press Enter and then respecify the first break point, AutoCAD prompts you to select the second break point:

    Specify second break point:
  4. Specify the second break point by picking a point or typing coordinates.

    AutoCAD cuts a section out of the object, using the first and second break points to define the length of the gap.

If you want to cut an object into two pieces without removing anything, click the Break at Point button on the Modify panel’s slideout. You first select the object and then choose a point that defines where AutoCAD breaks the object in two. You can then move, copy, or otherwise manipulate each section of the original object as a separate object.

Approach the EXPLODE command with caution — it breaks up complex objects into AutoCAD primitive objects. For example, a multisegment polyline explodes into separate line and arc objects. Most of the time, these complex objects are created that way for a reason.

The things you can explode (but shouldn’t unless you have a really, really good reason) include polylines, blocks, 3D solids, associative arrays, tables, and multiline text. And even though AutoCAD lets you, never, ever explode dimensions or leaders. They become extremely difficult to edit.

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