Snap to grid inoperative when e.g Near in use on a line

This has bugged me since day 1 of Rhino,
Turn on snap and the cursor snaps to the grid. great …so far so good.
Come across and follow a line using NEAR Osnap and the snaps cease.

I want to pick a place on a line that is at a grid line but the cursor is sliding up and down on NEAR and ignoring the snap and grid.

What is the procedure to choose a place on a line that is at a grid line ?


Object snaps (like Near, or anything else) override the grid snap (by design, since Day1). I’m afraid the only way to place a point at an intersection of a grid snap (which are invisible) and an object in the file is to first use the “AlongLine” one-shot object snap, use two clicks on two Grid snaps to specify the grid line which crosses the object you want, then the intersection Osnap.


or use a .x (or .y) snap on the grid to set one of the coordinates and then find the intersection with the curve…

First of all, I don’t recommend near snap unless it’s for VERY simple & short osnaps. It’s just too damn easy to leave it on and then future parts are no longer accurate.

Secondly, why not turn off the OSnap and just use the grid snap? If you line is on the grid line, then the grid snap will do the same thing.

Third, whenever I don’t get a nice intersection, I’ll just go ahead and make a temporary construction line. If it crosses the first line, then you can use the intersection. A quick construction line is always faster than jumping through hoops with other methods. Yes, it’s an extra step, but you’d be done immediately vs. struggling and experimenting with other alternatives.

That seems like a rather strange thing to say about NEAR snap.
I leave it on about 80 % of the time and never had any issues.
The other osnaps do work quite well with it and the different snap positions are quite easy to distinguish.
The only snap that in my experience gets diverted/confused by other snaps is CENTER, therefore I often use a RMB click to isolate that.
What problems exactly are you experiencing (just curious)?

Ciao, Norbert

RE: Osnap Near
This explanation is based on my experience teaching classes at the level of beginner and intermediate

If you are drawing curves that will later be extruded/lofted/etc into surfaces, then you want to make sure that there are no gaps or overlaps that would cause a naked edge. A near-snap (or no snap at all) can LOOK like it is nice and closed, but it actually may not be touching (endpoint to endpoint), unless you zoom in and make sure.

I’ve seen people build an entire model for many hours that was just riddled with disconnected surfaces and naked edges because they either used near snap or no osnaps at all.

Again, this advice is geared towards beginners and users who may want to prototype. If you were just rendering, it night not be a big deal … but you might STILL see problems when you tried to fillet edges.

I typically have the End, Near and Point Osnaps turned on, and precision is important for my modeling. Move close to the end of a curve and the End Osnap overrides the Near Osnap. Move close to a point and the Point Osnap overrides the Near Osnap.

As @davidcockey said your precision problems do NOT derive from the NEAR snap being activated, but rather from other snaps being disactivated.
I tipically toggle on/off all snaps and just in tricky situations (as e.g. the above mentioned CENTER snap) use certain snaps singularily.

I’m with Dave on this one. Leaving Near on all the time is a recipe for accidental inaccurate snapping, especially if the operator doesn’t have a lot of experience. Basically it’s saying “I don’t care where I snap really…” and if you are not paying close attention, you can easily miss that Near was on when you snapped and not one of the others. I also believe you shouldn’t really need “Near” except under certain specific circumstances, so it’s better turned off and used consciously as a one-shot deal.


my near snap is on at all times… i very rarely use it as an actual snap point unless i’m just roughing out an idea but the reason i leave it on is more of a visual thing with the cursor… it allows the cursor to ride along the edge of a surface or curve in a smoother manner as opposed to when near is off… if i’m searching for ,say, the mid snap of an edge while in 3D, the cursor bounces around behind the object on the grid whereas with the near snap on, i can ride the edge… idk, i’ve never ran into a problem with it always on…
that said, i have a sketchup background and sketchup doesn’t have snaps which can be turned on/off… they’re always on and using near makes the cursor behave more like i was used to with sketchup.

Obviously everybody has his/her own preferences and ideas about what is the most effective way to achieve accuracy.

But I honestly find it hard to see what problems the NEAR snap could cause, as it is handily overridden by the “stronger” (because more explicit) POINT-, END-, MID-, etc snaps.
Yes there can be tricky situations, but the cursor tooltip shows what snap is active in realtime and in “emergency” single snap types can be toggled with the current command staying active.
If a user is unaware of what snap is applied and where the click goes to, this surely in itself is a bigger problem and a potential cause of inaccuracy.

Also the curve or edge driven NEAR snap makes all the other point related snaps work a lot better, as it makes it much easier to hit snapping points (agree with @jeff_hammond here completely).
The vast majority of all clicks I make as an input for modeling operations is placed in a snappable manner, that is on a point or a curve/edge related to other elements.

Obviously if you want to deliberately place a click close to, but not on an existing object, NEAR snap has to be off to do this.

Ciao, Norbert

I have near snap on 99% of time as well and don’t have any problems. I think that Rhino does a pretty good job with the sensitivity of the major snap End, Mid ect… overriding snaps like nearest. Autocad on the other hand it terrible at it, and actually have it turned off 99% of the time.

Also you need to pay attention to the tool tips of which snap it’s picking up.

I am still heavily frustrated that the very useful and simple act of grid snapping is killed off when a line happens to be across the grid joint,

I am using move command and it wont snap to the line at grid , what osnap to use for when snap happens to be a line/grid junction ?

Is there no way users could be given the option to turn such snaps on in preferences and let them decide if they want to live dangerously ?


Steve, my understanding is Grid snapping is only to the grid line intersections, not the grid lines between the intersections. No OSnaps work with the grid lines.

Mitch provided a procedure above to snap on a curve where the curve crosses a grid line.

I am trying to snap to grid intersections, I only was aware of intersections being snappable to.

but such snaps fail where a line is sharing that intersection.

Just wish I coould go snapping away without having to do the AlongLine one shot osnap use two clicks on two grid snaps etc etc just to get a snap !

when one is merilly snapping away bang bang bang, to have to go off-piste and mess around is a pain.

lets have an option to allow grid snaps where objects exist.


Any reason you don’t just turn the Near OSnap off?

you can press (and hold) the Alt key to temporarily disable Osnaps…

if you’re catching a near snap while only being concerned with finding a grid snap, do the above.

it’s fast/painless.

simple and quick, now I wish someone had suggested that, thanks guys,
osnaps are the cause of the failure to snap to grid where they come across an object.

logged now !


heh, yeah… looking back at the thread, I see we veered off a bit the first time around and missed the Alt key suggestion :wink: