Beginner CAD drafters often position new entities in drawings by eye - near enough is seen to be good enough; as long as a drawing plots correctly, that will do. We frown on that approach and want you to learn to use the existing geometry in the drawing when placing entities. Sensible CAD users always make the software work hard for them, not the other way round. 

Because CAD software has the ability to snap to any of the 'geometric' points on an element in the drawing (entity snaps) it is possible make a new entity jump (or lock onto) to a defined point on an existing entity using what is called an entity snap.

The following entity snap jump points are available: 

Center, Near, End, Mid, Node Quadrant (Grip),

Tangent, Perpendicular, Near, InsertionPoint, 

SnapPoint (Node), Intersection

Every entity placed in a drawing has a number of defined snap points. These are indicated by so-called 'handles' or ''grips'. An example is shown below. Most of the entities you use in a gCADPlus drawing are shown together with the handles on each.

Enity snaps

These geometric points are available at any time when you are asked to nominate a 'To point' at any point in an command your drafting, it is possible to nominate one of these key geometric points an lock onto one. Once the type of snap is set, the CAD software will then find the point for you.

Tip: If you do not understand how to control these properly, the response of gCADPlus may slow considerably, or worse still, new entities may be placed in unintended positions because the software is 'snapping' to unexpected places.    

In short, it is best to let the CAD software locate entities in drawings via entity snaps rather than rely on placing things 'by eye'.

You can work with entity snaps in one of two ways

  • Enable a running entity snap that remains in effect until you turn it off by choosing an entity snap when no other command is active or,

  • Enable a one-time entity snap for a single selection by choosing an entity snap when another command is active. You can also use a one-time entity snap to override a running entity snap.

When using entity snaps, the program recognizes only visible entities or visible portions of entities. You cannot snap to entities on layers that have been turned off or to the blank portions of dashed lines.

When you specify one or more entity snaps, an entity snap target box is added to the crosshairs. In addition, an icon appears adjacent to the crosshair indicating the active entity snap. When you select an entity, the program snaps to the snap point closest to the center of the target box.

The program provides visual indicators to show that an entity snap is turned on. When any entity snap is turned on, OSNAP appears 'pressed in' on the status line. 

The flyover cursor can also operate and provide an appropriate marker when the geometric point has been found.

The OSNAP command - running entity snap

This command enables you to set a running entity snap which remains in effect until you turn it off.      

Using Entity (Objec​t) Snaps

Object snaps (entity snaps) can be used any time gCADPlus asks you to nominate a point. Entity snaps are used to accurately locate the new entity at a point on a properly defined geometric point (position) on an existing entity. As an example, you might want to start a new line precisely at the center of a circle.

Using an entity snap means you can tell gCADPlus to jump to any of the following control points:

Center, Near, End, Mid, Quadrant, Tangent, Perpendicular, Insertion, Point (node), Intersection. The figure below shows the object snap settings dialog box.

Osnap

Tip: it is not a good idea to draft with all entity snaps turned on as shown here - one ot two should be enough.

A quick example

Entity snap  Click here to play a short explanatory YouTube movie on this topic.

About entity snaps

Entity snaps enable you to quickly select exact geometric points on existing entities without having to know the exact coordinates of those points. With entity snaps, you can select (say) the end point of a line or arc, the center point of a circle, the intersection of any two entities, or any other geometrically significant position whenever the software asks for a point location. The location does not even have to be an entity. You can use entity snaps to draw entities that are tangent or perpendicular to an existing entity.

Alternative ways of working with osnaps

You can work with entity snaps in one of two ways

  1. Enable a running entity snap that remains in effect until you turn it off by choosing an entity snap when no other command is active or,
  2. Enable a one-time entity snap for a single selection by choosing an entity snap when another command is active. You can also use a one-time entity snap to override a running entity snap.

Tips: 

When using entity snaps, the program recognizes only visible entities or visible portions of entities. You cannot snap to entities on layers that have been turned off or to the blank portions of dashed lines.

When you specify one or more entity snaps, an entity snap target box is added to the cross-hairs. In addition, an icon appears adjacent to the cross-hair indicating the active entity snap. When you select an entity, the program snaps to the snap point closest to the center of the target box.

The flyover cursor can also operate and provide an appropriate marker when the geometric point has been found. Different markers are displayed for each type of entity snap.

Osnap nearest

This entity snap option can be used to good effect. It enables entities such as plant symbols to be located on an arc with spacing set by eye.

Nearest osnap option  Entity snap This movie shows the Nearest osnap option in use when copying a symbol along an arc.

 

Entity snaps