Show Location and Grid Snap Settings


How can Show Location and Grid Snap settings assist me in my drawing and design process?


PowerCADD v6 and Mac OS? X Panther
PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS X Tiger (10.4.4) or newer recommended


There are a wide range of conditions where Show Location and Grid Snap Settings can make the creation of accurate geometry quick and easy. The PowerCADD manual (Printed or PDF?) has excellent descriptions of these core features and should be referenced for additional information. This article will provide some general information to spark your imagination and give you a sense of how the information might help speed up your drawing process.

Show Location: can be useful as it tells you where you are on the drawing page. This information can be useful for measuring distances without using drawing or dimension tools or to help create geometry in a particular location. (see Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Show tab > Location check box)

Grid Snap Settings: are useful as the set the incremental value by which an object's size will increase when it's drawn, resized or reshaped. To be of value, Grid Snap must be turned on. Note, we ALWAYS recommend having Grid Snap turned on when drawing, this is just one of the many reasons. (see Layout menu > Drawing Setup > Snap tab > Grid check box). This becomes particularly valuable when you need to create fast, accurate, design layout diagrams. For example, if you are drawing a floor plan or elevation to a scale of 1/2"=1'-0" , setting a grid snap value of 3" means objects are be snapped in 3" increments when drawn. Drawing a line, for example, would see it's length increase from 3" to 6" to 9", etc., as the mouse is dragged to define the objects length.

What To Do

In the following example we demonstrate how you could use the Show Location (when set to Delta X, Delta Y) and Grid Snapping can be used to draw a line which starts from the corner of a building and ends at a particular delta X,Y location. Grid Snapping allows us to draw the object simply by reading the values in the Edit Window and Show Location indicator. Please note, we are using this example for illustration purposes only of how the techniques might be applied together. If you are wanting to draw objects a specific offset distance, there are other techniques including using Offset Snapping discussed in this section of our website which are likely more efficient.

quicktime Demo Movie (500KB download) (need movie help?) As you watch the above demonstration movie, please pay particular attention to the following:

  1. Show Location: We turn this on using the Drawing Setup settings and click on it to toggle between display states. Notice when we begin the drawing operation how the Edit Window and Show Location both tell us where we are in space and the objects size (in this case line length)
  2. Snap Window: We have opened the snap window (top left) which provides visual feedback as to the current object snap state. Notice as we mouse over the Vertex snap is automatic. We could have also forced an End snap by pressing E on the keyboard
  3. Drawing Setup Grid Snap: note we have set the grid snap to 3". As we draw, notice the Edit Window shows the object length jumping in 3" increments. Setting the value to 1" would jump object dimensions in 1" increments. For illustration we've shown a drawing setup scale of 1/2" =1'-0"
  4. Visual Feedback: notice as we draw the Show Location zeroed the Delta X, Delta Y when we started to draw. Notice it displays the values on the fly as we drag the mouse to draw. We can simply read the values in the Show Status location and release the mouse when we have reached the desired location

This is one way - there are easier ways to achieve a similar effect but this should give you a sense on how the Grid Snap Settings and Show Location can provide important visual feedback and assist in data entry.

quicktime Demo Movie (180KB download) to start drawing a line from a specified delta x, delta y offset. (need movie help?) In this example we did this:

  1. turned on show status as per pervious example
  2. clicked the mouse at the corner of the building (notice delta x, delta y were zeroed in the show status field, bottom left of screen)
  3. we positioned the mouse on screen where delta x, delta y were at the desired spot and clicked the mouse
  4. we choose the Continuous Line tool
  5. notice were we put the curser - far away from the spot we clicked in step (3)
  6. we mouse down and drag to start to draw - the line automatically started from the x,y location specified in step (3)

Since the Continuous Line tool starts drawing from the last place we clicked (the last mouse down location), setting the start point was as simple as reading the values in the Show Location indicator and clicking the mouse (again, an Offset Snap is likely the better choice for this type of operation but it does allows us to demonstrate the Continuous Line tool which is rare).

We hope that helps provide you with a few options on how to Show Location might be useful. We also suggest you experiment with the different Show Location states. For example how setting Show Location to length and angle could be used, in conjunction with Object Snapping, to accurately measure distances in a drawing without drawing objects. We also suggest you try different Grid Snap settings to see just what a huge time saver they can be in creating modular geometry --this feature alone is a valuable timesaver once you understand the implications!

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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