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Friday, July 28, 2017

Why Can’t I Select More Than One Object (all of the sudden)???

Who Jacked Up My AutoCAD?

Does this sound familiar?  One day you are cruising along, drafting like a ninja and then the next day you come in and AutoCAD is doing some crazy stuff?  Specifically, when you go to select additional objects, the original objects are removed from the selection set.  Your efficiency and productivity drop drastically!  What could be the cause?

Valid Explanations

Here are a few of  the possible causes:

  • If you are a fan of “The X-Files”, Aliens did it!
  • If you are a fan of horror movies, Ghosts did it!
  • If you are paranoid,  a Coworker did it!
  • If you think you are about to be fired, your Boss did it!

But Wait

Sometimes it seems to happen almost instantly; while you are still working in the same drawing.  Must be a bug in AutoCAD.  Or maybe a bug in Windows (curse you Vista!).

While all of the above explanations seem perfectly reasonable, the truth most likely hits closer to home.  YOU did it!  You changed the system variable PICKADD.

PICKADD controls the selection set.  If it’s set to “0” (which is the case outlined above), picking additional objects will remove the previous selection set.  You can add additional objects to your selection set, but you must hold the SHIFT key down while selecting.

If PICKADD is set to “1”, each additional object or set of objects selected is added to the current selection set.  There are two ways to remove selected objects.

  1. Type “R” while asked to Select Objects and you will go into “remove” mode.
  2. Hold the SHIFT key down and select the objects you wish to remove.

All of the above explains how to fix the situation, but I know what you are thinking….  “How did it get Jacked-up in the first place?”  After all, you know you didn’t change the PICKADD setting.  So, we are back to the conspiracy theory.

Not Exactly

If you look at the top of the Properties Palette, you should notice a little button that has either the Number 1 or a few squares with a “plus” sign in the middle.  This is a toggle button.  If you pick the button, it will toggle the PICKADD variable.

Many people don’t realize the button is there and select/toggle it accidentally.

So put your mind to ease.  Now you know who did it: YOU, and how you did it: Accidentally.  No more conspiracy.


If you found this post helpful, do my a favor and please press the Facebook “like” button below. 


14 Responses to “Why Can’t I Select More Than One Object (all of the sudden)???”
  1. Jo Fugatt says:

    I had a guy come up to me the other day about this one! I didn’t bother to tell him that the only reason I knew was because you had bailed me out of this one. I let him think I was a super uber knowledgable cad junky. (Hush, I’ll take an ego boost any time I can get it, lol)

  2. Hey Jo,
    That’s ok. I don’t mind you taking the credit. Everyone on this site knows better. Haha.

  3. Eric Colburn says:

    I am often commenting that the worst thing about computers is when they do exactly what I tell them to do! Not in front of the computer, mind you. In the face of the machine It’s best to blame it on gremlins, lest you make the computer gods angry.

  4. nca says:

    This tip session is cool and funny. Hmmm…. I am going to try this to my co-worker who is really new to autocad (beginner) then I’m going to ask him these questions when he comes for help, (He is a SOLIDWORKS user)

    Are you a fan of “The X-Files? —– I think the aliens did it!
    Are you a fan of horror movies? —– I think the ghosts did it!
    Are you feeling paranoid? —– I think one of the designers did it!
    Do you think you are about to get fired? —– I think your supervisor did it!

    -joke joke joke. Anyways, thank you Mike for everyday tips. keep up the good work.

  5. This is awesome. Thanks for all your comments.

  6. john says:

    i never encountered this problem but i think it was soon coming, imagining how it would feel encountering this problem, BAD! BAD!! BAD!!!. thank God i got the solution before this problem ever knocked on my door. angels are God’s messengers, Mike you are one of them God bless you.

  7. Michelle says:

    Oh my god – I think I love you – I will have your babies – lol – I am so glad I found you – not being able to pick more than one line at a time was driving me nuts – but now the problem is resolved – and I know I’ve only got myself to blame – every now and again the line properties box will open up and I’ve obviously hit the PICKADD in my haste to get rid of it – thank you so much oh wise one – back to the drawing board …….

  8. HAHA… That’s great. I’m so happy this solved your problem.

  9. Adrian Primus says:

    Another similar problem to the pickadd variable “turning itself off” is the highlight variable doing the same thing. When highlight variable is set to “0”, selected objects dont appear dashed, in other words, you cant tell what objects are selected. Setting the highlight variable back to “1” will turn variable back on, meaning you can tell what objects are selected whilst your in selection mode.

    Cheers mate


  10. Thanks for the additional tip Adrian.

  11. karuna says:

    One more way to do is… go to properties – Upper right corner u can find one icon “1” u need u pick that it will turn to “+” u r done…


  12. Excellent! Usually I in no way read whole posts but the way in which you wrote this data is merely incredible and this kept my interest in reading and I enjoyed it. You’ve got obtained excellent writing abilities.

  13. Thank you! Saved …I’m back to drafting Ninja

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