AutoCAD Tutorial

A Faster Way to Change an Object's Elevation Using MOVE


By Brian Morse, August 11, 2004

To change an object's elevation use MOVE and enter just a displacement rather than the traditional two-step sequence of using a base point and a second point of displacement. "A dis-what," you say? Please, let me explain.

You probably already know that you can use Relative Coordinates. For example: You type @1,2 for a second point to move 1 unit in the X direction, 2 units in the Y direction from whatever random point you picked as a base point. Without the @ symbol in front you go directly to the absolute coordinates (1,2) (and how many times have you forgotten that silly little @ symbol, UNDO, try again, ugh!). So, what I'm trying to tell you is, to save time and effort you need only type in the amount you would like to move an object in the X, Y, and Z directions. Here's how it works.

Let's say you are editing a grading plan and need to raise the elevation of a polyline representing a building pad by 0.43 feet.

  1. Start the MOVE command.

  2. Select the object(s).

  3. Type 0,0,0.43

  4. Hit ENTER twice to terminate the command.

The command line looks something like this:

Command: MOVE
Select objects: 1 found
Select objects: Base point or displacement: 0,0,0.43
Second point of displacement or :

The same concept can be applied to the COPY command. Suppose you have a polyline representing the edge of pavement and now you want to create a top of curb polyline a half foot higher.

Command: copy
Select objects: 1 found

Select objects: Specify base point or displacement, or [Multiple]: 0,0,.5
Specify second point of displacement or :

Did you happen to notice the Multiple option on the command line? Now your productivity is screaming fast!

Source: Original concept from Dave Pitzer's article on the Autodesk website titled, "AutoCAD LT: The Displacement Option for Copy and Move."

About the Author

Brian Morse is a certified Autodesk instructor specializing in Land Desktop. He does training, consulting, contract drafting and design for Land Surveyors, Civil Engineers, Planners and Architects. Information about his services is available at

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