I need to create many parallel lines.
Is there a tool in ArcGIS Desktop where you input the distance between the parallels and the number of them?
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You can create parallel lines very easily using Create Fishnet (Data Management) in ArcGIS. In the attached fishnet screenshot, I specified one row and 50 columns in order to create a grid of 50 parallel lines over a study area.
Edit: To rotate the fishnet grid to any direction you want, select all of the lines and use the rotate feature on the editor toolbar. Also, simply delete the top and bottom lines if they interfere with your analysis.
The copy parallel command is avalable on the edit pulldown.
the Command allows to set 1 or both sides to offset.
However the instructions below are what I would probably do (if I wasn't able to use autocad map).
the easiest way I can think of to do this (without porgramming or autocad).
Autocad has the offset command (which does exactly as you asked).
Someone will most likely post a python script which will do it.