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How to Use the Stretch Command in AutoCAD 2014

The Stretch command in AutoCAD 2014 is powerful: It can stretch or move objects, or stretch some and move others at the same time, depending on how you select them. The key to using Stretch is specifying a crossing selection box properly.

Begin with a drawing open in AutoCAD.

  1. On the Modify panel, click the Stretch button. It’s the one showing the corner of a rectangle being stretched.

    The Stretch command starts, and AutoCAD prompts you to select objects. This is one of those times (and one of those commands) that requires you to watch the command line.

  2. Follow the command line instructions to click points from right to left to define a crossing selection box.

    Select objects to stretch by crossing-window or crossing-polygon...
    Select objects: Click a point above and to the right of the upper-right corner of the plate.
    Specify opposite corner: Move the crosshairs down and to the left. Click a point below the plate, roughly under the center of the column.

    The pointer changes to a dashed rectangle enclosing a rectangular green area, which indicates that you’re specifying a crossing selection box. The crossing selection box must cut through the plate and column in order for the Stretch command to work. You see the following:

    image0.jpg
    11 found
    Select objects: Press Enter.
  3. If these drafting settings aren’t already set this way, turn off SNAP mode and turn on ORTHO and OSNAP. Then set a base point for the stretch operation.

    Specify base point or [Displacement] <Displacement>: Move the mouse pointer over the lower-right corner of the plate, and click when you see a square box with an Endpoint tooltip.

    This point serves as the base point for the stretch operation. As before, if you can’t get the crosshairs to snap to the endpoint, right-click the OSNAP button and select Endpoint.

  4. Specify a displacement for the stretch operation.

    AutoCAD prompts you at the command line:

    Specify second point or <use first point as displacement>:

    Move the crosshairs horizontally to the right, type 6, and press Enter.

    AutoCAD stretches the plate and column with its hatching, and moves the anchor bolts by the distance you indicated.

    image1.jpg
  5. Enter Z A at the command line to see the entire drawing.

    If the first stretch didn’t work properly, press Ctrl+Z and try again. Stretch is an immensely useful command that makes you wonder how drafters used to work with only erasers and pencils.

  6. When the stretched drawing is as you want it, press Ctrl+S to save the drawing.

After some drawing and editing, you may wonder how you’re supposed to know when to turn off or on the various status bar modes (Snap, Grid, Ortho, Object Snap, and others). Rest assured that you eventually begin to develop an instinctive sense of when they’re useful and when they’re in the way.

If a mode is in your way or you realize that you need one, you can click the buttons at any time while using the editing and drawing commands.

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