If you type at the command prompt PSELECT and press F1 for help, you would read only optimistic

Welcome to AutoCAD 2… Help!

…and nothing about the command you asked for.

Yes, some of the commands (existing and valuable!) are not documented in AutoCAD Help system. One of them is not well known PSELECT.

Actually you already used to perform this command many times. Look at the Properties dialog window.



Click on the button with tiny red cross –_.pselect appears in the command prompt inviting you to select objects on the screen. You select objects, apply pan, zoom (window, extents etc.) – ALL selected objects will be included in selection. You just learned the main advantage of PSELECT – no matter how big is the drafting area – transparent zoom or pan command will not affect the procedure of adding objects to selection.


For comparison close Properties window. With empty command prompt make selection on the screen and apply transparent pan or zoom commands - you will notice: only last group of objects was included in selection. The same result you will get with using standard SELECT command.


Another advantage – with PSELECT you are ready for immediate performing any command: move, erase, copy, array and so on. When you use standard SELECT command after selection is defined, you have to invoke command (move, erase, copy…), type p (previous) and press ENTER twice – too long prompt, isn’t it?

The third positive thing with PSELECT: your selection is highlighted with grips – you can easily distinguish it from other objects on the screen.


Now the reasonable questions: should I always launch Properties window first and then push red cross button while it is opened, because I’m getting Unknown command in respond to entering PSELECT directly? Not really. You need to do simple thing: include file acopm.arx (found in AutoCAD root directory, e.g.

C:\Program Files\AutoCAD 2004\acopm.arx) in ACAD Startup Suite:

·         Type "appload" at the command prompt

·         Press button “Contents…”

·         Click on “Add…” button and browse to find file: acopm.arx. Select this file and press ‘Add’

·         Close dialog windows

·         You might need to start new drawing or restart AutoCAD to activate acopm.arx



·         Unfortunately PSELECT is not available (or I did not find the way to put this command in work) in ACAD2000 (the command is available starting from AutoCAD2000i). File acopm.arx exists in ACAD2000 root directory. But even loading this file doesn’t help - PSELECT is still ‘Unknown command’


Couple of tips at the end (PSELECT  and common selection):

·         If you think PSELECT can work for you, use AutoLISP shortcut P[ :

(DEFUN C:P[()(command "_.PSELECT"))

·         When you work with selections in AutoCAD make sure your setting is optimal (check system variables). If you have noticed that selection is not highlighted (regular highlighting – not grips), set HIGHLIGHT variable to 1.

·         Turn on (make it 1) PICKFIRST system variable = you select objects before you issue a command = faster selection.


Alex Borodulin ©NYacad, Inc. http://www.nyacad.com