Quick "how to" question

Is there a convenient way to draw a line parallel to an existing line and/or draw 2 or more parallel lines “X” mm apart?


Hi Michael,

Use the Perpendicular Osnaps from the end points of the existing line to draw a parallel line if it is not aligned with the world axis. If the line is oriented along the world axis you could use Ortho or the Shift key to control the angle of the new line.

To make copies of a line parallel and at a known distance from an existing line, use ArrayLinear with Perp Osnaps and enter a value for the distance. Array would be fine for this if the orientation were along the world axis.

Thanks Brian, the array linear makes sense, didn’t think of that! Not sure how to use perpendicular osnaps for drawing a parallel line. I just tried it and played around but couldn’t figure it out.


The easiest would to just offset the original line. It addition to what Brian suggests, you might also try the AlongParallel OSnap (can be used in conjunction with a predrawn PerpFrom line to get the right distance)

depending on the situation, i’ll often just offset a line then use it as a guide for a new line.

[edit] - or what he said :point_up:

Thanks. I don’t see an AlongParallel osnap. Maybe this doesn’t exist in the OSX version yet?

I understand how the offset line works, I like that!

situation dependent again but a little something that may be of use if you’re not currently aware of it… say you have a box drawn (with no curves… just the surfaces)… you can sub-select an edge using shift-cmmd select then offset the subselection which will give you a new line parallel to the box’s edge.

Try it on the command line. On the Windows side, you need to hold Alt and hover your mouse over the OSnap toolbar to get it (shift over the toolbar will give you the standards but in one shot form)

Cool, thanks Jeff. I can see how I would use that in some of my work.

Make sure SmartTrack is on in the Osnaps as well and mouse over the end point of the existing line to see the smarttrack guide. Then move your cursor along this guide line before clicking the first point of the new line. You can subsequently hover over the other end point to create a smarttrack for defining a second perp snap. It takes a bit of practice but becomes easy once you get use to the timing.

Looks like this is missing in Mac Rhino at the moment. I’ll add it to the list… thanks.

[quote=“SamPage, post:4, topic:5544, full:true”] you might also try the AlongParallel OSnap (can be used in conjunction with a predrawn PerpFrom line to get the right distance)

are there instructions or a tutorial etc on how/when to use AlongParallel? (this is available on mac in the one-shot oSnaps)

i can’t really figure it out but i assume i’m trying to use it in the wrong situation.

• draw a line
• re-run Line command
• enable AlongParallel
• for start of baseline & end of baseline- click on the two points of the original line
• the next prompt is “point for parallel tracking”

it seems like that point should be the start point of the parallel line i’m trying to draw and the following prompt “Start of Line” should be the end point…
once i click the Start of Line, i’m no longer locked parallel.

what am i missing here?

Hi Jeff,

I think you just need to start the line that will be parallel first before using along parallel, then you’ll be locked for the end point. Thanks for pointing out that this was already there in the one shots!!

Example: http://quick.as/ogrjirmv

ah… ok. i get it.

i’m pretty sure i’ve encountered some situations where this snap will be great (things other than trying to draw a parallel line)… i’ll make sure to try it out then.