Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Manage your AutoCAD Visibility with ISOLATE

The typical method of controlling object visibility in AutoCAD has been via layer control.  Of course, layer management is still the preferred means to manage content visibility, but AutoCAD has another option for users to manage the visibility of objects: the Isolate Objects tool. Isolate Objects is not new, it's been in AutoCAD since 2012, and In Civil 3D since 2008, but seems to be under-used.

Isolate Objects allows users to select objects, regardless of their layers and have those objects become isolated, or isolate everything else.  Think of it as LAYISO for any object selection, independent of layers altogether.   

It's simple: invoke the command, or simply create a selection set

Next, right-click and choose Isolate objects --> Isolate Selected Objects in the pop-up menu.

The result will show only the objects you selected.

When object isolation is active, the yellow light bulb in the lower right corner turns reddish-brown.

To end the isolation, either:
  1. Click on the reddish-brown light bulb in the system tray in the lower right,
  2. Select an object, right-click and End Isolation, or
  3. Type UNISOLATE at the command line.

When not in use, it looks like a yellow light bulb, similar to the ON status of a layer in the layer dialog.

Isolating objects is a quick and easy way to manage data in your AutoCAD environment, without having to deal with object layers at all.

Remember, an XREF is an object, so selecting it will isolate (or hide) it, and not just the element in the XREF.

Do you use ISOLATE? comment and share your experiences!