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The first step in making osnap selection easier is to have the Osnap toolbar on your screen. I use this for osnaps that I use the least.

I like to keep my Osnap Settings set to snap to Endpoint, Midpoint, Center, Intersection, and Perpendicular. The CAM software that I use runs within AutoCAD, which is nice, but the software resets the Osnap Settings. To get them back quickly, I use a custom toolbar button. Here is how to set one up:

  1. Go to View->Toolbars.
  2. Click on the Commands tab.
  3. Click on User Defined under Categories.
  4. Under Commands, click and drag User Defined Button to a toolbar of your choice that you have open. You can also create a new toolbar if you'd like.
  5. Click on the Properties tab.
  6. Click on the new button that you just placed on a toolbar.
  7. Enter ^C^Cosnap end,mid,int,cen,per under Macro associated with this button:. Add other selections if you'd like. Just enter in the first three letters of the setting.
  8. You can edit the button image with the Button Editor in AutoCAD, create your own in another program, or use the one below that I created in Microsoft Paint. 
  9. If you have multiple settings that you use for different applications, just create a new button. Below is another button image that I created to signify all of the above osnaps that I use plus the node osnap.

Did you ever want to pick an endpoint, but your osnaps kept going to perpendicular? Here's how I've got around that:

  1. Open notepad.
  2. Go to File->Open
  3. Select to view All Files
  4. Browse to HardDriveLetter:\Program Files\AutoCAD Version #\Support
  5. If there is a file called acad.mns, open it.
  6. If there is not a file called acad.mns, open the acad.mnu file. This is a menu template file. Save the file as acad.mns.
  7. Go to Edit->Find and type in Accelerators. You should see something like this:
    ID_Hyperlink   [CONTROL+TOOLBAR+"K"]
    ID_Copyclip    [CONTROL+TOOLBAR+"C"]
    ID_New         [CONTROL+TOOLBAR+"N"]
    ID_Open        [CONTROL+TOOLBAR+"O"]
    ID_Print       [CONTROL+TOOLBAR+"P"]
    ID_Save        [CONTROL+TOOLBAR+"S"]
    ID_Pasteclip   [CONTROL+TOOLBAR+"V"]
    ID_Cutclip     [CONTROL+TOOLBAR+"X"]
    ID_Redo        [CONTROL+"Y"]
    ID_U           [CONTROL+"Z"]
    ID_Ai_propch   [CONTROL+TOOLBAR+"1"]
    ID_Content     [CONTROL+TOOLBAR+"2"]
    ID_dbConnect   [CONTROL+"6"]
    ID_VBARun      [ALT+"F8"]
    ID_VBAIDE      [ALT+"F11"]
  8. Enter [CONTROL+"Q"]_endp after the last line in the Accelerators section.
  9. Go to File->Save.
  10. Close AutoCAD and open it back up. This will load your acad.mns file.

Now you'll be able to press Ctrl+Q to only select the endpoint osnaps while in a command. I also use Ctrl+W for snapping to the apparent intersection. I use that a lot for dimensioning, but don't like to have it on at all times.




About the Author:  Seth Emery is a CAD Drafter/CNC Programmer for Henry H. Ross & Son, Inc. in Lititz, Pennsylvania. H.H.  Ross specializes in the fabrication and installation of solid surface, granite, and engineered stone countertops in residential and commercial applications.  Seth can be reached at Visit the H.H. Ross website at

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