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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

How Do You Look at it? - Look at plane on Sketch Creating in Autodesk Inventor

A man should look for what is, and not for what he thinks should be.
Albert Einstein

When I train an Autodesk Inventor class, I make a point to try to tell my students what settings I change solely for the purpose of my own preference.  There's no reason to change that setting if they prefer a different setting. 

Everyone has different preferences, and everyone should be allowed to choose for themselves.

I'll often speak of "settings Jon changes on every new install of Inventor".

And one of them is "Look at Sketch Plane on Sketch Creation".  It's found by choosing Tools>Application Options and finding the Sketch Tab By default it's turned on in Inventor.  I turn it off right away.

The default settings.
First of all, what does it do?  When checked, Inventor will automatically turn the view to look perpendicular to a sketch plane when a sketch is created.

Before creating the sketch, I have the view rotated in an Isometric view

Before creating the sketch

After creating the sketch the view is rotated so the view is perpendicular to the sketch.

After creating the sketch

I know that there are many who like this setting.  However, personally, I'm not a fan.  I always found I was rotating the view back most of the time. So what to I do?

I turn it off! Just like I have below.

Turning the setting off
Now, Inventor won't turn the view for me.  While this means I may have to turn the view myself, I prefer it because I turn the view when I want to.  Which I find much more comfortable for me.

So there it is!  A setting that I change, and why I change it, which really just boils down to personal preference.

What do you think?  Do you prefer the default behavior?  Feel free to drop a comment!

And for the video version of this setting, take a look below!


  1. I used to have this setting disabled, but having it disabled would make using the vertical/horizontal constraints confusing. It seems like Inventor bases what is considered vertical/horizontal on the orientation of the sketch after it rotates it into view. What is considered vertical/horizontal doesn't appear to match any "universal" axis or orientation. Am I just missing something, or is there a better way to anticipate what will be considered vertical/horizontal without letting Inventor rotate the plane into view?

    Also, Merry Christmas!

    1. Stephen,

      I don't know how the "ones & zeros" decide what's up or down.One way I'll do it is to use the "Look At" command, which orients the sketch the local coordinate system.

      You could also turn on the coordinate system indicator for sketch (on the sketch tab in Application Options).

      I hope this helps! Happy Holidays

    2. My issue with this feature is that Autodesk rotates the view when it aligns it. For example if you are looking straight at the right plane the orientation cube will say RIGHT orientated upright and reading from left to right. If you then use the "Look At" command and select a face on the right plane Autodesk rotates your view 90 degrees. This bothers me because now I have two steps to align my view. First i need to select look at and then rotate the view back to the upright position. Do you have any idea why it does this?

    3. Chris. The only other way I know how to affect that would be by changing the coordinate system. Which I always thought wasn't worth the trouble for me..... Sorry. :(