OSNAPZ command AutoCAD

The OSNAPZ command comes in so handy at times. Sometimes when you are trying to snap from an object/point that has a Z-coordinate, the Z-coordinate can mess things up, especially when you are working in a 2D drawing and you don’t care for the Z-coordinate.

For instance, you overlaid a 3D model over a plan drawing, snapping to that model will cause that line to not be parallel to the XY plane, but will get a Z-coordinate. Other instances could be when measuring in the XY plane in survey drawings (which will most likely always have a Z-coordinate for the surveyed objects); snapping from a surveyed point to any other object won’t give you the dimension in just the XY plane, especially when you have rotated your UCS as well (this happens a lot when working with multiple coordinate systems).

Well, there is an easy fix for this, with the OSNAPZ command. As explained in the AutoCAD User Documentation:

“Controls whether object snaps are automatically projected onto a plane parallel to the XY plane of the current UCS at the current elevation.

0 – Osnap uses the Z-value of the specific point
1 – Osnap substitutes the Z-value of the specified point with the elevation (ELEV) set for the current UCS”

So, by default OSNAPZ is set to 0, which means you will snap to whatever the Z-value of a specific point is. If you set it to 1 it will (by default) consider all Z-coordinates to be 0. Meaning you will always be snapping to the XY plane, and a 2D drawing, will stay a 2D drawing. You won’t be introducing weird Z-values in you drawing (which you might want to flatten in the end otherwise…).

The default elevation (Z-value) is set to 0 (for your current UCS), but you can change that as well with the ELEV command, if needed.

I use this very frequently. It saves me a lot of frustration in my workflow, and most especially, keeps my 2D drawings, two dimensional!

  3 comments for “OSNAPZ command AutoCAD

  1. Yashar
    May 12, 2015 at 17:59

    very interesting to know about this.
    Now I am dealing with a drawing which is messed up really bad in terms of z values. The only things that I can not correct are dimensions which have point on different z values. I guess I should delete them. Do you have any other solution for that? Also FLATTEN command will break them into lines.

    • May 12, 2015 at 18:26

      You could, in 3D view, adjust the grips and manually snap them to your 2D elements. But that could just be more trouble than deleting them and adding new dimensions again.

  2. Max Vasher
    December 8, 2015 at 17:42

    Thank you Thank you Thank you. I knew there had to be an easy way to do this. You described my problem exactly. I have a 3D Topographic survey of a property. However, I am in Schematic Design phase and just getting started so I am not ready to draw in 3D yet. I needed to stay in 2D for now. This is how to do it, thanks!!!

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