Mimic temporary ortho+tab?

is this doable:

using something like _Move or _Line…
• click first point
• push, say, left arrow key
• the cursor locks to X axis in the same way it does if using Shift key (when cursor is in appropriate position) then Tab key.


Not sure I’m completely understanding what you are after, but do point filters do what you want in this instance? So:

  • click first point
  • type ‘.x’ (or .y, or .xy, or .xz, etc) enter
  • pick the x value you want
  • you now can pick the y and z component, but the x value will now be set.

Is that what you are after?

Holding Shift temporarily reverses the current Ortho constraint persistence. If Ortho is on, then Shift disables it, if Ortho is Off Shift enables it.

When in a command that is asking for a next point, tapping Tab locks in the current direction shown by your cursor.

Does that help?

right john, i understand how that works as i’m doing some version of it with half the commands i’m using :wink:

what i’m asking is if there’s a way to bypass the cursor/shift/tab finger gymnastics.

push a key and the cursor (regardless of where the cursor happens to be at on screen) locks to the selected axis… bypassing ortho and bypassing tab lock altogether.

(oh… i always have ortho off and only turn it on temporarily via shift)

maybe… i’ll have to try it out. will the cursor still slide along the chosen axis allowing one to inference off other points to determine its exact location on the selected axis?)

SmartTrack also does this. I set its activation delay super high, then keep it on all the time. When I want to use it, just tap Ctrl to get a point.

hmm. i never really got into smart track since there’s so much extra stuff popping up on screen.
i’ll give it another whirl this weekend

Perhaps the SmartTrack feature is what you’re looking for?

To answer the point filter question, yes, the cursor will slide along the chosen axis and you can use other geo to finalize your pick.

To get SmartTrack to be a bit more transparent, I also turn off its Smart ortho. With that off and delay set high, I find SmartTrack almost completely transparent when I don’t want to use it, Ctrl gets me a point when I want it, and the only time it interferes when I’m not looking for it is when Ctrl-Zing a point, such as in the middle of a polyline or curve command when you accidentally select a point and undo it, you end up with a SmartTrack point. Double clicking Ctrl clears those.


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yeah, smart track isn’t helping here nor are the other suggestions.
they sort of work but they’re more cumbersome than just using shift&tab.

fwiw, the main reason i ask is for situations where there are a lot of objects in the file (many snap points)…

the way around this is to press option to ignore the snaps, then while still holding option, get your cursor in a (hopefully) appropriate position and press shift to get on axis… then, while still holding both of those keys, now press Tab to get the cursor to lock on the axis… at which point, you can then proceed with what you were doing :confounded:

using shift, option, and tab all at once is awkward to say the least (but don’t get me wrong, i do it often)… it’s just that it seems unnecessary as you should be able to skip all of that and just press one key to lock onto an axis without worrying about cursor position or other snap points in the model etc…

in many instances, i find myself clicking the start point, zooming out so there is blank area visible in the viewport, use shift then tab… zoom back in (eliminating the need for the option key… less finger gymnastics)

maybe a better example to help clarify what i’m asking would be the Z axis…
• click start point
• press, say, up arrow
• cursor is locked to Z-axis

doing that would be a lot better than elevator mode (imo)… and similar simplicity would apply to X and Y axis as well.

I have the macro
’_DisableOsnap T
setup on my F3 key, I’m hitting that thing constantly to avoid unwanted Osnaps. Super quick and easy, slightly less simultaneous finger gymnastics required.