Overview of Coordinate Entry
 Concept Procedure Quick Reference

When a command prompts you for a point, you can use the pointing device to specify a point, or you can enter a coordinate value at the command prompt. When Dynamic Input is on, you can enter coordinate values in tooltips near the cursor. You can enter two-dimensional coordinates as either Cartesian (X,Y) or polar coordinates.

Cartesian and Polar Coordinates

A Cartesian coordinate system has three axes, X, Y, and Z. When you enter coordinate values, you indicate a point's distance (in units) and its direction (+ or -) along the X, Y, and Z axes relative to the coordinate system origin (0,0,0).

In 2D, you specify points on the XY plane, also called the workplane. The workplane is similar to a flat sheet of grid paper. The X value of a Cartesian coordinate specifies horizontal distance, and the Y value specifies vertical distance. The origin point (0,0) indicates where the two axes intersect.

Polar coordinates use a distance and an angle to locate a point. With both Cartesian and polar coordinates, you can enter absolute coordinates based on the origin (0,0), or relative coordinates based on the last point specified.

Another method of entering a relative coordinate is by moving the cursor to specify a direction and then entering a distance directly. This method is called direct distance entry.

You can enter coordinates in scientific, decimal, engineering, architectural, or fractional notation. You can enter angles in grads, radians, surveyor's units, or degrees, minutes, and seconds. The UNITS command controls unit format.

Display Coordinates on the Status Bar

The current cursor location is displayed as a coordinate value on the status bar.

There are three types of coordinate display: static, dynamic, and distance and angle.

• Static display. Updates only when you specify a point.
• Dynamic display. Updates as you move the cursor.
• Distance and angle display. Updates the relative distance (distance<angle) as you move the cursor. This option is available only when you draw lines or other objects that prompt for more than one point.