What is The Offset Command in AutoCAD? How to Use Offset Command?

Offset command in AutoCAD

In this article, I will see what is perhaps the most used and popular command since it allows us to immediately define a wall thickness, a frame design, or even draw an entire project from the use of it. I refer to the information in the offset command

The Offset command in AutoCAD lies on the Modify command bar. So friends offset is one of the commands of Modify.

Basically, the Offset command is used to draw 2D drawings in AutoCAD. I will see exclusive applications of this command and additional information regarding its use in the 2D drawing of it.

Offset is undoubtedly the command most used by architectural draftsmen to the point that they popularly define the walls with an “Offset to 10”.

This is so since Offset command will allow us to make parallel and equidistant copies with respect to the object that we are copying. 


However, we must make a difference with respect to the traditional copy (copy) in that the copy using Offset is not identical but similar, that is, it will be larger or smaller depending on the degree of curvature and/or the distance of copying with respect to the original shape but they will be in the same proportion, according to the different scheme:


How to use Offset Command in AutoCAD

If you don’t know how to use the offset command in AutoCAD. I will tell you all the processes about how to use this command in AutoCAD design.

Once the one point is clarified, we can now suggest the command by clicking on its corresponding icon.

Or also by typing offset in the command bar, and then hitting enter.

The shortcut command of Offset is “O”. So you can also type O in the command bar.

When invoking the command, the first thing it will ask us is to determine a numerical distance to make the copy of the object and also the options Through, Erase appear.

Before starting to operate with the Offset command we must explain a little how it works: when making the copy, Offset will take the imaginary perpendicular with respect to the original object or line as the copy distance, assign it a value and then repeat the same distance on all faces or lines. If the element closes or copies it in parallel if the element is unique or is an open shape.

However, for all this to work, we must choose the “side” or the “interior” or exterior in which we want this copy to be visible since the resulting copy varies according to what you choose. 

The attributes of this command, simply draw a 50 x 50 square using the command rectangle (Rec). Once this is done, I invoke offset and the first thing that will ask is the value of the offset distance or “offset“.

We assign a distance through the value 10 and then press enter.

With this, we tell the program to occupy the perpendicular with that value with respect to the reference object as the copy distance.

Now the program will ask us to choose the source object. We choose the square by clicking and when doing so it will ask us for the direction in which we want the copies to be made.

As we move the mouse with respect to the square, the program will tell us if the copy goes “inside” or “outside” of it.

If we move the mouse pointer inside the square, the copies will go inside it.

If we move the mouse pointer outside the square, the copies will go outside of it. 

By clicking on the chosen direction, the copy will have been made in the assigned distance defined in 10.

It is important to consider that once we have made the first copy, the pointer will be in the shape of a square which will indicate that we can take the resulting and through the previous steps [choose the direction and then click] we can make a copy again at the indicated distance without having to execute offset again.

We can do this as many times as we want until we cancel it using Esc or if we choose the Exit option from the command bar.

If we make a mistake when making a copy, we can undo the last one using the Undo option, which works in a similar way to the copy command, since it undoes the last similar copy made.

Option Multiple allows us to repeat the copy without taking the source object, then it will automatically make reference to the last copy made similarly and therefore only make click to define sufficient copies we need.


When invoking the offset command, in addition to determining the distance, the options called Through, Erase appear.

The Through option will allow us to make a similar copy without indicating a distance by means of numerical values, since by sectioning the object and clicking on it, we will be able to define the “distance” by moving the mouse, without having to enter the numerical value.

Series of Offsets made using the Through option.

By clicking on any point we will define the offset distance. We can do this infinitely until we cancel the command.

A jogging option Through we also appear Multiple, which will allow us to copy consecutively the same way as with the numerical values with reference to the last such copy made.

The Erase option will allow us to delete the source object when performing the offset in a similar way to how it does through the Mirror command.

In the latter case, the program will ask us if we want to delete the source object or keep it. By default, the option is ” No “. If we say yes ( Y ), the initial object will delete and only the similar copy made will be left.

Offset made using the Erase option, where the source object has been specified to be erased. 

If we execute the L option, we can place the offset copies in the layer that is active (current) at that moment or in the layer of the object that we are copying.

When invoking the layer option, the options Current [active Layer] or Source [Layer of the object or source] appear.

If the source object is in a different layer than the one we have active at that moment, we choose the Current option and then we execute offset. With this option, the copies will be assigned to the active layer and not to the object’s owner.

Offset make using the Layer option, where it has specific that the copies assigned to the active or Current layer (in the example, the layer of the source object is “0”). 

It is important to clarify that if we make offset-type copies within a closed-form or a highly contained open form, we will have our own limitations of the “space” it contains because if we try to make many copies inward, the program will only be able to make those that space can hold.

If it is not possible to do so, you will warn us by means of an icon that will indicate that no more copies can be made: 

Offset made in the square of 50 and towards the interior with a value of 10, but space can only contain 2 copies [squares of 60 and 20 respectively] since it is not possible to make a square with side “0”, AutoCAD warns us through the “Forbidden” icon indicated in the image.

We must bear in mind that in the case of this example, the drawn square is unified since it has been made from the rectangle command.

If we draw it using the line command, the result will be very different since the lines are independent of each other, which will cause the offset copies to be only on those lines, and therefore, we will have to edit and/or cut them to define the interiors.

In addition,  separate we will not have the problem of the space that contains the copy. 

This is the using process of the offset command in AutoCAD. I hope you guys this information is very helpful to you. if you like please share with your friend and comment.

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