Drag and Move a Specified Distance


I know I can move objects by dragging them with the mouse. However, sometimes I start moving an object by dragging and I change my mind -- and I need to move it a specified distance. Is there an easy way to do that?


Any Version of PowerCADD or PowerDraw
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X Tiger recommended


Recent versions of PowerCADD have a Move Window -- allowing users to specify a variety of move values and providing different methods for moving objects. However, one of the fundamental benefits of working with a Macintosh, and PowerCADD, is the ease with which we can simply move objects by dragging them around on the screen. Often, there are times when we need to move objects precisely, and sometimes that occurs after we've started to simply drag them around the screen.

Before there was the Move Window there was the Edit Window and Tab key-- This tip is taught as part of fundamental training by the folks at PowerCADD Canada XTNL URL (the source of this tip - Thanks!) and by caddpower.com trainers and consultants. It's such a fundamentally simple approach it easy to overlook but an important fundamental skill to have at your disposal.

What to do

The following technique involves two simple, and fundamental, strengths of PowerCADD. First, we can use snap commands to precisely grab objects when moving them. Second, we can use the Tab to suspend the mouse up operation and enter specific values in the Edit Window to specify the move distance.

Using the Edit Window interactively while dragging the object to invoke the offset move:

  1. start the drag of the object
  2. press Tab. This suspends the mouse operation and activates the Edit Window
  3. edit the move length and angle directly - or - edit the delta X or delta Y
  4. press Enter or Return.

quicktime This demo movie illustrates the above technique. (need movie help?) In this example, we did this:

Stage one: drew the red rectangle

  1. started to draw the rectangle
  2. pressed Tab to suspend the drawing operation. Note, the Edit Window activated
  3. press Tab to navigate into the height and width fields and entered the desired values
  4. pressed the or Return key to complete the drawing operation

Stage two: moved the rectangle using delta X, delta Y

  1. pressed the E key (End Snap)
  2. pressed our mouse down near the top left corner of the rectangle
  3. started to move by dragging
  4. released the E key
  5. pressed Tab
  6. entered values in the Edit Window. Note; we used addition and subtraction but could have used any mathematical formula or combined metric and imperial units
  7. pressed the Return key complete the move

The steps noted above sound like a lot of work but remember we're being thorough. As you'll see in the demonstration movie, the entire process takes only seconds to complete

We hope that helps

If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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