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]: ↵
Practice using POLAR with direct distance entry
- Close the drawing from the previous exercise.
- 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.