6-1: Making Copies


Once you have created a collection of objects, it may be desirable to have other identical copies. There are two ways to do this: by duplication, and by cut-and-paste.


The Duplicate command of the Edit menu makes a copy of the selected nodes and arcs. After issuing this command, you can move the cursor to any location and click to place the copy. While moving the cursor, an outline of the duplicated objects is shown (as well as the amount of motion).

If you have disabled "Move after Duplicate" (in the New Node Options... command of the Edit menu) then the duplicated objects are placed immediately without dragging. The advantage to this mode is that the location used to place these objects is intelligently determined by any previous duplications.

If any of the nodes have exports on them, they are not duplicated (unless "Duplicate/Array/Extract copies exports" is set in the New Node Options... command of the Edit menu).

The Duplicate command forces newly created nodes and arcs to have unique names. This means that if any nodes or arcs are named (using the Get Info command of the Info menu) and then duplicated, the new ones will have different names (specifically, the old names with numbers appended).


Another way to make copies of nodes and arcs is with the cut-and-paste commands. The Copy and Cut commands of the Edit menu copy the currently selected nodes and arcs to a special buffer. Cut also removes the objects after copying them. The Paste command then copies the objects from the special buffer to the display. After issuing this command, an outline of the pasted objects attaches to the cursor. When you click, the objects are placed at that location.

Note that if you copy a node or arc and then select another before pasting, then the copied object will replace the selected object (changing its type and other properties, similar to the Change... command in Section 6-6). If you want the Paste command to make a second copy, be sure that nothing is selected when you issue the command. Thus, duplicating an object cannot be done by issuing a Copy and then a Paste. You must do a Copy, then deselect the object, then do a Paste.

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