Propagation simulation method and choosing mesh grid are both very important to get the correct propagation results in wave optics simulation. A new angular spectrum propagation method with alterable mesh grid based on the traditional angular spectrum method and the direct FFT method is introduced. With this method, the sampling space after propagation is not limited to propagation methods no more, but freely alterable. However, choosing mesh grid on target board influences the validity of simulation results directly. So an adaptive mesh choosing method based on wave characteristics is proposed with the introduced propagation method. We can calculate appropriate mesh grids on target board to get satisfying results. And for complex initial wave field or propagation through inhomogeneous media, we can also calculate and set the mesh grid rationally according to above method. Finally, though comparing with theoretical results, it’s shown that the simulation result with the proposed method coinciding with theory. And by comparing with the traditional angular spectrum method and the direct FFT method, it’s known that the proposed method is able to adapt to a wider range of Fresnel number conditions. That is to say, the method can simulate propagation results efficiently and correctly with propagation distance of almost zero to infinity. So it can provide better support for more wave propagation applications such as atmospheric optics, laser propagation and so on.