Written by: Cindra Drowne-Walsh
How it works – when the cursor is in the area of the pre-set Increment
and/or Additional Angle(s), the cursor tracks automatically in the direction of those angles. Polar Tracking is a toggle ON/OFF feature found in the Status Bar. (Blue = ON or active / Grey = OFF or inactive). The F10 key works the same way.
Where to access the Polar Tracking tab:
Polar Tracking settings are found in the Drafting Settings Dialog Box within the Polar Tracking tab. This can be accessed by Right-Clicking over the Polar Tracking Icon located in the Status bar then selecting the option Settings, (quickest most direct option) or by accessing the Drafting Settings Dialog box any of the other numerous ways AutoCAD offers.
How to set up Incremental angles:
Within the Polar Tracking tab the pre-defined Increment angle options are located within the drop down list. Select the appropriate angle.
AutoCAD offers a list of eight pre-defined angles, 5, 10, 15, 18, 22.5, 30, 45, 90. Example of an Increment angle selected: if the angle of 30 is selected your cursor will track on all angles of the increment of 30. Ex. 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and so on.
*Only one Increment angle can be selected (active) at a time.
How to set Additional angles:
If you need an angle that doesn’t fall into the range of any Increment angle, AutoCAD offers right below the option of Additional angles. Select the box in front of Additional angles (this places a √ in the box), then select New. This placed a text box to the right for the Additional angle(s) to be typed in. If another angle is needed repeat the process.
AutoCAD allows up to eight angles to be added. Theses angles are not incremental, they are for the specified angle only. Example: the Additional angle of 8 will track only when in the range of angle 8, along with whatever the Incremental angle is set to.
*Watch out for over kill, too many Additional angles may slow your drawing time down rather than increase it.
*Ortho and Polar Tracking cancel each other out, they cannot be on at the same time.
*Key here is to put in the most commonly used angle(s) for the type of work you do. For the randomly used angles access them the old fashion way by typing them in as we have always done.
Try this, set the Incremental angle to 30 and make sure Polar Tracking is ON. Start the Line command, pick any point anywhere in the drawing area and slowly move your cursor around a 360ᵒ direction. You should see the green tracking line snap to those Incremental angle of 30ᵒ, along with a tooltip not only the angle but the distance you are away from the selected point. This feature is not limited to the Line command it works with other Draw and Modify commands.