Copy between drawings without using Cut & Paste

Here is a trick that I find many people are not aware of. It is possible to copy geometry from one AutoCAD drawing to another without using traditional copy and paste methods.

There are a couple of rules.

  • Both drawings must be open in the editor
  • You will not be able to specify an exact base point. (See text below the graphic)

Here is how to do it.

  1. Start by getting both drawings visible at the same time.
  2. A quick way to do this is with the SYSWINDOWS command, then specify the Horizontal option.
  3. Next, zoom both drawings to the approximate area that you need to see in each one.

  4. Now, select the items to copy.
  5. Using the left mouse button pick on a selected object (but NOT on a grip) and hold down the mouse button.
  6. Now drag the selected items to the other open drawing and release the left mouse button when you are ready to drop them.

See this in action below:

Drag and drop entities

UPDATE: As JohnEng points out in the first comment below, use the RIGHT mouse button to do this trick and when you release the button, a shortcut menu will appear with some more choices, including "Paste to Orig Coordinates" - Thanks JohnEng.
Drag and drop shortcut menu


If you use the right mouse button to drag/drop into the new drawing instead of left mouse button when you release the right mouse button you are prompted for "copy here", "paste as block", "paste to orig coords", and "cancel"

Now that you mention it, that rings a bell. Thanks - I'll update the post!

ctrl+shift+C = copy with basepoint

Sticking with the Title of this post, we are copying data from one drawing to another withOUT using Copy and Paste.

Thanks for your tips.

ctrl+shift+C = copy with basepoint

This is my first time visiting your site and I'm amazed by all the great information you have here. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

Using the click & hold method - you can also easily deselect a selection set by clicking and holding the right mouse button without moving for a few seconds and then release. I sometimes use this instead of hitting the escape button.


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