Snap to points by using snap switches

Added May 4, 2021 by Tekla User Assistance

Software version: 

Snap to points by using snap switches

Snap to points by using snap switches

Use the snap switches to control which positions you can pick in the model or drawing. By using snap switches, you can position objects precisely without having to know the coordinates. You can use snap switches whenever Tekla Structures prompts you to pick a point.

Click the snap switches on the Snapping toolbar to switch them on or off. If there is more than one point available to snap to, press the Tab key to cycle forward through the snap points, and Shift+Tab to cycle backwards through them. Click the left mouse button to select the appropriate point.

Alternatively, you can control the snap switches with Quick Launch. Start typing the name of the snap switchswitch used for controlling what kind of points Tekla Structures snaps to

The user needs to activate snap switches to be able to pick different points, for example, line ends and intersections.

Snap switches help the user to pick points in order to position model objects precisely without having to know the coordinates or create additional lines or points.

, for example, snap, and click the name of the snap switch in the search results list to activate the switch.

Visual cues in snapping

Tekla Structures indicates where you can snap in the model and which snap switches can be used to snap to certain positions.

When you start a command that requires picking points and you move the mouse pointer over objects, the mouse pointer locks to a snap pointpoint to which Tekla Structures snaps

and Tekla Structures displays in the model
  • a snap symbol

    The snap symbol changes according to the possible snap point. Tekla Structures automatically highlights the points where you can snap to.

    Use the snap settings to show or hide the snap symbols.

  • a snap tooltip which shows the name of the possible snap point

    To show or hide the snap tooltips, click File > Settings and select the Snap tooltips check box.

  • a turquoise reference lineline between two reference points

    For example, if the user picks two points to position a beam, these points form the reference line, and handles appear at the line ends.

    Reference lines can be used in snapping in a snap switch.

    or geometry lineline on an object’s geometry determined by the object’s shape

    Geometry lines can be used in snapping in a snap switch.

    of the object. The turquoise line shows the line or the edge to which the snap point belongs to.

For example:

Additionally, Tekla Structures indicates in which direction the picked points are located. When the Ortho tool is active, Tekla Structures displays a rubber band line between the last point picked and the snap point. The color of the cursor and the rubber band line follow the color of the work planeplane that the user has chosen in a model and that is currently active for working on in a model view

Newly created, copied, or moved model objects comply with the work plane. For example, shifting the work plane to follow a sloped plane makes it easier to model sloped structures.

axis: red for x-axis, green for y-axis and blue for z-axis. For any other direction the color of the rubber band line and the cursor is black.

As a general rule of thumb, you can only snap to something that is visible.

For example, if you use the renderingprocess of making the model object faces visible

The rendered model object faces can be transparent or non-transparent

options Parts rendered or Components rendered (Ctrl/Shift +4), the object surfaces are displayed and the objects are not transparent. This means that you cannot snap to the object's geometry lines or reference lines which cannot be seen through the object.

Main snap switches

The two main snap switches define whether you can snap to reference points or any other points on objects, for example part corners. These switches have the highest snap priority. If both these switches are off, you cannot snap to any positions, even if all the other switches are on.


Snap positions



Reference lines and points

You can snap to object reference points (points that have handles).


Geometry lines and points

You can snap to any point on an object.

In drawings, you can use this switch to snap to snapshot overlays.


Snap switches and snap points

The snap symbols have two colors in the model:
  • Orange for model objects

  • Green for objects inside components

Make sure that you do not have too many snap switches on when snapping, as it may easily lead to inaccuracies and errors in snapping. Be particularly careful when you use the Snap to any position snap switch.


Snap positions



Snaps to points and grid line intersections.

End points

Snaps to end points of lines, polyline segments, and arcs.


Snaps to centers of circles and arcs.

In a drawing, when you want to snap to the center point of a circle that has been created by using a polygon cut in the model, set the advanced option XS_ADD_SNAPPING_SYMBOL_TO_CIRCLES to TRUE.


Snaps to midpoints of lines, polyline segments, and arcs.


Snaps to intersections of lines, polyline segments, arcs, and circles.


Snaps to points on objects that form a perpendicular alignment with another object.

Line extensions

Snaps to the line extensions of nearby objects, and reference and geometry lines of drawing objects.

Any position

Snaps to any position.

Nearest point

Snaps to the nearest points on objects, for example, any point on part edges or lines.


Snaps to grid lines, reference lines, and the edges of existing objects.

Dimensions and mark lines, drawing layout items and drawing frames

Snaps to annotation geometries, drawing layout items and drawing frames.

Available only in drawings.

Override the current snap switch settings

You can temporarily override the current snap switch settings, and activate only the selected snap switch. The selected snap switch overrides the other snap settings for the next point you pick.

  1. Run a command that asks you to pick a point.

    For example, start creating a beam.

  2. To override the current snap switches, do one of the following:
    • Right-click to show a list of snap options, and then select one of the options.

    • Click File > Settings, and in the list of toolbars select Snap override toolbar.

      A new toolbar appears. Click a button to activate the selected snap switch.

    • Use Quick Launch to activate a snap overridetool that is used for temporarily bypassing the snap switch in use

      Snap override only bypasses the snap switch settings for the next point the user picks.

      switch. Type override in the Quick Launch box and select the needed override switch in the search results list.

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