Copying and Pasting, Locking, Erasing, and Other Editing Tasks

Most applications have a few editing commands in common (copy, cut, paste, undo, and delete), and LayOut is definitely part of that crowd. Moreover, the way these commands work is similar to, if not the same as, other applications.

In the following sections, you find a quick introduction to LayOut’s editing commands.

Cutting, copying, and pasting elements in the drawing area

In LayOut, you have several ways to make a copy:

  • Select Edit > Copy or press Ctrl+C (Microsoft Windows) or Command+C (Mac OS X) to copy the selected items to the clipboard without deleting the items from your LayOut document. You can then paste the clipboard’s contents back into any open LayOut document by selecting Edit > Paste or pressing Ctrl+V (Microsoft Windows) or Command+V (Mac OS X).
  • You can duplicate elements, which copies and pastes the selected items in your LayOut document in one swift action. Select Edit > Duplicate or press Ctrl+D (Microsoft Windows) or Command+D (Mac OS X).
  • Before you move an element with the Select tool (), hold down the Ctrl key (Microsoft Windows) or the Option key (Mac OS X), and LayOut creates a copy.

Tip: If you reuse the same elements over and over again, check out LayOut’s Scrapbooks feature.

Whereas copying a selection leaves the originals in place, cutting removes the selection. Select Edit > Cut or press Ctrl+X (Microsoft Windows) or Command+X (Mac OS X) to remove the selected items from your document and place them on the clipboard. To insert the clipboard’s contents elsewhere in an open LayOut document, select Edit > Paste or press Ctrl+V or Command+V.

Note that when you copy/cut and paste entities, the pasted entities will stay on the same layers that you already assigned – assuming that the copied layer settings match the target layer settings. In other words, you can’t paste a group that contains entities on shared layers into a group that contains entities on a non-shared layer. Now, to paste content to the current layer, which will override the layer settings assigned to the entities, click Edit > Paste to Current Layer or context-click in the drawing window and select Paste to Current Layer.

Undoing or redoing your last action

Undo is one of the greatest commands ever invented in the history of applications anywhere and everywhere. Accidentally delete that intricate drawing that you just spent an hour creating? Undo to the rescue!

Undo is equally helpful with less tragic mistakes.

Tip: The important thing is to use the Undo command right away: LayOut will only undo your last drawing or editing command.

To undo your last action, select Edit > Undo or press Ctrl+Z (Microsoft Windows) or Command+Z (Mac OS X).

After you undo an action, you can redo it, which returns the last undo to its previous state. Select Edit > Redo or press Ctrl+Y (Microsoft Windows) or Command+Y (Mac OS X).

Locking and unlocking entities

If you want to make sure that an entity stays exactly as it is, you can lock it. Note that this feature is different from locking a layer.

To lock an entity, whether it be a single shape, multiple selected entities, or a group, select the item or items, context-click the selection, and choose Lock from the menu that appears. When an entity is locked, it will highlight in red when selected.

To unlock an entity, context-click the entity and choose Unlock from the menu that appears.

Deleting elements from the drawing area

In LayOut, you can delete entities from the drawing area in a few different ways: the Delete command, the Delete key, or the Erase tool.

To delete the currently selected entities from your LayOut document, select Edit > Delete or simply press the Delete key. Either way, the entities vanish without so much as a disturbance in the air.

To use the Erase tool, follow these steps:

  1. Select the Erase tool () from the Tools menu or the default toolbar.
  2. Click any entity to erase it. Or, click and drag the Erase tool cursor over several entities and release the mouse button to delete them.

Tip: Here are a few tips to make clearing out unwanted entities easy and efficient:
  • If you keep skipping over entities you want to erase, move the cursor more slowly.
  • If you need to erase a lot of entities, the fastest way to do so is to select them all and press the Delete key.
  • If you erase anything you meant to keep, remember that the Undo command can help.
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