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Measure Tool in Creo 2.0

Regular Member

Measure Tool in Creo 2.0

Hi everyone...

I know I've been absent quite a bit. I'm heavy into a very large design task and therefore I'm using Creo 2.0 very, very heavily. While I do prefer it to Wildfire 5... and even to Wildfire 3, there are some parts that drive me insane. I guess I just wanted to get everyone else's impressions as a sanity check.

The Measurement Tool in Creo 2.... how do you feel about it? I spoke to the developers in Anaheim about it and told them I did not like it. I tried to demonstrate some of the issues but I don't think they were "getting it". The implied notion they gave me was that I simply wasn't using the tool correctly. Instead of staying in "Summary", I should be using "Distance", etc. I went back to my job resolved to take another crack at it. Perhaps I was missing just how great the tool was!

Eh... no.

I've making measurements very, very frequently and I do not like the tool. I'll admit my opinion may be colored by fatigue. I've been working 16-18 hours a day (12 on weekends) and I'm putting in tons of time in Creo 2.0. Managers are all over me like bees on honey and I just can't seem to get ahead. But still, is it just me?

To be more uncharacteristically direct ... this tool is a festering POS and I want to do bodily harm to the people who've forced it upon me. The measurement window is always directly under the tool menu. Summary mode is bloated providing me with all sorts of information I don't even want. Distance mode is terrible. I'm clearly picking ON THE SURFACE OF THE MODEL and yet I'm getting edges and vertices 15 levels behind the surface I'm picking. I have to use custom filters, mapkeys, or other techniques to force the tool to do a simple measurement.

I also don't like that I have to hold CTRL to select the second surface. I never had to do that in previous versions because each selection was in a separate reference selector. Now I must use the Query Bin to get the correct surface (because of the problem mentioned about)... but I have to remember to hold down CTRL before I choose it else I lose my first reference. So the measurement process for measuring from plane-to-plane or surface-to-surface is:

  1. Step into Measurement Tool using Distance mode.
  2. Right-click on surface and select Pick from List.
  3. Locate surface in list and select it.
  4. Right-click on surface and select Pick from List.
  5. Locate surface in list.
  6. Hold CTRL key.
  7. Double-click surface in list.
  8. Move measurement window to view results.
  9. Resume work in Creo and get to the point where I need to use the value... but oops, I just forgot what it was (this really happens). I used to be able to see it in the message log but now I have to remeasure unless I wanted to save the measurement as a feature (which I don't).

I think the thing that bugs me the most about the CTRL thing is that many of the different modes and subsystems of Creo are not consistent. In one mode you need to hold CTRL, in another you don't. It gets horribly confusing which one requires the CTRL technique and which one does not. It's like the tools aren't testing for conformity across the entire product.

Also, I don't like the measurement box floating in space cluttering up my screen. The results window only appears if you open it? I'm taking a measurement, that should tell someone I probably care WHAT THE HECK THE RESULTS ARE. This could be mitigated though if the results were given in the message log like they used to be. But that has been removed. For the love of all that's holy WHY was this removed? Was anyone really complaining that the message log was impeding their work?

And another thing about the message log... I want to see more information in that blasted message log. Over the years PTC has steadily been removing messages from the message log. I can only speculate as to why. I used to write PERL scripts that pulled all sorts of relevant data from the message window. But now much of that data no longer appears at all. Again... why? Is anyone complaining that trail files are just too long?

Anyway this is turning into a rant and I didn't mean for it to be. I just wanted to start a discussion of the measurement tool and possible enhancements. What are your thoughts?

Thanks everyone...


At Wildfire 2,3, and 4 I just used a mapkey for measurements and I was happy... but of course all of my mapkeys were blown away in Wildfire 5 and then again in Creo 2 and I just don't have time to recreate them.


Re: Measure Tool in Creo 2.0

hi Brian,

I can send you some of my mapkeys for measure tool in Creo 2.0, if you'd like.

I agree with you on most of the things. I can't understand why is that the measurement window position keeps changing everytime a measurement is taken, and also why it tends to fly all over the place. Why would anyone let the programmers to make anything like that. Every second time it just hides under the main measurement summary window.

I am used to look at message log too, for recent measurement values, from other CAD apps. So, I tend to open message log every single time for that purpose even in Creo. It's annoying when I don't find there anything. The good thing on the measurement window is that you can copy the measured value using RMB menu.

One more thing that bugs me is that the measurement window fonts are very very small, and I couldn't find any way to adjust their font size. The shape of the font is also annoying, not really suitable for numeric characters I'd say.

Also it could be nice if the measurement summary window could be closed just with MMB.


