Length snapping?

i have distance for a cursor tooltip… it shows my distance display setting (round to 1/16")… what i’d like is to have length snapping set to the same tolerance so if my tooltip during the Line command says 5-3/16" , the line will be drawn at that exact length. (but it takes backseat to any osnaps or manual entry… those override the length snap)

does that make sense? am i missing a way to do this already?

(i understand this is the exact worst time for making mac feature requests… so just for sake of discussion for now :wink: )

Hi Jeff -
So, you’d drag the length out in 1/16th jumps, similar to grid snapping, correct? There is no way to do this now, but of course you can type in a distance constraint at any time - not the same, I realize.


right… i guess it’s like grid snapping but it’s not necessarily on the 2d grid.
if you’re locked via tab key for instance, it still moves in these increments.

reason being… sometimes it feels more natural or simpler to just draw the line and click a point via the cursor distance display… but if i do that now-- say my cursor says 3’ - 0 …it’s likely the actual line will be drawn 35.949758" etc.


I like this idea!


Indeed it’s a good one.

Often one wants to visualize, relative to previously created objects, the scale of a new element. The ability to constrain (snap) to user defined nominal increments may help.

Say you visually drag the new element, to what looks right, and that winds up at 32.223. Now that you know the approximate size, one needs to go back and recreate/edit the object to 32.25 if one cares about such things. Seems particularly helpful to those working in feet-inches.

Interesting…I think I get it. Added to the list (MR-2069).

for (hopefully) a better explanation :

that said, doing this would open up at least one problem… say i was snapping between two points which aren’t an exact distance to coincide with my display precision… if we’re led to believe the tooltip dimension as completely accurate then something would have to happen in order to tell us the distance between these two points isn’t exactly what the tooltip is saying… so borrowing from sketchup, the tilde ~ could be used… or the tooltip would say ~43 1/4" as the distance between these two points.

This makes the issue very clear. (Though I think I understood it before).

Unless you have some snap on - or you are typing in precise coordinates - everything is approximate when you’re dragging your line from a start-point out. So the ~ (tilde) is appropriate.

I think having Grid Snap spacing set to the same tolerance of your Distance Display Display Resolution, you might get something like what you want. However, you still have the problem (that you brought up) of snaps…when the distance of the snap is under the tolerance of the Display Resolution. Does that make any sense?

Perhaps we should have a way of locking the Distance Display Display Resolution to the Grid Snap spacing…?

[quote=“dan, post:8, topic:20229, full:true”]

I think having Grid Snap spacing set to the same tolerance of your Distance Display Display Resolution, you might get something like what you want. [/quote]
it would in circumstances though mainly limited to being particularly useful in a 2D drafting session… but in 3D, you’d want it to work that way along any/every possible vector.

fwiw, i almost always enter lengths via keyboard (or snap to existing geometry/layouts)… there are times though when playing with new ideas/designs where i try to separate from being so tied to dimensions… say you’re designing a bookshelf… in your head, you might think “ok, make it a foot deep, 4’ wide, 5 1/2’ tall, etc”… but that method doesn’t always lead to satisfying proportions… with models, you have the chance to visualize how far to extrude instead of listening to the left-brain telling you 12"…

but, for building purposes, you still want readable dimensions… something the size of a bookshelf, i’d want to snap around 1/4"… eying the depth i’d likely end up at 10-3/4" instead of one foot… it looks better but i don’t want it to look so much better that it’s extruded to 10-97/128" :wink: (which is what happens now… i can’t just extrude to a visually pleasing spot and have my object sized according to my display tolerance… instead, i have to look at what the length feedback is telling me then enter that same dimension via keyboard… at times, i’d rather just click and move on instead of needing to fuss with numbers in order to keep coherence in the actual dimensions)

you guys are the geniuses on the how part ; )

but maybe me calling this thread ‘length snapping’ doesn’t quite nail the issue… (but in my head, a feature to control length snapping works as a solution).

i think it more boils down to unclear feedback regarding distances (in my case, i use distance tooltip but it’s also the same as distance feedback at bottom right)

the distance feedback leaves too much room for guesswork… or- you can really only use it as a rough guide… having a display tolerance is, to me, absolutely necessary… but, we should still have a way of knowing if our distance displays are giving an exact dimension or if it’s being rounded… (so 10" if it’s 10.0000000"… or ~10" if it’s really 10.0295834)

there’s no simple way in rhino for us to know if it’s truly 10" or not… this is the main issue i’m attempting to raise.

it’s a secondary issue that builds upon the above that has to do with the length snapping request… that being if a display feedback is showing us drawing a line 10" long then we know when we click the cursor that it’s truly 10 and not just close to 10.

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