The LENGTHEN Command

William Forty
William Forty

LENGTHEN is the older, much more specialised brother of the EXTEND command. Although EXTEND was always the more popular of two line-elongating siblings, he always felt somewhat shadowed by his more talented and feature rich, yet understated brother…

I could probably keep up this metaphor for the entire post, and whilst part of me wants to for pure comedy value, I feel it may detract from the usefulness of the post… So what I’m saying is the LENGTHEN command is very useful in specific situations, but in my experience isn’t very widely known or used.

As an example, say you’ve got a polyline that represents a wire going through a complex pulley arrangement. You know the route of the wire, you know how long the wire is supposed to be, but how on earth do you draw your polyline to an exact length through an irregular path? Yes, you could use the MEASURE command, but for me that is a bit inelegant for what we’re trying to do. The best way is to use the LENGTHEN command.

So, draw your line through the pulley arrangement, don't worry about what the total length is for now, just make sure it follows the path you want. Now invoke the LENGTHEN command. In the LENGTHEN command there is the option to specify the total length – press T to select this option, and then enter the desired length. Then, you can select the line that represents your wire, and this will be extended or trimmed to the length you specified. Make sure you pick end of the line, or it will extend or trim from the wrong end. That's it, thought I do quite like the irony of the LENGTHEN command potentially making the line shorter...

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Frank Hong
2011-07-05 09:39:20

Thanks, this post is an eye opener. To be frank, Seldom did I use this command. It's really a good way to specify the length of the irregular polylines.

2011-07-07 11:14:53

Absolutely right - thanks!