Inventor IdeaStation
Share your ideas about how to improve Inventor with the Development Team.
5 Kudos

Sketching Mouse Click/Snap on Downstroke?

Status: Implemented
by Contributor scottveix on ‎12-04-2012 07:41 AM

Noticed an issue lately with snapping sketch elements to where we want while sketching in Inventor 2013.  We finally figured out what is going on.  In Inventor sketching if you are in the rectangle command and you depress the left mouse button, then while holding it down you slide the pointer somewhere else on the screen and release the button, the corner of the rectangle snaps down where you RELEASED the button.


We bounce between AutoCAD and Inventor and In AutoCAD 2013 when you execute the rectangle command and you depress the left mouse button and while holding it down you slide your mouse pointer somewhere else on the screen, the first corner of the rectangle snaps where you DEPRESSED the mouse button, not where you released it as Inventor does. 


This issue is similar with any sketching/drawing elements.  In AutoCAD it snaps when you press the button down, in Inventor it doesn't snap until you release it.  So if you move even slightly in Inventor sketching before the mouse button resets and settles your sketch point will not be where you wanted it, often just slightly away from the snap point you were over when you depressed the button. 


To use AutoCAD and Inventor you have to totally change your mouse function syntax when you go between the two.  We find Inventor sketching to be prone to incorrect points causing sketches to not be closed and lots of extra work to examine and repair.  Or pausing and waiting each and every time you click the mouse while sketching.  Both impact efficiency and productivity.


See no reason Inventor sketching and AutoCAD drawing can't treat the mouse clicks the same.  Making the mouse function in Inventor that same as AutoCAD would boost efficency and reduce frustration with Inventor.

Status: Implemented
This idea has been implemented within Autodesk Inventor 2015. Special thanks to the author of this Idea and likewise to everyone who cast your Kudo for it. Within the Sketch environment we now acquire point on mouse down. Please be sure to check this out in Autodesk Inventor 2015. Thanks!
By: Active Contributor Rory_M | Posted ‎12-04-2012 08:37 AM

The problem with changing to match AutoCAD is that it would break existing Inventor functionality such as clicking & dragging to create arcs whilst in the line command, or to draw tangent or perpendicular lines.


I agree that coming from AutoCAD makes it tricky at first, but it's actually AutoCAD that doesn't conform to windows standards rather than Inventor. As an example, try making text bold in Word (without keyboard shortcuts!). When you click the icon it does nothing till you let go of the mouse.


As a compromise, make it optional, with a warning when it's toggled that it will stop certain commands from functioning. Maybe a CTRL or ALT key to override it when it's switched on.

By: Contributor scottveix | Posted ‎12-04-2012 08:47 AM

Easy way around that for Inventor would be to nest in the OSNAP functions and just do a different command for a dragging arc.  Really can't see trashing snapping and drawing efficiency for the occasional dragging arc or dragging tangent need.  And for those of us with decades and decades of AutoCAD archives that need to be accessed we didn't "come" from AutoCAD, we're still "IN" AutoCAD.  So trying to change how you click when often we're in both simultaneously is a real challenge.


Still can't figure out who the heck needs to snap a dimension to the midpoint of an arc segment.

By: Distinguished Contributor cmcconnell | Posted ‎12-04-2012 10:31 AM

I drag arcs all the time. Please do not change teh way Inventor works when it comes to clicking.

By: Contributor scottveix | Posted ‎12-04-2012 10:56 AM

Even using the drag arc feature has to be done from some existing line or rectangle.  If it was made to right mouse click or KEY+click for the drag arc or something like that, not a big impact.  If you took a survey of how many left mouse clicks are used to do the drag arc command and how many are used to draw all other sketch entities, the drag arc would be under 1%.


I do believe that Autodesk spent many years honing in the efficient technique used in AutoCAD so don't see not altering that one command being justification to stray from what is proven. 

By: Active Contributor Rory_M | Posted ‎12-05-2012 04:37 AM

I use clicking and dragging a lot too so I'd completely disagree that changing Inventor's click method wouldn't have a large impact.


Making any major change like this should always be an option in the software.


