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Specify Intervals on Objects

May 20, 2011

You can divide a line, arc, circle, polyline, ellipse, or spline into a number of equal segments or mark off intervals of a specific length along an object. (Note that divide is not the same as break.) For example, you may want to place station-point markers every 50 feet along the centerline of a roadway or divide the plan view of a window into three equal width sections of glass, placing a mullion at each division point.

To specify measurements and divisions, use these commands:

•      For the length of the segments, use the Measure command.

•      For the number of equal length segments, use the Divide command.

You can measure or divide arcs, circles, lines, polylines, ellipses, and splines. With either command, you can identify the segments by placing either a block or point object at the end of each interval. If you use points, you can snap to the ends of intervals using the point object snap. The appearance of the point objects is determined by the current point display type, which you control in the Point Style dialog box of Format menu.

To use a block as the marker, the block must already be defined in the current drawing. You can further indicate whether to rotate the block to align perpendicularly to the object you are measuring or dividing.

 Block not aligned with object Block aligned with object

ZWCAD begins measuring or dividing based on the point at which you select the object and the type of object with which you are working. For most objects, measuring starts from the endpoint closest to the point you used to select the object.

The starting point for measurements or divisions depends on the selected object type. Generally, it includes the following cases:

•      For lines or open polylines, the starting point is the endpoint that is closest to the selection point.

•      For closed polylines, the starting point is the polyline start point.

•      For circles, it is at the angle from the center point which is equivalent to the current snap angle. For  example, if the snap angle is set to 0, the circle starts at the three o'clock position and continues counterclockwise.

By default, the point marker is displayed as a single dot, and you may not be able to the measure intervals. You can change the appearance of point markers using system variable PDMODE. In addition, you can change the style of point markers in the Point Style dialog box with the DDPTYPE command. And the system variable PDSIZE controls the size of point markers.

Divide an Object into Equal Segments

Places point markers on selected objects. The markers divide the selected objects into a specified number of equal lengths. The objects that can be separated include lines, arcs, circles, ellipses, splines and polylines. Actually, this operation does not separate the object; it only identifies the location of divisions so that you can use them as geometric reference points.

To divide an object into segments and mark them using point objects

1. Choose Draw > Point > Divide.

2. Select the object.

3. Specify the number of segments, and then press Enter.

Command line DIVIDE

 When you select the object by pointing, divisions are marked beginning from the end closest to the point at which you select the object (A) Blocks or point objects (B) are placed along the object to mark it in equal intervals

To divide an object into segments and mark them using blocks

1. Choose Draw > Point > divide.

2. Select the object.

3. On the command line, type block.

4. Type the name of the block you want to insert as the marker.

5. Enter y to align the blocks with the measured object. Enter n to use a rotation angle of 0 degrees.

6. Specify the number of segments, and then press Enter.

Command line DIVIDE

Specify Measured Intervals on Objects

Use MEASURE to mark an object at specified intervals with either points or blocks. The last segment of a measured object may be shorter than the interval you specify.

To measure intervals along an object and mark them using point objects

1. Choose Draw > Point > Measure.

2. Select the object.

3. Specify the segment length, and then press Enter.

Command line MEASURE

 When you select the object by pointing, intervals are measured from the end closest to the point at which you select the object (A) Blocks or point objects (B) are placed along the object at the specified interval

To measure intervals along an object and mark them using blocks

1. Choose Draw > Point > Measure.

2. Select the object.

3. On the command line, type block.

4. Type the name of the block you want to insert as the marker.

5. Enter y to align the blocks with the measured object. Enter n to use a rotation angle of 0 degrees.

6. Specify the segment length, and then press Enter.

Command line MEASURE

Commands Reference

BLOCK: Creates a block definition from objects you select

DDPTYPE: Specifies the display style and size of point objects

DIVIDE: Places evenly spaced point objects or blocks along the length or perimeter of an object

MEASURE: Places point objects or blocks at measured intervals on an object

WBLOCK: Writes objects or a block to a new drawing file

System Variables Reference

PDMODE: Controls how point objects are displayed

PDSIZE: Sets the display size for point objects

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