What every Drafter needs to know about AutoCAD Grip Editing

All AutoCAD geometry has grips, you know, those little blue squares that appear when you select something?

Different grips do different things. For example, the centre point grip of a circle will allow you to to move the circle and the grips on the quadrant of the circle will alter the radius of the circle.

However grips aren’t just for stretching geometry, grips can be a quick and easy way of accessing the ‘Modify’ commands that are relevant to that geometry.

Do you use AutoCAD's Grips for editing Geometry?

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Here are four tips to help you make use AutoCAD’s grip editing tools.

Tip #1

When you pick on a grip, look at the command line!

You will see a short list of options available to you including ‘Base point’ and ‘Copy’. By typing ‘B’ for base point at the command line and hitting ‘Enter’ you are free to pick another point to move or stretch your geometry by. By typing ‘C’ at the command line you will copy the geometry as you move/stretch it.

Grip editing options available at AutoCAD's command line

Tip #2

When you’ve picked on a grip*, right click!

Right clicking on a Grip will display a shortcut menu of commands to modify that object.

Right click on an AutoCAD grip to show editing options

Tip #3

Selecting multiple grips.

Pick an entity to highlight it. Now hold down the shift key and pick on a grip. The grip will highlight in red and you are now free to pick another grip. You can even pick grips on multiple entities. When you have picked all the grips you need to, you can now perform an operation on all of the grips at once.

Picking multiple AutoCAD grips

Tip #4

Turn Dynamic input on!

Grips and Dynamic Input go together like melted cheese and sweet chilli sauce. To turn Dynamic Input on click on the icon in the status bar.

Turning the AutoCAD dynamic input on

Select an entity and then hover over a grip. You will get immediate feedback on the properties of the Geometry.

Editing AutoCAD grips with dynamic input turned on

When you click on a grip you will see options for editing the geometry right there in front of your eyes!

If the highlighted tooltip isn’t the feature you want to change, just keep hitting the ‘Tab’ key until the feature you want to change is highlighted.

Using the up and down arrows to chose AutoCAD grip editing options

You can use the ‘Down’ Arrow key to pick other options and the ‘up’ Arrow key to repeat previous input.

Will you use AutoCAD Grips to edit Geometry from now on?

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Do you have a Fifth tip I can include? Why not leave a comment with your suggestions!

*Grips are will not show up for objects on locked layers.

Keep your geometry organised with AutoCAD’s polylines.

14 Responses to “What every Drafter needs to know about AutoCAD Grip Editing

  • my grip only show one point, how to fix it to default?

  • oumhani
    7 years ago

    Clear and to the point, thank you. Is there a way to select multiple grips using a selection box and then remove the vertices?

    • Hi Oumhani,

      As far as I am aware, there is no way to select grips via a crossing window – sorry :/


  • Roger Greenwood
    8 years ago

    I have a problem with grips selection to modify geometry.
    When I hover over the vertex the grip modification options appear but then disappears before I can move the pointer to the option that I want to select.
    This followed the installation of new screens on my PC.

  • Debbie
    8 years ago

    I liked the grips before. Why are they changed? I grabbed a grip, type “2” and hit enter and the grip moved. Now you have to use the tab key to get to the correct little box. I’d like to turn off all those little boxes anyway. I’d like to see what I’m doing not boxes and dotted lines.

    • Hi Debbie,

      Could it be ‘Dynamic Prompting’ that is giving you a problem? To toggle Dynamic prompting off look for the Icon in the tool tray.

      Turn off AutoCAD Dynamic prompting

      Does that help?


  • That’s a great Tip Patrick. I only dealt with Geometry in this post. There are many more AutoCAD Entities that Grip editing can apply to – thanks! :)

  • I also use them quite regularly to copy and modify dimensions.

  • Here is one other way to select the operation you wish to perform. When a grip is highlighted (in red) you can select the editing operation by pressing Enter (or the space bar). Keep your eye on the command line then use Paul’s tip #1 to refine your desired function.

  • Keith S. Angus
    12 years ago

    You have simply convinced me that my view, that grips waste time, is correct. I have carefully arranged my system so I never type commands, so I can keep my left hand on the mouse and my right on the numeric pad except when typing actual text. So as soon as I see “use Shift” “type B” etc I know this tool is not for me. What no one has been able to explain to me is what problem Grips solves? None that I’ve ever seen!

    • I guess it depends on your drawing style. I use Grips a lot for stretching geometry when the screen is to cluttered to do a window selection. I use the new ‘add node’ and ‘convert to arc’ options for polylines a lot, and of course, there is no other way to edit a hatch that has come adrift from its boundary.