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Saturday, July 29, 2017

Seek, Find, KILL (and Numeric Fuzz??)

I’m going to start this tip off with a little “back in the day” story.  I promise, there’s a point (and a really awesome tip) at the end, so bear with me.

I can remember the days before I had kids and we would work some crazy long hours.  There were many nights that we would go out to watch the sun rise after working 24 straight hours, then go back to work for as long as we could. (if you have Facebook, you can read a little more about it at Please Login or Register to see the link.)  Anyway, after we returned to “normal” hours (about 60 hours per week), it seemed like we had more time on our hands than we knew what to do with.  So we turned to video games and would play them half the night after work.

I can’t begin to tell you how many “death matches” of Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Quake and Unreal we played at the office during “LAN parties”.  If you’ve ever played about 5 or more hours straight of a 1st person shooter game with the music cranked up and your veins pumping high octane caffeine through your system, you know that at some point you start to get a little delirious.  Do that a few nights in a row and you might do something crazy, like putting the words “kill” and “Fuzz” in some unlikely places. Like, for example, in AutoCAD commands.

I’m convinced the programmers at Autodesk in charge of the Express Tools shared this experience of late hours and intense gaming.  How else could you end up with a command called OVERKILL?!!  And if that’s not insane enough, how about having a setting called “Numeric Fuzz”???  I guess there are other “mind altering” methods that could lead you to “dream up” such crazy stuff.  But we will just assume they were gamers for the time being.  (If you are one of the programmers, let me know if my theory is correct).

OVERKILL is actually a pretty awesome tool for cleaning up a drawing.  It’s one of the Express Tools, although you won’t see it listed by that name in the pull-down menus.  It’s found by selecting “Express Tools” then “Modify” and then “delete duplicate objects”.  The purpose of OVERKILL is to find duplicate and overlapping objects and combine them into one nice, neat object.

In the dialogue box you can control if it ignores objects with different properties.  And then there’s Numeric Fuzz.  What kind of name is that?  Numeric Fuzz controls how wild and crazy the command reacts.  If set to “0”, the objects must match exactly before one of them gets modified or deleted.

For example: two circles lie almost directly on top of each other; the radius of one circle is 0.00001 smaller than the other one. If the fuzz value is set to “0”, OVERKILL considers the two circles to be unique and does not modify or delete either of them. However, if the fuzz value is set to 0.00001 or higher, OVERKILL considers the circles to be equal and deletes one of them.

Give it a try.  Start by randomly drawing some overlapping objects and watch the command “Kill” them.  It’s pretty cool.  Once you have a feel for how it works, use it on some drawings that need some cleaning up.  It’s also a great way to join different lines that butt together or to remove a bunch of individual segments from a straight line PLINE.  I’ve used this command to clean up drawings that were imported from other software packages or converted from 3d to 2d.

So get “jacked-up” on coffee or Red Bull, crank up the music and start doing some OVERKILL-ing…  and don’t forget to let me know about it in the comment box below.


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9 Responses to “Seek, Find, KILL (and Numeric Fuzz??)”
  1. Jo Fugatt says:

    I never could understand how a drawing ended up with multiple fragments of lines on top of one another but this command sure helps combat the situation.

  2. marilena says:

    I was just cleaning a drawing full of overlying objects! that’s pretty usufull to read it before I’ve finished!! Thanks

  3. Heghine says:

    ha ha….it is so familiar to me typing words/commands in some unlikely places. While working in autocad for hours and skyping with your boyfriend at the same time, telling him not to worry about being late that night, you end up typing the command BREAK in the wrong place and sending it to him as a message.

  4. Freddy says:

    Do you know what happen with the extrim command, I belienve seing it last time in version 2000.

    Thanks for your tips.

  5. Freddy,
    It’s still there, you just need to type it. There’s a tip coming your way about it.

  6. Branislav says:

    OVERKILL is a very good tool. But, after few uses, AutoCAD get very very slow. Can this be solved?

  7. I haven’t noticed that happening. But I don’t usually have to use it several times. I’ve seen when people leave the layer tool pallet open, there seems to be “memory leak” and many users solve their slowing down of autocad by closing the palette or going back to the dialog box

  8. daniela says:

    great article,mike, i subscribe to consider OVERKILL a bloody good command. i work in a construction company,where we make from time to time one project 2-3 different persons…so it could happen to put one object on top of another one,identical…nobody is perfect,no?:)
    and…the amusing part is when you must count how much elements (electrical,for example) do you have on your drawing…
    until i was falling in love with OVERKILL i count …after i plot..but when i discovered this command was like heaven to me:))
    interesting is …what is the interval for “fuzz” …to consider that autocad must count 2 close circles,for example,do you know what i mean…it must be an interval…0.000001 – 0.0001,for example…in this part i study now the problem…if you have a answer i will wait for you on my email.
    and,mike…respect and cheers from a autocad -in love -mother proud-rocker (iron maiden)

  9. Roelof says:

    This is an awesome command and I use it a lot. Thanks for the great tips and keep them coming.

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