I'm helping bring CAD people into ArcGIS so that everyone throughout the company is on the same page and there is one database for everything. Right now, one of the biggest hurdles is making sure all of the functionality that they have with GIS is available and as easy to use as it is in what they're using now. I want this transition to be easy and with as little hesitation/bitterness as possible.

I cannot find a measurement tool that snaps at a 90 degree angle.

The minimum distance tool doesn't work, because it will find the minimum for the whole line segment, instead of taking in a piece of a line. I want to calculate the minimum at a specific point or in a very localized area. Also, I would prefer a button, similar to the measure tool. I don't want them to have to load data into the toolbox dialogs in order to do a simple measurement.

The measure tool doesn't snap perpendicular. We're wanting to minimize the amount of possible error.

I want to check this Q&A site before I do one of two things--create a custom button or create a feature class that I can use as a temporary measurement--they snap perpendicular to one side of the right of way line to the other side and then after they finish, they delete the line.

We are currently using 9.3, but are upgrading to 10 soon.

1 Answer 1


@ MaryBeth - You have valid concerns, It probably is not ever going to be as easy to "draft" in arcmap as it is in autocad, or microstation, or "Their/Your CAD System Here".

**EDIT: ** what's new

There are some SUPER nice features however that I am beginning to really love in desktop 10.

ESRI has come a long way to making or facilitating a (used to be acceptable but now...) "good" workflow for working with CAD. Some reading you should do is here (pointer: click the word "here") and a free seminar here, and some not so free here.

Also there are some add-ons you can pay for or use some functionality free. Arcscripts
And the ArcGIS for AutoCad is another method if you just can't convice the drafters to come over.
It places GIS data and funtionality into autocad.

I have always used Autocad Map3d AND arcGIS together. I can't live without either/both.

As to your direct question. Try the direction tool. select the first point and right click. select either the direction, length/direction

  • Thanks, Brad. I haven't had a chance to install the scripts, but it might help. I'll be checking out these ideas. Thanks again.
    – MaryBeth
    Jan 21, 2011 at 19:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.