How to Retrieve Selected Objects in PyAutoCAD

What will you learn?

  • Learn how to retrieve selected objects using PyAutoCAD.
  • Understand how to access and manipulate CAD objects programmatically.

Introduction to the Problem and Solution

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the process of extracting selected objects within AutoCAD using Python. By utilizing the PyAutoCAD library, we can seamlessly interact with AutoCAD’s COM interface to retrieve specific elements that users have chosen within the application. This functionality proves invaluable for automating tasks that involve user-selected components in CAD drawings.

To tackle this challenge, we will delve into the methods provided by the PyAutoCAD library, enabling us to access and work with selected entities in an AutoCAD drawing. By gaining a deep understanding of these techniques, you will be equipped to develop sophisticated automation scripts tailored to your unique design requirements.


# Import necessary libraries
import win32com.client

# Connect to a running instance of AutoCAD
acad = win32com.client.Dispatch("AutoCAD.Application")

# Get the active document and its selection set
doc = acad.ActiveDocument 
selection_set = doc.SelectionSets.Item("SelectionSet")

# Iterate through each selected object and print their handle IDs
for obj in selection_set:

# Copyright PHD


To initiate this process: 1. Import the win32com.client module for establishing a connection with AutoCAD from Python. 2. Access the active document within AutoCAD using acad.ActiveDocument. 3. Retrieve the selection set (selected objects) from the document by referencing it via its name “SelectionSet”. 4. Iterate over each object in the selection set and perform operations as needed.

This script demonstrates printing out each object’s unique identifier (handle ID). You can extend this logic further by implementing additional actions or modifications on these selected objects based on your project requirements.

    How do I install PyAutoCAD?

    To communicate with AutoCAD via COM interface using PyAutoCAD, ensure both pywin32 and PyAutoCAD are installed:

    pip install pywin32
    pip install pyautocad
    # Copyright PHD

    Can I modify properties of selected objects?

    Yes, you have complete control over properties like dimensions or location once objects are retrieved in your script.

    Is it possible to select specific types of objects only?

    Absolutely! You can filter selections based on object types such as lines, circles, etc., according to your needs.

    What if no objects are currently selected?

    If there are no items in the selection set, the script will not iterate over any elements.

    How can I manipulate these selected elements further?

    After retrieval, you can programmatically perform transformations like moving or rotating these elements.

    Can I integrate user input for selecting custom items during runtime?

    Certainly! User input can be utilized as criteria for dynamically selecting specific elements based on their choices.


    In conclusion, mastering how to retrieve user-selected entities within an AutoCAD session through PyAutoCad offers immense potential for streamlining design processes and boosting productivity. By leveraging Python’s capabilities alongside CAD software integration, developers can craft powerful tools tailored towards optimizing workflows in architectural design and engineering domains where precise manipulation of digital models is crucial.

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