Exercise 41 – Copying

It is one of the great advantages of computers that they can duplicate things very quickly and easily.

In the previous exercise we touched on one of the Transform commands to make an offset copy of a curve at a set distance from the original. It was very quick and very easy. In this next, rather more extensive exercise we’ll be exploring more of the Transform copy options and we’ll be using some of the Position/Location command knowledge you gained earlier in the course.

To get the correct results in this exercise, follow the instructions carefully.

  1. Open the file called ‘Copy-Cat’.

  2. Click on the green tree in the drawing to select it.
  3. Now select the Copy Along command from the Transform menu

  4. Set the dialogue box to read as follows

…then click OK.

The prompt should read

  1. Snap to the end of the red dotted curve at point A. (this is about the middle of the tree)

The prompt now asks

  1. Locate the curve (So long as you’re closer to the start of the curve than to the other end, the copies will follow the curve correctly).

  2. Right Click to deselect the curve

This command is a great way to either insert entities at a certain distance apart or by quantity.

Next we’ll copy the short blue line at position ‘H’ along the dark blue curve that it is attached to and then offset the curve to form a brick border.

  1. Zoom closer to the area bounded by H and E so it is easier to see and select entities
  2. Select the short blue line (near H).
  3. Now select the Copy Along command we used before

  4. Carefully set the dialogue as follows

…then click OK. The prompt says

  1. Snap to the top end of the short blue line, where it meets the curve.

The prompt now asks

  1. Locate the curve. (So long as you’re closer to the start of the curve than to the end, the copies will follow the curve correctly)
  2. Whilst the curve is still selected choose the Offset command

A small dialog box appears. Leave it unchecked and click OK.

Notice the prompt

  1. Finally snap to the bottom end of the short blue line (near H).

Your efforts should have produced the following.

  1. Right click to deselect the curve and return to neutral.

Now we’ll copy some entities in a circular array.

  1. Select the light green arcs (in a moon shape) near location ‘B’.

If you’ve included the letter ‘B’ or the point entity in your selection deselect it as we won’t be copying that. Do you remember how to deselect?

  1. Select the Array

  2. Set the dialogue box to read as follows

…then click OK.

The prompt should read

  1. Snap to the red point near B. This is the point you’re picking up the moon shape by.

Now the prompt should say

  1. Again snap to the same red point. This is the point you’re using as the centre of your copies.

The prompt repeats the request

  1. Snap this time to point You now have two sets…easy eh?

Let’s just do a simple copy without using any command.

  1. Right click or press the Esc key so no command is active. (neutral)
  2. Hold the Ctrl (Command ) key down and simply drag the tree near location A to location D. Release the mouse button BEFORE your release the keyboard key and a copy of the tree will be made. Otherwise you will just be moving the tree and not actually copying it. 
  3. Repeat the function and drag another tree from A to E.
  4. Repeat the above command, only this time also hold the Shift That’s Ctrl + Shift + Drag (Command ⌘ + Shift + Drag) and make a copy of the tree A to F and finally another from A to G in line.

The Shift Key is a great way to keep your copies in alignment. If all has gone to plan, your drawing should look something like this…

Let’s look now at the concept of copying by using the Edit, Copy > Edit, Paste commands

  1. Starting from neutral, select one of the trees in the drawing.
  2. Now press Ctrl + C (Command + C) on your keyboard (or Edit, Copy from the dropdown menu) and look at the prompt

Because you’re about to copy and paste this entity the system needs to know where you want to grab it.

  1. Select a point roughly near the tree’s centre.

Whilst nothing may appear to happen, your computer is now storing a copy of the tree in memory ready for you to give the command to Paste the copy into a drawing.

If your tree has vanished (happens with some computers) you might just refresh your screen and it will reappear. Roll mouse wheel.

  1. Select Ctrl + V ( (Command + V) (or Edit, Paste from the menu) and look at the prompt.

  2. Locate a position in the Tree Pasting Zone 
  3. Repeat by again pressing Ctrl + V (Command + V) and place another tree.

