AutoCAD Architecture 2010: Column Grid

Welcome back! This month, we'll take a look at Column Grid - one of AutoCAD Architeture's easy-to-use objects.

I will be using metric examples here, but as you practice, you can follow this article and work on imperial units as well.

  • Create a new drawing based on the template 'Aec Model (Metric Ctb).dwt'
  • From the Design palette, click on the Column Grid tool (Command line equivalent: 'Columngridadd' or 'columngrid')


  • At the 'Insertion point or [Width/Depth/XSpacing/YSpacing/XDivide by toggle/YDivide by toggle/Match]:' prompt, pick a point on the screen.
  • At the 'Rotation or [Width/Depth/XSpacing/YSpacing/XDivide by toggle/YDivide by toggle/Match] <0.00>:' prompt, press Enter to accept the default value of 0. You can also enter an angle here to have the grid oriented at an angle.
  • Again at the 'Insertion point or [Width/Depth/XSpacing/YSpacing/XDivide by toggle/YDivide by toggle/Match/Undo]:' prompt, press Enter to finish the command.

You will see the column grid placed with its default dimensions. Later, we will modify the column grids to suit the project.

As you select the column grid, you will see four grips in each corner. You can use these grips to resize the grid. As you do so, you will see that the number of grids in the X and Y direction increase, but maintain fixed bay sizes. This is because the default layout type for the column grid is Repeat.

There are three types of layout modes you can assign to the column grid, in X & Y directions individually:

  • Repeat
  • Space Evenly
  • Manual
  • This can be set by selecting the grid and in the properties palette, under Dimensions and under X-Axis and Y-Axis respectively, click on Layout Type.
  • Click the drop-down arrow and select the type of layout. You can control the X-axis layout settings and Y-Axis layout settings independent of each other.

You can start by providing a overall width for the grid in the X and Y directions in the properties palette.

When set in Repeat mode: Bay sizes are fixed along the X & Y directions. You can specify the bay size in the properties palette as shown in the image above. As you grip edit and increase the overall size of the grid, number of bays (so the grids) increase but the size of each bay is fixed.

When set in Space Evenly mode: Bays along the X and Y direction are evenly spaced. You can specify the number of bays in the properties palette. As you grip edit and increase the overall size of the grid, all the bays change size evenly, but the number of bays (so the grids) are fixed.

In both of the above modes, only four grips are available in each corner, when you select the grid. You cannot edit each individual grid using grips. To do so, you should change the layout mode to Manual.

When set in Manual mode: You specify the position of each line on the layout grid. Grips appear for each and every grid line. You can either edit the position of each grids using grips, or by manually entering the distance between grids in a dialog box.

While editing the grid lines using grips, you can make use of 'osnaps' effectively. To enter the dimension between the grids in a dialog box, in the properties palette click the button next to the number of bays. Refer to the image below.

You can see the 'Bays along the X Axis' or 'Bays along the Y Axis' dialog open, depending upon which axis you are editing. Here you can click on a value to edit it. Either you can specify the spacing between the grids or the 'Distance to line,' which is the distance of each grid from the starting of the column grid. While editing the value for Distance to line, the spacing value updates automatically and vice versa.

When you select the column grid, notice how the Ribbon reveals a set of commands related to column grid:

You have commands related to dimensioning the column grid, labeling the grid, grid controls on X and Y axis, changing the layout mode, boundary clipping, and so on.

Similar functions are available both in the properties palette and the right-click menu.

When you select the column grid and right-click, a set of commands related to editing the grid can be accessed, as shown below.

In the next article, we will discuss the editing features available for the column grid, including labeling and dimensioning. See you next time!

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