In this video, Shaun Bryant explains how to use the drafting settings OSNAP and OTRACK in AutoCAD LT.
- [Instructor] We're starting another chapter now in our AutoCAD LT Essential Training course. And we're gonna be getting you started now with some simple geometry in AutoCAD LT. So we've got a new drawing for you. You can download it from the library. It's called Geometry.dwg. And we're gonna be looking at simple geometry and the tools that allow you to create that simple geometry in your AutoCAD LT drawings. Now this particular video, we're gonna have a look at OSNAP and OTRACK.
OSNAP stands for object snaps and OTRACK is object snap tracking. Now both of these settings are switched on down on your status bar at the bottom of the screen. So there's object snap tracking right there, and there's object snap right there. Now you can see they're both blue at the moment. If I click there and click there, they go gray which means they're off, and you can see the prompts there just coming up above the command line. If I click on them again, they switch on again like so. Now we need to have a look at how these work together.
Now, you'll notice there's a little arrow next to OSNAP there. If I click on that fly-out arrow, there's the snaps that at the moment are switched on. There's my running object snaps there which are ticked. I'm also gonna switch on midpoint. So I'd like you at this point to make sure that you've got the same running object snaps as me, which are endpoint, midpoint, center, and also intersection, and extension. To close that little sort of menu there, you can just click in the screen like that and it disappears, or you can click back on the arrow again like that, either way.
Now, our object snaps are now set. Now what that means is, is I can draw accurately in AutoCAD LT. It means I can snap to those particular object snaps such as endpoint, midpoint, center for example. Now, object snap tracking we've also switched on, this one here. Now, if you wanna just check this all out in a dialog box instead, if you right-click over either object snap or object snap tracking, you'll notice that you get a little box come up saying settings. Can you see that there? If you click on that, that will open up your dialog box.
Now this is the slightly older legacy way of switching on your running object snaps, but you've got that more visual way now where you click on the fly-out menu as well. Now you'll notice that object snap is on, and object snap tracking is also on, because we got them switched on on the status bar. And there's our running object snaps here. You can see them on there. Now the nice thing about this, is I can clear them all and I can select them all if I want to. My suggestion is though, don't switch on every single object snap as a running object snap.
Not good, because it means it'll snap to everything. So clear all, and only have the ones that you need, which are endpoint, midpoint, center, intersection, and extension. Those are the ones that I use as my go-to object snaps all the time. So I'm gonna okay that now. And that takes me back into the drawing area. So what I've done there, is I've switched on my running object snaps by way of the dialog box instead of using this little fly-out menu here. So let's have a look and see how all this works, shall we? So, object snaps, how do they work? Well before we actually start drawing anything, we just need to make sure that we're on the right layer, which is up here in the layers panel, on the home tab on the ribbon.
There's a layer dropdown, and you wanna make sure that you click on the word objects so that you're drawing everything by way of the appropriate layer. You can see that yellow layer is the objects layer. And we're just gonna draw some objects now. I'm also gonna show you how object snaps are used to dimension things as well, just so you can see how that works too. So let's have a look at just drawing some simple things. I'm gonna use the draw panel on the home tab on the ribbon, and I'm gonna click on the line command. I'm gonna come into the drawing area, and the dynamic input is now prompting me to specify the first point of my line.
Now I want the top left corner of that rectangle. So if I hover over it now, can you see it tells me it's an endpoint snap? That's because my object snaps are switched on. I then take it down here to this endpoint snap here, and I can click, press Enter to finish, and I've drawn a line accurately using those two snaps. They're exactly on the endpoints of those corners of the rectangle. If I tried to do that by eye, it would be very difficult, because AutoCAD in the background actually goes to 20 decimal places using your processor in your computer.
Very difficult to get that exactly to 20 decimal places, right? So, what we'll do is we'll repeat that now, and we'll go to the line command again, like so, and I'll go from this corner over here to this corner, just clicking on each endpoint snap as I go, and then it's an Enter just to finish the line command. So what we've got now in the middle is where the two lines intersect. So what I'm going to do now is go to the circle command on the draw panel, click on the fly-out there, and I want circle, center, radius, like so.
Now it's prompting me for the center point of the circle. I've got my intersection snap switched on as well, so if I hover there now, I get midpoint. Now that's a little bit confusing. That's not really a midpoint is it? Well of course it is. It's the midpoint of each of those diagonal lines, 'cause they intersect at their midpoint. Now if it was two lines at weird angles that weren't sort of concentric and neat and tidy, you would probably just get the intersection snap, but that is actually the midpoint of those two diagonal lines. So I can left-click on my midpoint snap, that's now the center of my circle, drag my circle out a little bit, you don't have to do this exactly, just click by eye, and there's your circle.
Now, if I remove these two lines, so I can select that one, and select that one just by clicking on them. Now the quickest way to actually delete something in AutoCAD is just to hit the Delete key. There you go. You can use the erase command, you can use the right-click shortcut menu erase command, but it's just quick to hit the Delete key. Now, the center snap is also switched on in our running object snaps. So I can go back to my line command now, and if I just touch on the edge of my circle, there's my center snap.
Can you see that in the middle there? Or I can go all the way to the center and click there if I want to. I can now take that to an endpoint there, click there, Enter to finish. Let's do the same the other side, so we'll do another line command. Now instead of clicking on the line icon, what you can do is press the Spacebar, or the Enter or Return key, to repeat the last command. So if I do that, just takes me straight to the line command. It's a bit quicker, saves you having to keep going up to the ribbon all the time. Just make sure that obviously, the last command that you did is the command you want to repeat.
So I go there now, I've got an endpoint now obviously, 'cause it's the endpoint of the line I've just placed, and then I go up to that endpoint snap there, left-click again, Enter to finish. So you can see how accurate and neat and tidy these object snaps allow us to be. Now, object snap tracking is even cooler, 'cause it saves me having to draw lines to place circles in the center of rectangles. So let's have a look at that. What we'll do now is we'll delete the circle and the two lines like so. So select them, just click on them with your little pick box there on your crosshair, and just press the Delete key, and they're gone.
Now, here's the neat trick with the circle and the object snap tracking. Object snap tracking allows you to hover over points and select points as object snap tracking points. Watch how this works. It's a little bit like magic. It's very cool. So we go to the draw panel, and I click on my fly-out, and I select circle, center, radius like that. I come into the drawing area, and now it's asking for a center point for the circle. I'm going to hover over that midpoint snap there, but I'm not going to click on it.
I'm then going to hover over this midpoint snap here, and I'm not going to click on it. As I drag down now, you'll see these tracking lines kick in. And you'll notice there that you get an intersection where those two midpoints intersect. If I click there, and then drag my circle, then click again, I've placed the center of my circle using object snap tracking, and just free-handed that radius out by clicking. You can see how quick and easy that is, and I haven't had to use a single diagonal construction line.
Now when you're dimensioning as well, object snaps are really important. I'm just gonna pan down ever so slightly, so I've got some space above the objects now. I'm gonna change my layer here, and go to my dims layer. Now, I'm not gonna worry about the actual dimension style here, it's more the workflow of how you create the dimension. So on my annotation panel here, I can click on the fly-out, there's my dimension styles there, so I can select annotative or standard, doesn't matter which one. And what we're going to do is just click on this fly-out here and select linear dimension.
And I'm gonna go endpoint snap there as the first extension line origin, endpoint snap there as the other extension line origin. And as I drag upwards, you can see now that I'm placing a dimension there, and I click again. Now that dimension doesn't look anything at the moment, because we haven't actually set any dimension styles properly in this particular drawing. If you zoom in real close by rolling up on the wheel though, if you get in real close on the end, you will eventually see that there's a little arrowhead there. If you go towards the center of the dimension as well, there is actually some text there somewhere as well, but it's obviously quite a big drawing with a very little dimension.
But if I come in there, you can see that there's a very small dimension there as well. That's because the dimension style has not been set appropriately for this drawing yet. Don't worry about if you can't see the arrowheads or the text. It was the workflow. You can see how accurate that is, because I'm snapping using the object snaps for the origin points of that linear dimension that's placed. So you can see that object snaps and your OTRACK, your object snap tracking, are really important settings when you're creating simple geometry in AutoCAD LT.
- Working with the AutoCAD interface
- Drawing simple geometry
- Working with AutoCAD LT file types
- Working in an AutoCAD drawing
- Drawing with Snap and Grid
- Using workspaces
- Working with advanced editing tools
- Organizing your drawing with layers
- Working with blocks
- Working with hatch patterns and hatch scales
- Adding dimensions