Grip tricks (AutoCAD and Civil 3D)

Sometimes the simple tricks are the best tricks!  This post discusses grip editing in Civil 3D and vanilla AutoCAD.  These are fundamentals for creating and editing content but some are not ‘in your face’ and go unnoticed by even the most seasoned of users.  Check it out and let everyone know which you did, or did not, know (comments section).

1st: Selecting Multiple Grips

To stretch edit multiple vertices of a Pline, at one time, simply hold down SHIFT and select each vertex, let go of SHIFT, and grab one of the vertices.

(click the image for a short video)

2010.10.28-Multi Vertex Move

(p.s. This is key within Civil 3D when working with ‘Pipe Networks’ in Plan or Profile.)


2nd: Changing Grip Base

After selecting a grip you can revise the Base point by typing ‘B’ – for Base – and snapping to another location.

(click the image for a short video)

2010.10.28-Change Grip Edit Base

You can also use this in combination with the first tip (selecting multiple grips) to raise and lower an entire run.


3rd: Removing Vertices with Featureline Tools

Simple enough, for those of you who are not using 2011 there is a simple solution w\in Civil 3D to removing POLYLINE vertices. You can use the Featureline Tools!!

(click the image for a short video)

2010.10.28-Remove Vertices


4th: Using the Straighten Command within the Pedit Command

As an alternative to the above, of course, instead of using the Civil 3D Featureline tools you can Remove & Add vertices the old fashion way.

(p.s. I have a confession to make. I learned about the Straighten command within Pedit two days ago! Smile with tongue out)

(click the image for a short video)

2010.10.28-Add & Remove Vertices


Of course, if you are using 2011 there are new tools for Adding and Deleting Vertices.



  1. Mark Spatz says:

    I didn’t know about 3 & 4 till a week or two ago.

  2. Clem Kuns says:

    Now with 2011 versions, you can do a nice amount of these edits by just hovering over the vertex grips or the grips in the midpoint of a pline segment.

  3. Mark Jung says:

    Thanks for tips 1,2 & 3.
    I’ll have to give them a try…no.1 for sure.

  4. Mark Spatz says:

    Cool… I’m glade it helped! I was worried I was the only one that didn’t know about this stuff from birth. I bet more people than not, don’t know about these little tricks. A little history: for #1, about 2 years ago at one of our monthly “lunch & learns” someone was showing something cool you could do with Civil 3D to really save some time and pulled out the ‘multi-grip stretch’ trick (#1). Everyone’s jaw dropped; myself included. Even folks that have been using ACAD for 20-yrs didn’t know about multi-grip selection.

    I went to Vo-tech in High school for CAD (certified), when to college for my BS in Civil Engineering, worked in industry for 10-yr – always using CAD – and still just learned about #4 (the Acad Straighten command in Pedit) two weeks ago. Additionally, I am – or was – the C3D “guru” at my company, trained everyone, etc… and didn’t know about #3 (that you can use Featureline Tools with standard AutoCAD Plines or Vports) until a month ago when one of our power users brought it up at, once again, one of our monthly ‘lunch & learns’.

    It goes to show you that even the “experts” (20+ year users and trainers) don’t know everything. Sometimes this includes basic AutoCAD that is fundamental to speeding up the use of Civil 3D!

  5. Evan Bennett says:

    I’ve been having a problem with item #1. For some reason it only works for me in paper space. When I try to do it in model space some image selection box pops up. Any solutions?

    • Jeff Mishler says:

      Evan, probably the Mapioptions has the “Shift + Left click to select images” option checked.