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Draw Lines the Simple Way
Tip# 4184 By James Aucoin On 16-Sep-2013
Rated By 0 users
Categories : Linear Objects
Software type : AutoCAD 2014
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Draw a line in a specific direction based on crosshair location.

Tipster James "Jamey" Aucoin Jr. shares an AutoCAD trick that allows you to draw a line in a specific direction based on crosshair location.

"As you probably already know, in AutoCAD, there are many ways to create a line with a certain length. Some people I work with offset two lines a given distance and draw a line between them. Others type the formula [@5'<90] to draw a 5' line straight up at 90 degrees.

"All you need to do, however, is click a base point, start moving your cursor in the direction you want the line, then type in the distance and press Enter. The line will be created at the distance you entered, in the direction you were moving the cursor. What could be simpler?!"

Notes from Cadalyst tip reviewer Brian Benton: This feature has been in AutoCAD for so long that I can’t remember when it started. It's easy to do, especially when a line needs to be perfectly horizontal or vertical.

Turn on Ortho (press F8), move the crosshairs to a specific direction, type in the length, and press Enter. The angle of the line will be drawn at the angle created by the position of your crosshairs from the first point of the line.

This feature also works with the Move and Copy commands. Select the object to move or copy, pick a reference point (a starting point to move/copy from), enter a distance, and move your cursor in a specific direction. Press Enter and the object will be moved/copied that distance away, in that direction.


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User comments
Comment by c,josh
Posted on 2013-09-16 13:27:06
To be specific, this is called "Direct Distance Entry" and, surprisingly enough for AutoCAD Help 2013, it actually is the first item returned when doing a search on that exact phrase.
Comment by Elrod,K
Posted on 2013-09-17 10:28:57
To quickly draw at an angle of say 32.25 degrees, start the line command, pick the start point then type <32.25 and hit enter, pull your cursor away from the start point to see the line fixed on 32.25 degrees. Type in your distance and hit enter, or pull away any distance and pick with the mouse.