Lesson20- Using POLAR With Direct Distance Entry

You can use the POLAR tool in AutoCAD in the same way that you would use a T-square when you make drawings manually.

When POLAR is On in the status bar your next point can be constrained vertically or horizontally.

  • hold your crosshairs approximately in a vertical direction from 
your last point to constrain your next point vertically.
  • hold your crosshairs approximately in a horizontal direction from 
your last point to constrain your next point horizontally.

  • otherwise your next point is not constrained (the next point is the exact location of your crosshairs when you left-click).

You can toggle the POLAR status bar button On or Off at any time by left-clicking on this button

  • or press the F10 function key or check/uncheck Polar Tracking On on the Polar Tracking tab of Dsettings.

A quick way to get to the Polar Tracking tab of Dsettings is to right-click on the POLAR status bar button to invoke a shortcut

  • then select Settings from the shortcut.

Polar tracking is a powerful feature with many settings to consider.

  • to learn more on your own, click on the question mark box ( ?)
in the upper right corner of the Dsettings dialogue box.
  • then click near the desired setting on the Polar Tracking tab of 
the Dsettings dialogue box to learn more about that setting.
  • you can use the What’s this? feature whenever you see a 
question mark button in a dialogue box.

Once you constrain your next point in the desired direction you can use direct distance entry to specify a distance in that direction.

  • type the desired distance on the command line.
  • when the Polar tooltip displays the desired angle press <enter> 
to use this precise distance & direction for the next point.

For example, to draw a vertical LINE that ends at 0.5 drawing units 
directly above the starting point you would

  • invoke the Line command and supply the starting point.

Command: _line Specify first point: (pick starting point P1)

  • type 0.5 at the keyboard, hold your crosshairs vertically above the starting point & press <enter> when the tooltip angle is 90.

Specify next point or [Undo]: 0.5
(press <enter> when the Polar tooltip angle is 90 degrees) Specify next point or [Undo]: ↵

Command:

Practice using POLAR with direct distance entry


  1. Close the drawing from the previous exercise.
  2. Pick File + Open & select the T104_2.dwg drawing in your personal folder.

You will use POLAR with direct distance entry to complete the outline of a pin in this drawing.

  • you will create 8 new LINE objects without having to explicitly type relative or absolute coordinates.


3- Verify that the OSNAP button is still On in the status bar.

4- Left-click on the POLAR status bar button (if it is Off) to toggle this tool On.

5- Pick Draw + Line and hold your crosshairs over the point shown below until you see the Endpoint osnap marker. Left-click to use this point.

6- Move your crosshairs in a vertical direction above the last point.
When your Polar tooltip angle is 90 degrees type .5 at the keyboard and press <enter>.
Move your crosshairs to the left
and when the Polar tooltip angle is 180 degrees type .10 at the keyboard
and press <enter>.

So far you have created two new LINE objects but you have not entered any relative or absolute coordinates.

  • you have an Endpoint running osnap set and OSNAP is On so you could snap to the starting point precisely with little effort.7- Hold your crosshairs over the point shown below and left-click when you see the Endpoint osnap tooltip. Then press <enter> to complete the Line command.

8- Add the remaining five LINE objects to model the side view for the head of this pin using the POLAR tool with direct distance entry.
An enlarged view of these 5 new LINE objects is also shown.

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