The computer will hold on to a copy of this tree, ready for pasting at any time until you Copy or Cut something else.

Between Drawings

You can copy and paste from one drawing to another.

Same Place

If you want the copy to be pasted into the new drawing in the identical position as the original, make X=0, Y=0 and Z =0 in the coordinates bar when prompted for the position of the Origin of the Copy and for the Position to Paste entities.


You can use any of the Locate Position commands to position a pasted copy accurately.

Let’s continue exploring these Transform commands.

  1. Select the two concentric circles next to the letter ‘J
  2. Now select the Transform, Array command again

  3. Set the values as shown.

  4. Click OK. You should now have an array of 40 sets of circles 1500mm apart.
  5. Zoom in to the area near ‘K’ as shown and delete the Circles that are sitting on top of the horizontal lines.

  6. Select the thin vertical rectangle directly above the letter ‘K’. Using a drag box selection method is probably best here.

  7. Select the Transform, Copy command

  8. Set the dialog as shown

  9. Click OK and then follow the prompt – Snap to the end point of the line where it says ‘start’ and then snap to the end point where is says ‘end’.

Nineteen duplicates of the selection will be copied the same distance apart and in the same direction as the two points you selected.

  1. Return to neutral and Zoom in to the area bounded by the letters O and M

  2. Using Selectability filtering tools and Chain Selection tool that you learned earlier in the course, select the straight and wavy shape by picking the line near the letter ‘O’. Then right click just once to get out of the chain command (the entities should be still selected in magenta)
  3. Now pick the Transform, Offset entities by distance command and enter an offset value of 200. Click OK.

The last entity in the selection will be highlighted. Look at the Prompt.

  1. Click a position above the highlighted line.

You will now have offset entities as well as the originals. The offsets will be precisely 200mm away from the originals.

  1. Re-use the Chain command and the Shift or Ctrl (Shift or Command ) key to select both the original entities and the new offset ones – We are about to make a mirrored copy of them. Remember then to right click once to get out of the chain command when all the entities are selected.
  2. Select Transform, Mirror and set the options as follows. OK

  3. Snap to the point near the letter ‘M’ and then move your cursor around.

Notice that a mirrored copy of the selected entity follows your movement.

  1. Snap to the centre of the circle, (diagonally lower left) and a mirrored copy is inserted.

  2. Zoom in a little to the area around ‘L’ and the circle and select the lighter blue arcs.

  3. Select Transform, Rotate

  4. Complete the dialog as shown.

We are going to rotate and copy the selected arcs so that there are 7 sets of them equally distributed around 360 degrees so we can enter 360/7 as the angle. The software will calculate the correct angle for us.

The number of copies is 6. This means we will have 7 including the original!

  1. Select OK, check the prompt and then snap to the centre of the circle.

Your effort should look like this.

The Final step in this exercise is more advanced.

We’ll repeat the concept of making a mirrored copy, only this time we will also introduce the use of the Location Position commands that we learned earlier in the course.

  1. Locate and select the three arcs and two lines near the letter ‘N’ in the drawing.
  2. Select the Transform, Mirror command again and keep the same settings.
  3. Look at the prompt. We want to create a mirror line that is half way between Point ‘B’ and point ‘C’ so select the Position Location Commands and pick the Midpoint command

  4. Snap to point B and then to Point C.
  5. Right click ONLY ONCE then move your cursor around

Notice the selected entities moving with you.

  1. Hold the Shift key down and move your cursor vertically downward. Then click a position whilst locked in to that angle.

The mirrored entities should now be placed and your drawing should look like this…

If you have a license of the software, save this drawing as ‘My Copy Training’

If you’re using the software in trial/demo mode select Edit, Copy 2D Window, click a box around your drawing and the entire drawing will be copied to your PC’s memory. Open MS Word and use Edit, Paste to place the copy of your drawing onto a page. Save the Word file as ‘My Copy Training’.