I agree that using both AutoCAD and Inventor is a real challenge, but that doesn't make Inventor wrong. Maybe it's AutoCAD that's been wrong all these years?.... :smileywink:

By: Contributor scottveix | Posted ‎12-05-2012 04:46 AM

Please ellaborate on what click-and-drag you would loose while sketching if Inventor used the down click for the snap input when in the line/rectangle/sketching commands other then click dragging for tangent or creating a dragging arc at the end of a snapped point?  Some posts sound like sketching would be a disaster if this were the case but for some reason it works fine in the AutoCAD world.


A good comparison would be if your gun shot the bullet when the trigger was fully released rather then when you pulled it.  Would that make sense?  Doubt anyone would be able to hit the mark.  And snapping to a point is "pulling the trigger" (i.e. - mouse clicking) when aiming at the target.



By: Active Contributor Rory_M | Posted ‎12-06-2012 04:12 AM

Here's a few things that would be affected if the line command selected the start point of a line as soon as the mouse button was depressed (like AutoCAD).


  • Click and drag from end of a line (or arc) to draw a tangent arc.
  • Click and drag from end of a line (or arc) to draw a perpendicular arc.
  • Click and drag tangent to a circle or arc to draw a tangent line
  • Click and drag away from from a circle or arc to draw a perpendicular line
  • Click and drag away from a line to draw a perpendicular line.

You may not think that this would be a major change but it would be. Changing the way a piece of software accepts mouse clicks after 18 releases over 13 years would be a decision that should not be taken lightly.


The gun analogy works when compared with the AutoCAD line command, but isn't appropriate to Inventor as the  Inventor line command has more than one mode of operation. It might work fine in the AutoCAD world but Inventor isn't AutoCAD.


Each of the 2 lines on the simple Inventor sketch below require 1 mouse press & drag to be coincident with and tangent constrained to both circles. AutoCAD would require more effort to do this.

It's a simple example but typical of the difference between the two.


The drawing commands in AutoCAD are designed to create complete drawings and to work with the AutoCAD object snapping system, whereas the Inventor sketcher is designed to create relatively simple shapes as a model is built up out of multiple features.


Comparing them is unfortunately like comparing apples and oranges, and each one is different for their own good and justifiable reasons. Shoehorning the function of one piece of software into another is risky and could create a hybrid that pleases either everyone or no-one.




By: Contributor scottveix | Posted ‎12-06-2012 04:40 AM

All good arguments which would basically disappear with some Inventor tweaked Osnap function like AutoCAD. Or a key+mouse click option (hold down the T key while clicking a point for dragging tangent for example).  Have had many circumstances when tangent dragging absolutely refused to go to the correct side of the circle and other quirks. Many times a line end snaps down some minor small distance away from the end of another line because the pick selection box area can't be made large enough to compensate for an unsteady mouse operator.  This leaves an open area so extruding won't happen properly.  Removing a line and redrawing many times creates redundant points or somehow breaks the sketch where as a valid snapping control feature with selection area improvements would eliminate this.


Still curious, when sketching in SolidWorks, ProE, or other CAD packages, do they wait for the mouse button to reset before they accept the screen pick for basic sketch geometry?


Definitely correct, apples and oranges.  AutoCAD has easy, clear and obvious Osnap commands which can do things like snap to the midpoint of a long line without dragging your mouse pointer along the line looking for the little green dot to appear, ability to override snaps on the fly, ability to limit what you what to snap to, ability to increase the pick box size to whatever the operator needs, clear and concise snapping icon displays rather than looking for a little green dot, selecting point on downstroke which increases proficiency, AutoCAD's sketching tools are far advanced from what Inventor has.

By: Contributor scottveix | Posted ‎12-06-2012 04:55 AM

Of course these are my opinions and I strive for efficiency when working (especially since we always have very aggressive machine design completion schedules) and try to eliminate speed bumps where ever possible.  Not saying Inventor is wrong, just think it could be much more efficient  :smileyhappy:

By: Distinguished Contributor cmcconnell | Posted ‎12-06-2012 07:06 AM

You can snap to the midpoint of a line in Invetor as well just RMB and pick the point snap you want. There are not as many as AutoCAD but I haven't ever been able to sketch what I want in Inventor.

Submit Your Ideas

Share and shape product ideas.

New Idea
You are not logged in.

Log into access your profile, ask and answer questions, share ideas and more. Haven't signed up yet? Register

Inventor Exchange Apps

Created by the community for the community, Autodesk Exchange Apps for Autodesk Inventor helps you achieve greater speed, accuracy, and automation from concept to manufacturing.

Connect with Inventor