Quick Tip: How to Hide and Isolate Work

May 13th, 2013

You need to plot Phase I, but you don’t want to see the Phase II components.  You could have put the Phase I stuff on its own layer, but it’s too late and you need to turn it off now.

Ah, that’s where we need a review.  Every fiber of our AutoCAD being says if you can’t see it, it has to do with layers.  Nowadays, you can just Hide the objects.   Please note, this has nothing to do with the HIDE command for hiding 3D objects.

MEMO:  We have had Isolate Layers for years, but that would either turn Off or Fade/Lock layer content.

Need To Know

  • Click the yellow light bulb in the bottom right corner before or after you select the objects, then click Hide Objects.
  • You can select the objects first, then right-click and go to the Isolate shortcut menu.
  • Hide Objects = The selected objects are hidden.
  • Isolate Objects = Everything except the selected objects is hidden.
  • If there are hidden objects in the drawing, there will be a red light bulb in the lower right corner.
  • You can Hide multiple times within a drawing, but End Object Isolation (red light bulb) reveals all hidden objects.


  • The Isolation/Hide condition of the objects is temporary.  Close the drawing, open it again, and they’re all back.
  • The Isolation/Hide conditions of the selected objects is retained as the drawing is opened and closed, until you end the object isolation.

Disclaimer:  No Layers were harmed during the presentation of this review.  Any resemblance to layer-related procedures is purely intentional … but, curiously, had nothing to do with layers.

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About the Author


Michael E. Beall (B. Arch.) is an Autodesk Authorized Author and the owner of CAD Trainer Guy, LLC. He has been presenting onsite CAD training around the planet for more than 30 years. Contact him at michael.beall@cadtrainer.guy or give him a call at 502.500.2267.


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