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Tracking line and locking to polar with Dimension (measure)

Going on from https://forum.bricsys.com/discussion/29072, to the related subject of tracking lines with the Dimension (measure) tool, and locking same, could this not be modified to act same as the yellow dashed general cursor tracking line?

First, when using Dimension, could the tracking line be the same dashed yelow line, which is equally easily locked to a Polar vector with a single dab on Shift?

Next, I find the locking much easier when the dashed yellow cursor tracking line shows, when using Move for example, than when Dimension's solid tracking line shows.
In both cases, with my usual Entity Snap settings, the tooltip usually says Endpoint, even when I'm on a Polar vector. Only with much jigging around can I sometimes get the tooltip to say Polar.
With Move's dashed yellow line this doesn't matter - it locks easily to Polar.
But with Dimension's solid tracking line, it will only reliably lock to Polar when the tooltip says Polar (which is rarely, and with difficulty) - it usually won't lock when the tooltip says Endpoint (but occasionally will), even if I'm on the Polar vector.
If it does lock and I unlock, it won't ever re-lock with Shift - have to re-start the Dimension tool.

The tracking and locking with Dimension seems unreliable and tricky, compared to same with the yellow dashed general cursor tracking line.

Comments

  • It may help to know that the only thing that can be locked/unlocked using a Shift key tap, is a tracking line, by default it has a kind of purple color.
    The possibility to lock does not depend on what triggered the creation of the tracking line (an end point, a polar direction, ...): the moment a tracking line appears, you can lock it.
    Tracking lines act completely independent from the dashed line that indicates e.g. the move or copy distance.

    If you experience that a tracking line does not appear during a certain phase of one of the dimension commands (which one, DIMALIGNED, DIM...?)
    then we would much appreciate if you described it in a support request, preferably with a drawing in which it is known to be reproducible.
    FYI: I have tried it with some drawings but failed to reproduce it.

    Kind regards

  • Hi Hans - I'm afraid I misled - I meant to say Distance (measure) not Dimension.

    But first, I now understand that only a purple Tracking line can be locked with Shift. But the only kind of tracking line I can get is Polar, incl additional polar angles. I don't ever see a tracking line until I hit a Polar axis, not free-floating with the mouse (like the dashed yellow line), not when I mouse-over a random snap point.
    You imply "... does not depend on what triggered the creation of the tracking line (an end point ...etc)" - I can't get that. And what other kinds of Tracking line creation should there be? I've got everything ticked in Drafting>Autosnap, and in >Track Path tried 0 and 1.

    Now, to re-write my original post:

    Going on from https://forum.bricsys.com/discussion/29072, to the related subject of tracking lines with the Distance (measure) tool, and locking same, could this not be modified to act same as the yellow dashed general cursor tracking line?

    First, when using Distance, could the tracking line be the same dashed yelow line, which is equally easily locked to become a Polar vector (or other Tracking Line if only I could get one?) with a single dab on Shift?

    Next, I confirm that I find the locking much easier when the dashed yellow cursor tracking line shows, when using Move for example, than when Distance's solid tracking line shows.
    In both cases, with my usual Entity Snap settings, the tooltip usually says Endpoint, even when I'm on a Polar vector. Only with much jigging around can I sometimes get the tooltip to say Polar.
    With Move's dashed yellow line this doesn't matter - it locks easily to Polar (but not always - sometimes several dabs on Shift needed).
    But with Distance's solid tracking line (when it appears, for me on a Polar vector only), it will only reliably lock to Polar when the tooltip says Polar (which is rarely, and with difficulty) - it usually won't lock when the tooltip says Endpoint (but occasionally will), even if I'm on the Polar vector.
    If it does lock and I unlock, it often won't re-lock with Shift - have to re-start the Distance tool.

    The tracking and locking with Distance seems unreliable and tricky, compared to same with the yellow dashed general cursor tracking line.

