AutoCAD tip: how to trim and copy objects within a boundary

AutoCAD tip: how to trim and copy objects within a boundary

Do you need to copy objects within a rectangle, circle or polygon boundary like below?


Normally, I would recommend you to optimize AutoCAD layout. You can show a part of your drawing by creating viewport. However, we do need to do this once in a while.

We can copy it and trim the objects that extend the boundary later. But it can take too much time. Especially if you have so many objects like above.

A quick way to do it

This is a tip I found in CAD tutor forum by SLW210.

Export your layout

You can create a viewport in a layout that shows area you want to copy and trim away from your drawing.

Remember to set viewport scale to whatever you need. If you set it to 1:1 (full scale) then you will have the same size drawing. It doesn’t matter if your viewport boundary is too large for your sheet size. We won’t use it anyway.


After you have done, you can type EXPORTLAYOUT then [enter]. Remember, you have to do this in your layout.

Now you can save your layout as another drawing. You will have your drawing in model space there.

Copy it back to your original drawing

If you need to have that part of drawing in your original drawing, you have an extra work. You must copy that drawing and paste it to your original drawing.

Open exported file. Select all objects (or entities) you want to copy. Type COPYCLIP then [enter] (or press ctrl+C).

Open your original file. Type PASTECLIP (or press ctrl +V) to paste it to your original drawing.

It’s not perfect, but it does the job

I have to admit that this is not as easy as I expected. I wish AutoCAD has a tool that can do this directly.

For a simple drawing, probably this method is not effective. But for a very complex drawing, I prefer to use this method than manually trim and delete objects outside my boundary.

How about you, do you have a better method to do it?

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