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Make the Running Object Snap Modes Work for You
Tip# 4117 By Tawfik Shehata On 13-May-2013
Rated By 1 users
Categories : 2D Operations
Software type : AutoCAD 2014
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Deciding on which running snap modes to enable can be tricky.

Tipster Tawfik Shehata shares several tips on using AutoCAD running object snaps.

"Most, if not all, of AutoCAD users use running object snaps (osnaps) to keep their frequently used snaps active during commands. Deciding on which running snap modes to enable can be tricky, and if not set adequately to your drafting needs they may end up working against you. To keep the running snap modes on your side, please consider the following tips:

  • Less is more. Select only the snap modes you really use; the more you tick, the longer it takes to snap/cycle to the desired point, with a higher risk of picking wrong ones.
  • Avoid interactions. Combining the Nearest snap mode with the Endpoint, Midpoint, Quadrant, or Tangent modes will slow you down, because you will have to move the crosshairs very close to these points to snap (try it). Also, if you are working with busy sets of short segments, avoid combining the Perpendicular snap mode with the Endpoint, as you may confuse the Endpoint marker (symbol) with the Perpendicular one, which will affect your drawing accuracy.
  • Know your numbers. A good combination of running snap modes is not one-size-fits-all; it may vary with different drafting tasks. If one or more combinations work for you most of the time, use the OSMODE system variable to return the sum of their values, then if you had to change any of them temporarily to perform a different task, you can restore it back quickly by setting the OSMODE back.
  • Use overrides. If you still find yourself spending more time trying to avoid your running snap modes than actually using them, try the Temporary Override Keys as described in CAD Tip No. 3175. Please note that you can change the override keys and add to them in the Temporary Override Keys area located under the Keyboard Shortcuts section in the main CUI or any of its partial CUIs."

Notes from Cadalyst tip reviewer Brian Benton: These are great tips to consider when using running object snaps. I personally never have the nearest (NEA) on. It gets in the way and I rarely need it anyway.

Each OSMODE setting is unique. AutoCAD Help goes into an explanation as to how it is derived. If you find that you need or want to switch between common settings on a regular basis, create some shortcuts and add them to a toolbar, tool palette, etc. Don't forget that you can always type in an osnap. This will override your running osnap settings. You can also get to the osnap menu shortcut by holding the Shift key and right-clicking.


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