    To add:
    Even with Move, even when it locks to Tracking line, at first (few) attempt(s), the perpendicular line to the offset alignment point often doesn't appear. The moved entity stays on the mouse, goes to the alignment point, as normal, but then doesn't snap back to the perpendicular point on the locked tracking line, but is moved to the alignment point. When this happens, at the last moment the supposedly locked Tracking line switches to the alignment point.

    At later attempts, when it locks to Tracking line, the perpendicular line also happens, and all goes as expected.
  • Q: I don't ever see a tracking line until I hit a Polar axis, not free-floating with the mouse (like the dashed yellow line), not when I mouse-over a random snap point.
    A: 'free-floating with the mouse' sounds as if you want a tracking line from some starting point towards your current mouse position? When dynamic dimensions are On, you can press Tab and fill in a value in the Angular dimension field, and then Tab again: the angle is now locked (the angular dim field is displayed red) and the desired length can be entered as a value or by e.g. snapping to a point, which will be projected perpendicularly on the locked line. But you probably were aware of this...

    Further, and more important, in order to obtain tracking lines from some random snap point, one has to 'acquire' it as a snap tracking point. To acquire a snap tracking point, shortly hover the cursor over it till a small red cross is depicted to signal that the tracking point has been acquired. You will notice that tracking lines now are fired from this point. It is possible to acquire more than 1 tracking point, e.g. after acquiring 5 of them you will get quite spectacular effects as tracking lines get fired towards the cursor as it is moved through the drawing.  To release ("un-acquire") a tracking point, hover it again till the small red cross is gone. Sometimes releasing happens by inadvertently hovering a second time over a tracking point, leading to tracking lines no longer being fired from that point. This could be one of the reasons you experience 'hard-to-grasp, unpredictable' behavior when trying to use tracking lines.

    Q: And what other kinds of Tracking line creation should there be?
    A: Besides tracking lines at user-defined polar angles, there are also the extension tracking lines which appear when 'Snap to Extension" (OSMODE flag value 4096) is set.
    Another interesting (BricsCAD-only) possibility is to activate "Track from LASTPOINT"  (AUTOSNAP flag value 64).
    When this flag is set, e.g. enter the start point of a line, hover over any point and acquire it as a tracking point: a tracking line will appear between the start point of the line and the acquired point, allowing to track 'towards' or 'beyond' that point.

    Q: when using Distance, could the tracking line be the same dashed yellow line, which is equally easily locked to become a Polar vector (or other Tracking Line if only I could get one?) with a single dab on Shift?
    A: when using Distance, any desired tracking line can be acquired following the approach mentioned above. It is possible to configure linetype and color of the dynamic dimension that is depicted during the Distance command. The style of the tracking line itself is probably hard-coded.

    When frequently using the Distance command, you may find it interesting to set DRAGSNAP On, so you immediately see the 'snapped to' distances when hovering over any points of interest. My personal use of the Distance command steeply dropped since the introduction of the Rollovertips which show lengths and areas, not only of entities, but also of subentities: press Ctrl while hovering a polyline edge to see its length, or to see the length of an edge of a 3d solid (height of a wall, thickness of a floor, ...)

  • Thank you - much to check into there.

    First comment - Rollovertips - is there any way this could display not just length of edges, but the true cross-section w x h of an entity which has non-perpendicular-cut ends? That's what I often use DI for - distance from a point on one edge to a point perp to the adjacent edge.
    Or (locking to polar tracking line line) the true thickness of a slab which has non-square-cut edges.
    In other words, Rollovertips to give the perpendicular distance between any pair of parallel faces of the entity.
  • "To acquire a snap tracking point, shortly hover the cursor over it till a small red cross is depicted to signal that the tracking point has been acquired. You will notice that tracking lines now are fired from this point."

    I can't seem to acquire snap tracking point, therefore no tracking lines fired from same. In Snap Tracking>Autosnap and >Polar mode, all are ticked except Polar mode Relative (1), and Track path is currently 0 (have tried 1 as well).

    Autosnap>Last point (64) looks like what I cd use.
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