September 06, 2014

AutoCAD - Object Snap Tracking and Command: Line Docking Status

There is an issue in AutoCAD® with Object Snap Tracking when the Command: line is undocked and either Dynamic Input is disabled, or, if enabled, the Pointer Input component of dynamic input is disabled. Under these circumstances, when you acquire a point, and move the cursor to a position where you have a tracking line active, when you start to type the distance you want from the tracking point, the tracking line disappears from the screen, and if you press ENTER after typing the distance, the resulting point will not be where you want it.

Three ways to avoid this:
  1. Dock the Command: line.
  2. If you like your Command: line undocked, turn on Dynamic Input (if off) and verify that Pointer Input is enabled. See NOTE below.
  3. If you really do not like having Pointer Input enabled, you can leave it disabled (leave Enable Dimension Input where possible enabled and keep Dynamic Input turned on), but after you type in the distance value for the offset from the tracked point (and the tracking line has disappeared), BEFORE you press the ENTER key, move the mouse slightly to reactivate the tracking line, and THEN press the ENTER key.
The Screencast below shows several attempts to use Object Snap Tracking to locate the starting point of a Line 10'-0" at 0 degrees from the existing intersection of two lines:
  1. Undocked Command: Line, Dynamic Input turned off. [Fail]
  2. Docked Command: Line, Dynamic Input turned off. [Success]
  3. Undocked Command: Line, Dynamic Input turned on, Pointer Input disabled. [Fail]
  4. Undocked Command: Line, Dynamic Input turned on, Pointer Input enabled. [Success - notice that tracking line does not disappear when typing offset distance]
  5. Undocked Command: Line, Dynamic Input turned on, Pointer Input disabled. [Success - because mouse was nudged after offset distance was typed, restoring tracking line, before ENTER was pressed]

NOTE: If you want to minimize the amount of time that the Pointer Input box appears on screen, you can right click on the Dynamic Input tool on the Application Status Bar and choose Dynamic Input Settings from the context menu. In the Drafting Settings dialog that appears, on the Dynamic Input tag, choose the Settings button in the Pointer Input area and choose the As soon as I type coordinate data radio button in the Visibility area.
You can also set the DYNPIVIS System Variable to 0 .

I would like to see Autodesk address this deficiency, but from Discussion Group posts, it appears to have been around for quite a few releases, so you may want to make note of the workarounds above.

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