The next task is to create the lines that represent the inside walls of the box.
Because they’re all equidistant from the lines you’ve already drawn, OFFSET is the appropriate command to use. You’ll offset the existing lines 0.5 units to the inside.
The OFFSET command involves three steps:
1. Setting the offset distance (Specify offset distance)
2. Selecting the object to offset (Select object to offset)
3. Indicating the offset direction (Specify point on side to offset)
Here’s how it works:
1. Be sure the prompt line in the command interface reads Type a
command. If it doesn’t, press the Esc key until it does. Then launch
the OFFSET command by choosing the Home tab ➢ Modify panel ➢
The prompt changes to Specify offset distance or [Through/
Erase/Layer] <Through>:. This is a confusing prompt, but it will
become clear soon. For now, let’s specify an offset distance through
2. Type 0.5↵ for a distance to offset the lines a half unit.
Now you move to the second stage of the command. Note
that the cursor changes to a pickbox, and the prompt changes
to Select object to offset or [Exit/Undo] <Exit>:.
3. Place the pickbox on one of the lines, and click the line when it
The selected line appears dashed to indicate that it is selected
(see Figure 2.18), the cursor changes back to the crosshairs, and
the prompt changes to Specify point on side to offset or
F igu re 2 . 1 8 : From left to right, the series of prompts required to execute the OFFSET
command: distance, object, and direction
AutoCAD is telling you that, to determine the direction of the
offset, you must specify a point on one side of the line or the other.
Although a preview of the OFFSET command’s result is displayed, the
command is not complete until you make the choice by selecting
anywhere in the drawing area on the side of the line where you want
the offset to occur.
4. Click a point somewhere inside the box. (You don’t have to be precise,
just as long as you select a point inside the box.)
The offset takes place, and the new line is exactly 0.5 units to the
inside of the chosen line (see Figure 2.19). Notice that the pickbox
comes back on. The OFFSET command is still running, and you can
offset more lines by the same distance.
F igu re 2 . 1 9 : The first line is offset.
You have three more lines to offset.
5. Click another line; then click inside the box again. The second line
6. Click a third line, click inside the box, click the fourth line, and then
click again inside the box (see Figure 2.20
F igu re 2 . 2 0 : Four lines have been offset.
7. Press ↵ to end the OFFSET command.
NOT E The offset distance stays set at the last distance you specify—0.5, in this
case—until you change it.
This command is similar to the LINE command in that it keeps running until
it’s stopped. With OFFSET, after the first offset, the prompts switch between
Select object to offset or [Exit/Undo] <Exit>: and Specify point on
side to offset or [Exit/Multiple/Undo] <Exit>: until you press ↵ or the
spacebar to end the command.