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RFEM – Online Manual

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11.3.7 Guidelines


Guidelines represent a grid of axes and rows underneath the graphical workspace. The intersection points of guidelines are also snap points for the graphical input, provided that the snap function for Guidelines-Intersections is active in the object snap (see Chapter 11.3.3).

Guidelines do not need to be parallel to the axes of the global coordinate system XYZ. Angles can be specified freely; you can even define a polar arrangement of guidelines. Spacings among guidelines may also be arbitrary.

Figure 11.57 Grid of guidelines
Creating guidelines
Dialog input

To open the dialog box for creating a new guideline, select the menu entry

    • Insert → Guidelines → Dialog Box

or use the shortcut menu in the Data navigator.

Figure 11.58 Shortcut menu of Guidelines in Data navigator

The following dialog box appears.

Figure 11.59 New Guideline dialog box

The No. of the guideline is automatically allocated by the program but can be adjusted, if necessary.

The Type dialog section allows you to control how the guideline is created (see Table 11.6).

Table 11.6 Types of guidelines
Type Explanation

II to X / Y / Z
(parallel to global axis X, Y,
or Z)

The guideline is created parallel to one of the global axes. Specify the distances x1 / y1 / z1 of the respective global axes in the Parameters dialog section.

Bias by 2 points

In the Parameters dialog section, enter the coordinates of two points in the current work plane that define the guideline.

Bias by angle and point

In the Parameters dialog section, enter the coordinates of a point and a rotation angle to define the guideline.
The guideline is created in the current work plane.


In the Parameters dialog section, specify the center point and the radius for the circular guideline.

Enter the parameters into the text boxes or determine them graphically in the work window by using or .

When the Description check box is selected, you can enter a description for the guideline into the text box or select it from the list.

Graphical input

To define a guideline graphically,

    • select Insert → Guidelines → Graphically in the menu,
    • use the [New Guideline Graphically] button shown on the left,
    • or use the parallel shift of an axis of the work plane with the mouse (only possible if guidelines are not locked – see below).
Figure 11.60 Creating a guideline graphically

The New Guideline dialog box is described above.

Editing and deleting guidelines

To open the dialog box for editing guidelines, double-click a guideline in the graphic or its entry in the Data navigator.

If the guideline cannot be selected in the graphic, it is locked (see below). Guidelines can be unlocked quickly: Right-click in an empty space of the work window and deactivate the Lock Guidelines option in the shortcut menu.

You can also edit guidelines by selecting Tools → Work Plane, Grid/Snap, Object Snap, Guidelines in the menu or using the corresponding toolbar button. A dialog box opens where you can use the Guidelines tab not only to activate the snap but also for editing, deleting, or hiding and displaying guidelines, as well as creating new ones.

Figure 11.61 Work Plane and Grid/Snap dialog box, Guidelines tab

Guidelines can be deleted both in the work window and the Data navigator: Right-click the guideline and select the Delete Guideline function in the shortcut menu.

Locking guidelines
Guidelines shortcut menu
Guidelines shortcut menu

When guidelines are locked, they cannot be selected, edited, or moved. That way, they do not impair the graphical input of objects. Nevertheless, the snap function on the intersection points remains active.

To lock or unlock all guidelines,

    • right-click a guideline and select Lock Guidelines in the shortcut menu,
    • select Edit → Guidelines → Lock in the menu,
    • or right-click Guidelines in the navigator and select Lock Guidelines in the shortcut menu.
Copying and moving guidelines

Guidelines are graphical objects for which many of the common editing functions can be used.

To move or copy a guideline, select the guideline first. Then you can apply the function described in Chapter 11.4.1. Please note that guidelines can only be copied in the plane of the original guideline.

Displaying guidelines

The Display navigator controls the graphical display of guidelines in detail.

Figure 11.62 Guideline settings in the Display navigator