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Lesson 2: Vector Coordinate System.

Lines and Object Snap

By Isidro V. Marfori III

I. Vector coordinate system

AutoCAD uses vector coordinate system to create lines, circles and other geometric
shapes. This feature enables specific and accurate drawing that utilizes small file size
compared to bitmapped graphics. However, the method of creating shapes requires
the user to input specific points and dimensions.

II. Specifying points

Most geometric shapes are formed from points in a coordinate system. Lines have 2
points in a coordinate system connected by a straight edge while a circle has a center
point. In AutoCAD, it is important for the user to know how to specify points. The
following table shows a summary on the different method of specifying points.

Method Reference Procedure Example

Click None Click any location in the work Click any location in
area. the work area
Absolute Origin type the x and y coordinate in the 100,50
command line using the format: 30,-40
x,y 0,12
Relative Last point specified type the x and y coordinate in the @60,45.5
command line using the format: @-10,-30
@x,y @10.5,4.35
Length angle Last point specified type the length and angle of a point @100<45
& in the command line using the @80<-36
Horizontal line for format: @length<angle @150<90
the angle
Object snap none Click any object snap type of a Click a end point of a
shape when the object snap symbol line.
appears.

The following shows example of points specified in a line command.

III. Creating lines
1. From the draw toolbar click the line icon or type l and press enter.
2. type 2,2 and press enter
3. type @5,2 and press enter
4. type @3<100 and press enter
5. Press enter to end the line command.

The following shows how the shape would look like. The line tool is highlighted by a
red square.

IV. Object Snap

Object snap allows the user to pin point to a specific part of a geometric shape such as
end point of a line or center of a circle. Object snap type such as end point, mid point,
quadrant, perpendicular and tangent are some of the object snap type that can be
accessed. The following are procedure on setting up the object snap.

Setting the object snap

1. From the main toolbar, go to tools and then drafting settings or type os and press
enter.
This will display the drafting settings window.
2. From the drafting settings window, click the object snap tab.
3. Enable object snap by clicking the square at the side of the object snap on.
4. Select object snap types by clicking the object snap items.
Take note of the object snap type symbols.
5. Click OK
The following shows the drafting settings window with the object snap tap displayed.

Using object snap

1. Start the line command.
2. Upon asking for the 1st point of the line, place the mouse cursor near an object
snap type.
3. Click the left mouse button when the object snap type yellow symbol appears.

The following shows a sample of the object snap type symbol upon creating a line.