Adjust Grid and Grid Snap

To enhance drawing speed and efficiency, you can display and snap to a rectangular grid. You can also control its spacing, angle, and alignment.

The grid is a rectangular pattern of dots or lines that extends over the area you specify as the grid limits. Using the grid is similar to placing a sheet of grid paper under a drawing. The grid helps you align objects and visualize the distances between them. The grid is not plotted.

Snap mode restricts the movement of the crosshairs to intervals that you define. When Snap mode is on, the cursor seems to adhere, or "snap," to an invisible rectangular grid. Snap is useful for specifying precise points with the arrow keys or the pointing device.

Grid mode and Snap mode are independent but are often turned on at the same time.

Control the Display Style and Area of the Grid

You can display the grid either as a rectangular pattern of dots or as rectangular pattern of lines. The grid displays dots when SHADEMODE is set to 2D Wireframe. The grid displays lines when SHADEMODE is set to Hidden.

By default, the X and Y axes of the UCS display in a different color than the grid lines. You can control the color in the Drawing Window Colors dialog box. This dialog box is accessible from the Drafting tab in the Options dialog box.

The LIMITS command controls the drawing area covered by the grid. As an option, you can override the limits to make the grid cover the entire XY plane of the user coordinate system (UCS). You can access this option in the Drafting Settings dialog box or use the GRIDDISPLAY system variable.

Control the Frequency of Major Grid Lines

If the grid is displayed as lines rather than dots, darker lines called major grid lines display at intervals. When working in decimal units or with feet and inches, major grid lines are especially useful for measuring distances quickly. You can control the frequency of major grid lines in the Drafting Settings dialog box.

To turn off the display of major grid lines, set the frequency of major grid lines to 1.

NoteIf the grid is displayed as lines, the grid limits are displayed also as darker lines. Do not confuse these boundaries with major grid lines.
NoteWhen the grid is displayed as lines and SNAPANG is set to a value other than 0, the grid will not display. SNAPANG does not affect the display of the dotted grid.

Change the Grid Dynamically During Zooming

If you zoom in or out of your drawing, the grid spacing is adjusted automatically to be more appropriate for the new magnification. This is called adaptive grid display.

For example, if you zoom way out, the density of displayed grid lines reduces automatically. Conversely, if you zoom way in, additional grid lines display in the same proportion as the major grid lines.

Change Grid and Snap Spacing

As you work, you can turn Grid and Snap mode on and off, and you can change the grid and snap spacing. You can turn Snap mode on and off temporarily by using an override key.

Snap spacing does not have to match grid spacing. For example, you might set a wide grid spacing to be used as a reference but maintain a closer snap spacing for accuracy in specifying points.

Change the Grid and Snap Angle and Base

If you need to draw along a specific alignment or angle, you can change the grid and snap angle by rotating the user coordinate system (UCS). This rotation realigns the crosshairs on the screen to match the new angle. In the following example, the UCS is rotated 30 degrees to match the angle of the anchor bracket.

The grid and snap points are always aligned with the UCS origin. If you need to shift the grid and grid snap origin, move the UCS.

Procedures
To display a grid and set grid spacing
  1. Click Tools menu  Drafting Settings.At the Command prompt, enter dsettings.
  2. In the Drafting Settings dialog box, Snap and Grid tab, select Grid On to display the grid.
  3. Under Snap Type, make sure Grid Snap and Rectangular Snap are selected.
  4. For Grid X Spacing, enter the horizontal grid spacing in units.
  5. To use the same value for vertical grid spacing, press Enter. Otherwise, enter a new value for Grid Y Spacing.
  6. Click OK.
To turn on Snap mode and set snap spacing
  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. Under Snap Type, make sure Grid Snap and Rectangular Snap are selected.
  4. In the Snap X Spacing box, enter the horizontal snap spacing value in units.
  5. To specify the same vertical snap spacing, press Enter. Otherwise, enter a new distance in the Snap Y Spacing box.
  6. Click OK.
To set the grid limits
  1. Click Format menu  Drawing Limits.At the Command prompt, enter limits.
  2. At the Command prompt, enter the coordinate values for a point at the lower left corner of the grid limits.
  3. Enter the coordinate values for a point at the upper right corner of the grid limits.

The grid limits are set to a rectangular area defined by the two points.

To temporarily override Snap mode
  • Hold down F9 while you work.

    When you release the key, Snap mode is restored.

To rotate the grid and snap angle and change the base point
  1. Click View tabCoordinates panelZ. At the Command prompt, enter ucs.
  2. Enter the rotation angle for the UCS.
  3. Click View tabCoordinates panelOrigin. At the Command prompt, enter ucs.
  4. Specify a new origin point for the UCS.
  5. Click OK.
To change the grid display between dots and lines
  1. At the Command prompt, enter SHADEMODE.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • To display the grid as dots, specify the 2D Wireframe option.
    • To display the grid as lines, specify the Hidden option.
To change the frequency of major grid lines
  1. If necessary, at the Command prompt, enter SHADEMODE and specify the Hidden visual style.
  2. Click Tools menu  Drafting Settings.At the Command prompt, enter dsettings.
  3. In the Drafting Settings dialog box, Snap and Grid tab, specify a number for Major Line Every.
  4. Click OK.
Commands
DSETTINGS

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

GRID

Displays a grid pattern in the current viewport.

LIMITS

Sets and controls the limits of the grid display in the current Model or named layout.

SHADEMODE

Controls the display of solid object shading in the current viewport.

SNAP

Restricts cursor movement to specified intervals.

System Variables
GRIDDISPLAY

Controls the display limits of the grid.

GRIDMODE

Specifies whether the grid is turned on or off.

GRIDMAJOR

Controls the frequency of major grid lines compared to minor grid lines.

GRIDUNIT

Specifies the grid spacing (X and Y) for the current viewport.

LIMCHECK

Controls the creation of objects outside the grid limits.

LIMMAX

Stores the upper-right grid limits for the current space, expressed as world coordinates.

LIMMIN

Stores the lower-left grid limits for the current space, expressed as a world coordinate.

SNAPANG

Sets the snap and grid rotation angle for the current viewport relative to the current UCS.

SNAPBASE

Sets the snap and grid origin point for the current viewport relative to the current UCS.

SNAPMODE

Turns the Snap mode on and off.

SNAPTYPE

Sets the type of snap for the current viewport.

SNAPUNIT

Sets the snap spacing for the current viewport.

TEMPOVERRIDES

Turns temporary override keys on and off.