Specify a direction and distance

The Direction/Distance Direction-Distance command creates a vertex at a direction and distance you type in a dialog box. It is available when you create line or polygon feature geometry with at least one active vertex, and right-click the map.

When you use this command, consider the following:

  • When you create z-aware features, the pitch parameter specifies the 3D angular pitch in the z-direction.
  • If ground to grid corrections is on, the calculated values are rotated and scaled by the current correction settings.
  • When you create two-point COGO enabled lines, the specified direction and distance values are stored with the feature in the Direction and Distance attribute fields, respectively

Direction and distance

Create at least one vertex for a line or polygon feature, right-click, click Direction/Distance Direction-Distance, and type a direction and distance. Click the units drop-down arrow to change the default units. To remove the segment, click Undo Undo or press Ctrl+Z.


As an alternative to using a dialog box, you can use on-screen constraints to type direction and distance values as you draw line or polygon segments.

  1. On the Edit tab, in the Features group, click Create Create Features.

    The Create Features pane appears.

  2. Click a polyline or polygon feature template.

    The template expands and displays feature construction tools.

  3. Click the Line tool Line or Polygon tool Polygon.
  4. Click the map to create the first vertex.

    Alternatively, right-click and click Move To, or press F6, type the values on the dialog box, and press Enter.

  5. Right-click and click the Direction/Distance command Direction-Distance, or press G.

    The Direction and Distance dialog box appears.

  6. Click the Horizontal box, type a direction, and press Enter.
  7. Click the Pitch box, type a 3D angular pitch in the z-direction, and press Enter.
    Direction and Distance dialog box

    This parameter is only available with z-aware features.

  8. Click the Distance box, type a distance, and press Enter..

    The segment locks to the specified parameters.

  9. To remove the segment, click Undo Undo or press Ctrl+Z.
  10. To finish the feature, right-click and click Finish Finish or press F2.

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  1. Direction and distance