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Easily hide and isolate objects in AutoCAD 2011

AutoCAD 2011 has three new commands that help you hide selected objects or isolate them (hide everything except the selected objects).

  • The ISOLATEOBJECTS command hides all objects except those that you select. After selecting objects, right-click in the drawing area and choose
    Isolate> Isolate Objects.
  • The HIDEOBJECTS command hides selected objects. Select the objects, right-click in the drawing area, and choose Isolate> Hide Objects.
  • The UNISOLATEOBJECTS command undoes either of the previous commands, displaying objects that those commands hid.

For several releases, there has been a command to isolate objects by layer, the LAYISO command. By default, LAYISO locks and fades the other layers (objects not on the same layer as the object you selected). You can use the Settings option to turn those layers off instead.

The LAYUNISO command reverses the effect of the LAYISO command.

Ellen Finkelstein

17 comments to Easily hide and isolate objects in AutoCAD 2011

  • Victor Jammal

    I am a lisp developer. I have already developed a lisp program for hiding any desired object. My Lisp program is called “Hid.lsp”. The user needs only to select any desired object. The object will disappear. If the user needs to make some of the hidden objects appear again, he/she needs to use the program “Uhid.lsp”. This program highlights all the hidden objects, and the user selects from them only the objects he/she needs to keep them dislayed on the screen. If anybody needs this program I’ll send it to him/her.
    Regarding the command “Hideobjects” it’s useful. let’s waite and see and find out which is better my lisp programs or that command in R2011.

  • Tuomo Järvinen

    These commands have also been available in AutoCad Civil 3D 2008 as AECHIDEOBJECTS, AECISOLATEOBJECTS and AECUNISOLATEOBJECTS. They are very, very useful. Since not all in our office have Civil nor AutoCAD 2011, I do would like to have your lisps, Victor! My mail: tuomojar*at*

  • chamath

    Hi, Victor,
    good work. I would like to see your lisp prog. just send me.
    chamath sri lanka.

  • admin

    You have 2 requests for your code. Can you post it? If it’s too long, e-mail it to me (my home page at has a Contact link) and I’ll try it out (give me instructions) and blog about it, with a link to the LSP file.

  • Millish

    In response to comments May 15th, 2010 made by Victor Jammal (Lisp Developer)
    Victor… How can I obtain your lisp programs; called “Hid.lsp & Uhid.lsp”, for hiding/unhiding any desired object?

    Ellan… Is there a web site that I can download them from.

    Additionally as a follow-on from posted request made September 10th 2009…
    Doe anyone know of a method, (Lisp Program), that can be used for simplifying complex drawings containing objects & lines, (which together make up machinery details), by for instance creating Footprints; (Polylines/Outlines); around all objects, in opened drawings & deleting everything else. Or alternatively by removing/deleting all lines from an object; except its bounding/Boundary lines that form’s the objects footprint?.

    Also… Does anyone have a ‘lisp program’; that can be loaded each time a drawing is opended, that allows you to; ‘zoom to set limits’. I am surprised as AutoCAD can set-up & Plot to Drawing limits but AutoDesk have forgotten to include a zoom to limits option!

  • Dave

    Nice work Victor. Hope you can send me also this program since we are not yet 2011 CAD user here in our office. It is very useful for us as a designer and CAD operator.

  • Sarah

    Hi Victor,

    Please Send me you lisp prog. to:, I will appreciated

  • Sarah

    Hi Victor,

    Would you please send me the hide/unhide lisp


  • Ellen

    I never received it from the person who wrote it.

  • Russ

    Hi Victor, Could you send me these LISP please? Thanks.

  • Ove

    I have a drawing A with an xref in it called drawing B.
    On the monitor I can fade drawing B “down” so it likes an dusty background.
    But when I plot the drawing A, the xref drawing B is not faded. It is crystal clear.
    How can I fade the xref on the plot ?
    (I have tried PLOT TRANSPARENSY in the plotting window)

  • Hans Graveman

    To fade xrefs use:

    The valid XDWGFADECTL system variable value is between -90 and 90. When XDWGFADECTL is set to a negative value, the Xref Fading feature is not turned on, but the setting is stored.

    Value 1 is not faded 90 is fully faded.

    Hans Graveman

  • Just because nobody ever posted any code to hide all layers but the layer of the current selected object here is what it could look like in Autohotkey (easier than lisp)!

    ;hotkey activates when you press windows key + h
    ;hide all layers other than the layer of the selected object
    acad_handle:= ComObjActive(“AutoCAD.Application.18”) ;get a com object handle to an existing Autocad Session
    for layer in acad_handle.ActiveDocument.layers {

    ;hotkey activates when you press windows key + u
    ;show all layers
    acad_handle:= ComObjActive(“AutoCAD.Application.18”) ;get a com object handle to an existing Autocad Session
    for layer in acad_handle.ActiveDocument.layers {

  • nadeem

    hi every one.
    can any one have any lisp file that change hatch into polyline. i want change hatched humps in road drawing into polylne so i can measure them quick. thanks and take care.

  • Donald Radaza

    I copied the objects from one workspace to another workspace using copy with basepoint and paste it in the other workspace,but those objects that i have copied do not show up in the other workspace.
    The layers are turn on,there’s no isolated objects in the drawings,there’s no hide objects,and objectisolationmode is turn to zero.The problem still persist.
    Is there anyone out there who knows how to solve this problem?
    Please help.
    Thank you.

  • Hans

    Donald do you use a scalelist? and are the objects annotative? turn on or create the scale that was on in the former drawing.

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