Distance & Area tools


This command, found on the top of the Tools drop down menu and on the standard toolbar [or activated simply by typing DIST in the drawing editor], asks for a start point for a distance measurement and a second (end) point. The distance between the first and second click is reported both in the command area and on the screen at the cursor point. When a third point is added, the perimeter of the running length is calculated so you could for example use distance to measure total lengths of irrigation piping.

Tip: Use object snap to provide accurate start and end points for a distance measurement. Although it may appear during the operation that you are adding entities or selecting them, these do not form part of the design.

gCADPlus to SketchUp This movie discusses the use of the distance command.


The area command (selected from Tools, the standard toolbar or started from the command area or by typing AREA), sets a yellow shape over what can be quite complex areas. Entity snap tools can be used to precisely mark points on the perimeter of the area to be measured if precision is needed. The value for area will be reported in the command line in square units – mm square, m square or square feet depending on the base unit in use.

gCADPlus to SketchUp This movie shows the use of the area command on a drawing prepared by an arborist. Unusually for a gCADPlus user, the base unit is meters so the area value is reported as square meters. In most landscape drawings in the metric environment, mm are the base unit so the unit of area become mm square. To change mm square to meters squared, shift the decimal point by 6.

Measure area of closed polyline and label

Area of closed polyline This tool calculates the total area enclosed by a polyline and labels the area. You might well use it to calculate volume of mulch required for planting beds by multiplying the area value by depth of mulch.