Graphics Programs Reference
green dots appear as you move over points. If you select one of the points, the
view doesn't enlarge but centers on the selected point.
Next is the Orbit tool. Until the introduction of the ViewCube (see the next
section, “The ViewCube and the Navigation Bar”), it was the primary way users
could quickly rotate a model to view it from other directions. It's valuable to
learn about the Orbit tool, but I expect most new users to become as dependent
on the ViewCube as I have in the short time that I've been using it.
When you start the Orbit tool by selecting it or pressing the F4 key, a circle
with four rays appears. This is known as the Reticle. The horizontal and vertical
lines represent the X and Y axes of the screen. As you near them, the cursor
changes to an arrow in a loop. Clicking and dragging at that time rotates the
object about the axis of the screen. When you move your mouse outside the cir-
cle and away from the axes, the cursor changes to an arrow in a circle. Clicking
and dragging at that time causes the model to rotate about the Z axis of the
screen. If you move away from the center of the screen, you see yet another cur-
sor: this one takes the shape of the arrow on an Enter key. Clicking with this
arrow displayed is a shortcut out of the Orbit tool.
Now, move the cursor inside the circle, where it looks similar to the toolbar
button you selected in the fi rst place. Clicking and dragging inside the Reticle
causes the model to tumble about the center point of the screen. You can
change what portion of the model is centered on the screen by hovering over a
point and clicking the primary mouse button, which relocates the pivot point.
This causes the model to shift position similar to clicking a point using the
Zoom Selected tool.
The Constrained Orbit tool lies in the fl y-out menu under the Orbit tool. It's
basically the same as Orbit but is designed to pivot around the axes of the
The ViewCube and the Navigation Bar
Whenever you open a 3D model in Inventor, the ViewCube appears in the upper-
right corner of the Design window. The ViewCube allows you to click the named
faces of the cube and have the part orient itself to match the cube's new orienta-
tion. You can also rotate the part about its center by clicking the cube and drag-
ging it while holding down the mouse button. Other features include the ability
to select corners and edges of the cube to rotate the part.
When you're looking directly at a standard view, two curved arrows appear.
These arrows let you spin the part about the axis of the screen. It's the same
effect as if you pressed a fi nger into the center of a piece of paper and rotated
the sheet under your fi nger.