Constrain to the Z axis

I wish to draw a line from from the cplane up…meaning in the direction of the z axis. Much like ortho does for x and y. Elevator mode raises my beginning point along the z but does not allow me to draw a straight up and down polyline in perspective view. What is the keyboard shortcut for this? I can not seem to find one that works.


click your beginning point first.
ctrl-click on the beginning point again (which triggers elevator mode).
you will now be locked to the Z axis.

A bit much, but glad it’s there. I would of never discovered this on my own. Thanks Jeff.

Elevator mode is covered in the User Guide, Accurate Modeling section The User Guide and the Level 1 and Level 2 training manuals are worth while reading for any serious user of Rhino.

Elevator mode can be a bit tweaky and tricky, especially if you have a crowded file or are just getting started.

My favorite way is to use the Line toolbar. I like the ‘Line: from midpoint’ and chose ‘vertical’ from the command line options.

_Polyline doesn’t have a vertical option though. (as per the original post)

idk, i personally like how Drag works… just push ctrl while dragging and it goes vertical. (that said, if this were to be incorporated into all commands, there would be a conflict on mac… pushing command to go vertical then tab to constrain it would actually trigger the osx cmmd-tab shortcut for application switching)

even better would be similar to Moi or SketchUp… the apps sense the user wants to go vertical depending on cursor placement and just does it automatically without any key presses or additional clicks.

True. The original post calls it a line and then a polyline in the next sentence. Anyways, you can always make a vertical single line using the process I outlined … then start your polyline from the top endpoint immediately afterwards.

Most of the vertical lines I draw are used as axes, so all I need is a single line.

that’s how i do it to… ‘V’ is my alias for Line Vertical… and i’ll use that even if needing a polyline with a vertical element …then just join afterwards.

it’s fine and fast enough for me now… but when first using the application, i didn’t come across that immediately and it took a little getting used to explicitly calling for vertical movement… it’s fine now but i do think it could be improved upon.