Re: Measure Tool in Creo 2.0

I have to agree with you, Brian. When the tool doesn't even give you an X,Y, Z delta based on the default CSYS without picking the CSYS is absolutely wild. The dialog location and UI persistence are both very poor implementations. And don't even get me started on the "nearest" feature to the RMB click.

I'm sorry work is sucking up so much of your life, Brian. I've learned long ago that if you give 'em an inch, they'll take a mile, regardless of how much you "understand how important it is". Maybe they should have thought ahead and brought in some quality people a couple of years ago to fill the void (I'm available BTW ). I'm sure your pay didn't double when your workload did. I hope they honor comp time. Remember that American's tend to give away more work to employers than people from -any- other country.

Hang in there Brian. Hope to see you back here with your sage advice and scholarly solutions soon.

Re: Measure Tool in Creo 2.0

Solidworks infection,solidworks have simlar way of measure tool.

Re: Measure Tool in Creo 2.0


I think the measure tool is the best tool I have ever seen! I like it soo much that I am trying to avoid using it. The best feature it has is that hide-behind-window, so I can play hide and seek everytime I use the tool. When I get tired of this game I just start playing "click on me to see the measured value" game and I love it.

CTRL button is really OK. It should be there. So software knows which two features are selected and measured from. But it does not work the "right" way, or we do not know how to use it. I should have been able to select multiple features and show only dimensions "connected" with CTRL button.

Re: Measure Tool in Creo 2.0

I find the measure tool a big enhancement. I love that in 3 clicks (measure, pick item, pick item) I've got a summary of information about those two entities (I rarely use the specific tools, the summary tool does all that I need). I like being able to display the results in alternate units. I do agree that it has its quirks. The biggest is not being able to expand the results window by default. I've gotten accustomed to the ctrl key requirement.

The selection quirk you mention his very frustrating, but it's not exclusive to the measure tool and it's not new with Creo 2. It's been that way forever. Personally, I'd like to be able to toggle through the selectable items under my mouse as they would be found if I passe through the model. It seems that edges & vertexes get priority when surfaces are what I typically want. (You can set the selection filter to surfaces, which helps). It also seems that the order of the query select is different in different modes.

Oh, and you also said " It's like the tools aren't testing for conformity across the entire product." That's absolutely true, and mind boggling. A few years ago I pushed to be a part of the technical committees primarily to address cross module inconsistencies like this. I asked which committee worked with the part of PTC concerned with that. I was told that there is no top level UI oversight, each group does what they feel is best for them. That's why the MMB does so many different things (shameless plug - vote for my enhancement to fix that.) among other things.

Doug Schaefer | Experienced Mechanical Design Engineer

Re: Measure Tool in Creo 2.0

In my opinion this meaure tool is great! So many information by having 1 or 2 clicks or more if needed. The big problem is the the big changes between wildfire xx and Creo 2.0. It took me a while to full understand how it works but when i did, i don't want to go back again

Re: Measure Tool in Creo 2.0

Feature tab is completely hidden,this is one more drawback.

Re: Measure Tool in Creo 2.0

i do like that blue "i" button that gives that cool pop up window with the results.that deal has saved me a ton of scratch paper.

[the noise of trees clapping for creo]

Re: Measure Tool in Creo 2.0

Hello Brian,

I admid that my enthusiasm about the changes was pretty small either.

Mostly it was because it did no longer work the way I was used to it. But I found out that it is not worse, just different:

  • Since I select with query select or from list most of the time anyway, geometry selection did not make much difference for me. I agree that it must be harder for those who work different. You will surely need the filters more often.
  • Before, I was used to click one reference in the dialog to replace it -> Now I click onto one item to remove again it and then the new one or I use RMB > Replace in the dialog
  • Before, I didn't had to press the CTRL button to select a second reference -> Now I have to, but it doesn't hurt much (not as much as an extra click would) and it is more consistent with the selection process in general
  • Previously I first told what type of measure I want -> Now I get a summary for me to use what I am interested in or I select it by RMB > Measure
  • And yes, I also liked to copy from the message log -> Now I select what I need in the summary and use RMB > Copy

As for why it has been removed: An internal SPR has been opened by Technical Support to check, why this happened. However, I believe the answer is rather obvious:

Instead of a single measure we are now getting a bunch of them in the Summary, so it is no longer so easy to output the result in a single line. And we already get the summary for the first selection. The second selection changes the output. So this would be quite some information, possibly cluttering the log.

Anyway, I have asked R&D, whether they want to consider adding a option to output summary information to our message log (people from Technical Support love the logs, as they often provide answers to querstions)