Using Direct Distance Entry

Direct Distance Entry is one of those AutoCAD commands that have been around for several releases but a lot of people seem to forget about. The concept is simple during any drawing or editing command when you are asked to enter a coordinate you can specify the direction with your cursor and then just enter the distance at the command line.

Let’s look at a simple example. Start drawing a line. Pick the starting point anywhere on your screen. Now, turn on Ortho if it is not already on. Next move your cursor to the right but do not pick a point on the screen, just be sure that the cursor is to the right of the initial point you picked. Now, type in 5 at the command line. You have just drawn a horizontal line segment 5 units long. Just the same as if you had typed @5,0 at the command line for the second point.

Remember, you can use this with any drawing or editing command. You can also combine this with the Polar Snaps to accurately select any desired angle. So give Direct Distance Entry a try. It’s not some earth shattering new command but it may save you some keystrokes.

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