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CAD tip CAD tip # 3812:

   
Question CAD 
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Q - question

Beware of using Copy/Paste to copy AutoCAD entities inside drawings.

A - answer It is documented in AutoCAD Help (see 'Use Windows Cut, Copy, and Paste' in UG) but still many AutoCAD users 'misuse' this functionality -- clipboard Copy/Paste is not suitable for copying entities from/to AutoCAD drawings, as you will loose precision (plus extended entity data, reactors, dbLinks, etc.). Windows Clipboard (WMF) is intended for transferring data to/from other Windows applications.

The differences in simply copied/pasted coordinates are on about the 9th decimal place so it may not come into your attention immediately but the precision lost is significant (influences dims, osnaps, etc.).

In the sample drawing below, the original (red) rectangle [0,0] - [1000000.1,1000000.1] was copied using Copy/Paste (Ctrl+C/Ctrl+V), then the _COPY command and then using _COPYBASE - Copy with basepoint (and then offset by [1,1] to make it readable). Only the Copy/Paste method distorts the vertex coordinates, making 1000000.0995 from 1000000.1.

The 'Copy with basepoint' function sets the exact coordinates and keeps full AutoCAD precision.

See:
Clipboard-instable.dwg (30kB, right-click/Save to download)
 or
copypaste.scr (script file demonstrating the problem; use on an empty drawing)

(Precision lost depends on your Windows version, your MS Office version and applied MS Office Service Packs.)

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See also:
Tip 13887:ClosestPt - the nearest point on another curve
Tip 13692:What is the precision in Revit?
Tip 13472:How to convert the structure of a volumetric lattice to a real mesh body?
Tip 13426:Use of alternative units for arithmetic in dimensions (without square brackets).
Tip 13006:Calculated property descriptions (tobogan slide from floor to floor)


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