Use Polar Tracking and PolarSnap

Polar tracking restricts cursor movement to specified angles. PolarSnap restricts cursor movement to specified increments along a polar angle.

When you are creating or modifying objects, you can use polar tracking to display temporary alignment paths defined by the polar angles you specify. In 3D views, polar tracking additionally provides an alignment path in the up and down directions. In that case, the tooltip displays a +Z or -Z for the angle.

Polar angles are relative to the orientation of the current user coordinate system (UCS) and the setting for the base angle convention in a drawing. The angle base direction is set in the Drawing Units dialog box (UNITS).

Use PolarSnap™ to snap to specified distances along the alignment path. For example, in the following illustration you draw a two-unit line from point 1 to point 2, and then draw a two-unit line to point 3 at a 45-degree angle to the line. If you turn on the 45-degree polar angle increment, an alignment path and tooltip are displayed when your cursor crosses the 0 or 45-degree angle. The alignment path and tooltip disappear when you move the cursor away from the angle.

As you move your cursor, alignment paths and tooltips are displayed when you move the cursor near polar angles. The default angle measurement is 90 degrees. Use the alignment path and tooltip to draw your object. You can use polar tracking with Intersection and Apparent Intersection object snaps to find where a polar alignment path intersects another object.

NoteOrtho mode and polar tracking cannot be on at the same time. Turning on polar tracking turns off Ortho mode. Similarly, PolarSnap and grid snap cannot be on at the same time. Turning on PolarSnap turns off grid snap.

Specify Polar Angles (Polar Tracking)

You can use polar tracking to track along polar angle increments of 90, 60, 45, 30, 22.5, 18, 15, 10, and 5 degrees, or you can specify other angles. The following illustration shows the alignment paths displayed as you move your cursor 90 degrees with the polar angle increment set to 30 degrees.

The orientation of 0 depends on the angle you set in the Drawing Units dialog box. The direction of snap (clockwise or counterclockwise) depends on the units direction you specify when setting units of measurement.

You can turn polar tracking on and off temporarily by using an override key. The direct distance entry method is not available while you are using the temporary override key for polar tracking.

Specify Polar Distances (PolarSnap)

PolarSnap restricts cursor movement to increments of a polar distance you specify. For example, if you specify a length of 4 units, the cursor snaps from the first point specified to lengths of 0, 4, 8, 12, 16, and so on. As you move your cursor, a tooltip indicates the nearest PolarSnap increment. To restrict point entry to polar distances, both polar tracking and Snap mode (set to PolarSnap) must be on. You can turn off all snapping and tracking temporarily by using an override key.

Procedures
To turn on and turn off polar tracking
  • Press F10, or click the polar button on the status bar.

    To turn polar tracking on or off temporarily, hold down the F10 key while you work.

To set polar snap distance
  1. Click Tools menu  Drafting Settings.At the Command prompt, enter dsettings.
  2. In the Drafting Settings dialog box, Snap and Grid tab, select Snap On.
  3. In Snap Type, select PolarSnap.
  4. Under Polar Spacing, enter the polar distance.
  5. On the Polar Tracking tab, select Polar Tracking On.
  6. Select the angle from the Increment Angle list.

    You can specify your own angles by choosing Additional Angles and then New.

  7. Click OK.
To draw objects using polar tracking
  1. Turn on polar tracking and start a drawing command, such as ARC, CIRCLE, or LINE.

    You can also use polar tracking with editing commands, such as COPY and MOVE.

  2. As you move your cursor to specify points, notice the dotted polar tracking line that appears at the tracking angles you specified. Points you specify while the line is displayed conform to the polar tracking angle.
To draw objects using polar distance
  1. Turn on snap and polar tracking.

    Make sure Polar Snap is selected in the Drafting Settings dialog box, Snap & Grid tab.

  2. Start a drawing command, such as LINE.
  3. As you move your cursor, notice that the dotted polar tracking line displays a tooltip that shows distance and angle.
  4. Specify a point.

    The length of the new line conforms to the polar distance.

To set polar tracking angles
  1. Click Tools menu  Drafting Settings.At the Command prompt, enter dsettings.
  2. In the Drafting Settings dialog box, Polar Tracking tab, select Polar Tracking On.
  3. In the Increment Angle list, select the polar tracking angle.
  4. To set additional tracking angles, select Additional Angles. Click New. Enter the angle value in the text box.
  5. Under Polar Angle Measurement, specify whether polar tracking increments are based on the UCS or relative to the last object you created.
  6. Click OK.

On the status bar, right-click . Click an available angle or Settings to set additional tracking angles.

Commands
DSETTINGS

Sets grid and snap, polar and object snap tracking, object snap modes, Dynamic Input, and Quick Properties.

SNAP

Restricts cursor movement to specified intervals.

UNITS

Controls coordinate and angle display formats and precision.

System Variables
ANGBASE

Sets the base angle to 0 with respect to the current UCS.

ANGDIR

Sets the direction of positive angles.

AUTOSNAP

Controls the display of the AutoSnap marker, tooltip, and magnet.

POLARANG

Sets the polar angle increment.

POLARDIST

Sets the snap increment when the SNAPTYPE is set to 1 (PolarSnap).

POLARMODE

Controls settings for polar and object snap tracking.

SNAPTYPE

Sets the type of snap for the current viewport.

TEMPOVERRIDES

Turns temporary override keys on and off.

TRACKPATH

Controls the display of polar and object snap tracking alignment paths.