Now you see it… Now you don’t! Object Visibility in AutoCAD 2011


If you were a subscription holder in AutoCAD 2010 you got a sneak peek at this new AutoCAD 2011 feature that includes new tools that enable you to control object visibility independent from layer visibility control. The Object Visibility tools are accessible from the large light bulb icon on the status bar (Isolate Objects) or better yet, from the right‐click menu when objects are selected as well as when no objects are selected. When you use the Isolate Objects tool, only the selected objects remain visible in the drawing. All other objects are hidden.

Isolated Objects

Isolated Objects

Alternatively, when you use the Hide Objects tool, the selected objects are hidden allowing you to work it from the other angle as well.

Hidden Objects

Hidden Objects

You can use a combination of the Isolate Objects and Hide Objects tools to efficiently display only the objects that are relevant to your current task. For example, you might use the Isolate Objects tool to select an area of the drawing you want to edit and then use the Hide Objects tool to hide additional objects within that area. And when you add the power of the Select Similar command to it you can really take control and speed up the selection process. After completing your task, you can quickly restore the hidden objects using the End Object Isolation tool.

End Object Isolation Tool

End Object Isolation Tool

The OBJECTISOLATIONMODE system variable controls whether isolated/hidden objects persist between drawing sessions. Also the light bulb icon on the status bar indicates whether object isolation is active by turning RED in the drawing. If it is YELLOW than no object are currently being hidden in the drawing through the Isolate or Hide Objects functionally. But remember layers can still be hiding objects as well.

Object Isolation Status Icon

Object Isolation Status Icon

In addition to the obvious benefits object visibility controls offer for 2D design, they’re just as valuable for 3D modeling. And it great new features in AutoCAD 2011 that make the magic happen. As always thank you for your time.

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