Tip of the Week #48 - Object Snaps

By Matt McLean posted 07-13-2018 16:11


Hope everyone is having an excellent July! I sure am, it hasn’t rained once this week so I’ve managed to enjoy my dinner outside. It’s the little things in life isn’t it?


A few weeks ago (Tip of the Week #46 to be exact!) we discussed Ortho Snaps. This week will be complementary to that, Object Snaps! After today's tip, you’ll be an expert on what each and every one of these snap modes do. To access Object Snap options, left click the Snap button on the bottom right side of the TBC window in the Status Bar.


The Running Snap Mode Options window appears.


The first thing of note, in the bottom right side of the window are the Snap Mode Priority commands. This allows you to change the priority with which each of these snaps occur. Have you ever had to zoom in to ensure your cursor is snapping to the point or line you intend and not something else? Adjusting priority allows you to ensure the snapping order closely matches your workflow to maximise efficiency.


Clicking on each of the Snap Modes gives a short description on the right side of the window, and additional information about each Snap Mode can be found in TBC Help by pressing F1 on your keyboard.



Point snap will snap the cursor to the nearby point. It is indicated by an circle around the point which will be snapped to. As you can see below, when the cursor hovers over the snap for ~2 seconds, the snap mode being used is shown. This removes all the guesswork, instilling confidence.



End Point

End Point will snap to the end point of a line which is not defined by a point. End Point Snaps are designated by a square.



Midpoint is shown by a triangle. They snap the cursor to the midpoint of an arc or line segment.


Intersection Point

Intersection Point snaps to the intersection of two lines. It is indicated by a circle.



Perpendicular Point

Perpendicular Point snaps to the point on an adjacent line where the line being drawn and the line being snapped on are perpendicular. It is indicated by a 90° angle symbol.



Center Point

Center Point snaps to the center of a curve. The point can first be displayed by moving the cursor to the curve.

The center point is displayed by a green circle. This circle turns orange when it is being snapped to with the cursor nearby.



Tangent Point

Tangent Point snaps a line to the point along the curve at which the line being drawn is tangent to that curve. It is shown by an open circle with a tangent line on it. Notice both points on the circle at which the line can be tangent are shown.



Circle Quadrant Point

Circle Quadrant Point snap will enable to user to quickly snap to the north, south, east, or westernmost point on a circle. These are indicated by diamonds.


Surface Vertex

Surface Vertex snaps the cursor to a, you guessed it, vertex on a surface! It is displayed by a circle.



Near Point

Near Point selects any point in particular along a given line or arc segment. It is indicated by a circle. Useful for ensuring lines connect to other lines!


Insertion Point

Insertion Point snaps to the point set as the insertion point for text or block objects. It is indicated by a +.



And finally, Free! This is by default selected, but with it unselected, lines will be unable to be snapped to anything they shouldn’t be, in other words, lines can only be snapped to points, lines, and other objects. I don’t think a screenshot is necessary on this one.


That was a long one folks, thanks for sticking with it right to the end! Hopefully this will make a good resource for you down the road, and maybe even save a few clicks and time!


TBC - From Field to Finish with Confidence.



10-14-2019 06:02

Can we get keyboard shortcut hotkeys to enable and disable object snaps? This is standard in other Cad packages.


The keyboard shortcuts commands in TBC allow only selection of command from a preset list


Individual Object snaps are not included on this list, just command to bring up the dialog box.



Therefore to turn on off snaps or to specify a particular one it's necessary to right click and select the desired snap

(the priority of one might be affecting the priority of the another you want)



Which is fine but it would be nice with a keyboard shortcut





07-16-2018 01:47

very usefull