Join Jeff Bartels for an in-depth discussion in this video Locking angles with the Ortho and Polar modes, part of AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training.
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The purpose of drafting is to create and reproduce accurate geometry. In this lesson we are going to learn how to use the Line command to create geometrically accurate line work. Before we get started, take a look at my Status bar. Notice all of these toggles are turned off with the exception of grid. Grid is still turned on. If you are going to work along with me, make sure your Mode settings match mine. Now that we have done our housekeeping, let's launch the Line command and I will pick a point on screen and let's say I would like to create a square that measures 5?5.As I move my cursor, it would be nice if I had more control over the angle in which I was pulling my line.
To get more control, I am going to use a Mode setting. I am going to come right down here and I will click on this toggle, the fourth one form the left side. This represents Ortho Mode, and when Ortho was turned on, my cursor was locked to 90 degree increments. This means I can pull to the right, type a distance of 5 and hit Enter. I can then pull down and type 5 and hit Enter. Pull to the left 5 units and then can right-click and select Close to finish my square. So the Ortho Mode locks the cursor to 90 degree increments, and it's important to note that we can turn Ortho on and off even if we are in the middle of a command.
Note what we know now, when we pan the drawing over. let's see if we can recreate this geometry. I will re-launch the Line command, I will pick a point right here, pull to the left and type 10 and hit Enter. I will pull up a distance of 10 and then I will hit Enter. We will come over 4 units, we will come down 6 units, we will come over 6 units and then I will right click and select Close to close the shape. As you can see we can draft very quick and accurate using Ortho. Let me mention this, once you turn Ortho on, it will remain on until you come down and turn it off.
Another way to toggle your Ortho Mode is by pressing the F8 key. I am going to press F8 to turn Ortho off. Let's pan the drawing over a little more so we have some room to work and we will talk about another Mode setting. I will launch the Line command again and I will pick a point on screen. Now Ortho works nice, as long as I need to draw to 90 degree increments, but what if I want to use angle smaller than 90 degree? In that case I am going to use this setting, the fifth one from the left side. I am going to click to turn this on, this guy is Polar Tracking, and as I move my cursor now, notice that AutoCAD is snapping to 90 degree increments.
So I can easily draw by snapping to these 90s, I can still draw to other awkward angles if I like, but if I want them 90 degrees, I can easily snap to it. I am going to hit Esc to cancel out of this command, and right now Polar Tracking doesn't appear to be much better than Ortho, because it's using the same 90 degree increments. Watch this, if I right-click on the Polar Tracking icon, I can select a new angle from this menu. Notice that 90 happens to be the default. I am gouging to select 45, I will launch the Line command and I will start my line segment.
Notice that AutoCAD is now snapping to every 45? angle. That means if I wanted to create a diamond that measured 5?5, I could pull to the upper right here, type 5 and hit Enter, I can then pull down to the right 5 units, we will go down to the left 5 units, and then I will right-click and select Close to close my shape. To turn Polar Tracking back off, I can come down and click the toggle in the Status bar or I can press the F10 key to turn it off. Take a look at this, I am going to move down and turn on my Ortho Mode, and then I am going to come over and try and turn on Polar Tracking.
When I do, notice that Ortho is automatically turned off. Let me try and turn Ortho on again, when I do, Polar Tracking is turned off. Ortho and Polar are an either or proposition, you can't have them both running at the same time. I am going to turn them both off, then I am going to pan my drawing over and knowing what we now, let's see if we can recreate this geometry. I will re-launch the line command, I am going to pick a point right about here and since this geometry incorporate some 45? angles, and I am going to use Polar Tracking. So I will come down here and turn this on.
I will then pull to the left 6 units, pull up 2 units and hit Enter, we will go over here on the 45 and I will enter 4 units, come up 2. The only thing you really have to be careful of when using Polar Tracking is that you are snapping to that angle, you are not actually locking to it. So if you are not paying attention, if you are over here a little bit, and type 4 and hit Enter, that segment is incorrect, because it wasn't drawn when you were snapped to the angle. No problem, I will right-click and select Undo to back up a segment. Let's snap to the 45, and I will type 4 and hit Enter, I will move up 2 units, Enter, I will go to the right 6 units, and finally I will right-click and select Close to close the shape.
As you can see, when combining the Line command with the Ortho and Polar modes, we can quickly create accurate geometry on our screen.
- Understanding model space
- Working in a multiple-document environment
- Organizing drawings using layers
- Creating basic geometry
- Configuring units for architectural, civil, or metric work
- Incorporating blocks (symbols) into a working file
- Maintaining accuracy with coordinates and snaps
- Creating annotations that automatically size themselves
- Moving and copying elements
- Transferring data between drawings
- Preparing standardized layouts with title blocks
- Sharing drawings