AutoCAD Tutorial No. 02 [filter]

This weeks tutorial will cover another little used command called Filter.

Filter: Creates a list of requirements that an object must meet to be included in a selection set

Filters can be a huge time saver and are extremely flexible to use. Let’s look at a very messy drawing situation. The following picture shows about 75 circles in 4 different colors and 3 different radii. We have red, white, yellow and red circles and radii of 22″, 23″ and 24″.

Now lets say you are asked to find and delete all circles that do not have a radius of 24″. In other words leave only the circles that have a radius of 24″. There are may ways to accomplish this, one is to individually select each circle, run the list command and either leave the circle or delete it. It will probably take 15-20 minutes to select all the circles using this method. There is also the probability that a circle will be missed.


A simpler solution is to use the filter command. Type filter or fi at the command line.


The filter dialogue box will appear. Pick the Select Filter pull down menu and select Circle Radius. The X filter box will now be active. Pull down the menu and select != (Not Equal To) and in the box next to it type in 24 for the radius. Now click on Add to List. The filter has now been added to the filter selection set list. You may have noticed that two items have been added, one look for all circle objects and two find all objects that have a circle radius NOT EQUAL to 24″. Next we will click on the Apply button, causing the dialogue box to dissapear.

Next window the entire group of circles. All circles that fit the filter criteria will now be highlighted. Type erase at the command line or hit the delete key.

All that is left are circle objects with a radius of 24″. The best part is it only took 30 second to to this and the chance of error has been eliminated.


Very specific filter sets can be created to locate just about anything in a drawing. Lets try one more lets eliminate all circle objects that are EITHER NOT 24″ in radius or are NOT yellow. In other words the only objects left are either 24″ in radius and any color or yellow and any radius.

Here is what remains. If you want to try this exercise you can download the AutoCAD file here. Try other combinations like find all blue circles with a radius less than or equal to 23″. Til next week happy filtering.