Ever heard the saying “sometimes you have to go backwards to go forwards”? It means that the most obvious path isn’t always the best.
I thought about that when I read a tip from Cadalyst about lengthening objects to make them shorter.
Usually when you think of “lengthening” objects, you think about making them longer. But the LENGTHEN command in AutoCAD LT can be used to make a line, polyline, spline, or arc longer or shorter.
When you start LENGTHEN, you’re given four options: DElta, Percent, Total, and DYnamic. You can also click on an object to see its current length.
For Delta, you provide the change in length or angle – positive numbers make things longer, negative numbers make things shorter. Once you’ve specified the increment, click close to the end you want to change.
With Percent, you specify the proportional change. Numbers less than 100 shorten objects; numbers greater than 100 extend them.
If you know the actual finished size you want, you can use Total. Again, the number you enter can be bigger or smaller than the current object – doesn’t matter which.
The last option is Dynamic. With this option, you get a live preview that extends or trims the object as you move your cursor. It’s the best visual of the four options, but the least precise.
Not all objects work with all options. For example, you can’t lengthen a spline with the Dynamic option, and you can’t use Angle with lines. If you’re not sure if something will work, try it. Either it’ll work, or you’ll get a message telling you why it didn’t. And either way, you’ll know for next time.