Draft SelectPlane

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Draft SelectPlane.svg Draft SelectPlane

Menu location
Draft → Utilities → Select Plane
Draft, Arch
Default shortcut
Introduced in version
See also
Draft SetWorkingPlaneProxy, Draft ToggleGrid


The Draft Workbench features a working plane system. A plane in the 3D view indicates where a Draft shape will be built. There are several methods to define the working plane:

  • From a selected face.
  • From three selected vertices.
  • From the current view.
  • From a preset: top, front, or side.
  • None, in which case the working plane is adapted automatically to the current view when you start a command, or to a face if you start drawing on an existing face.

WorkingPlane example.png

Different working planes can be set on which to draw shapes

How to use

The Draft SelectPlane.svg SelectPlane button is present in the Draft Tray toolbar, which only appears in the Draft and Arch workbenches.

Without element selected

  1. Press the Draft SelectPlane.svg SelectPlane button.
  2. Select the offset, the grid spacing, and the main lines
  3. Select one of the presets: View-top.svg XY (top), View-front.svg XZ (front), View-right.svg YZ (side), View-isometric.svg View, or View-axonometric.svg Auto.

Once the plane is set, the button will change to indicate the active plane Draft SelectPlane.png Top, Draft SelectPlane.svg Front, Draft SelectPlane.svg Side, Draft SelectPlane.png Auto, Draft SelectPlane.svg d(0.0,-1.0,0.0).

You can show and hide the grid with the shortcut G R.

With element selected

  1. Select a face of an existing object in the 3D view, or hold Ctrl and select three vertices of any object. available in version 0.17
  2. Press the Draft SelectPlane.svg SelectPlane button, or right click and select Utilities → Draft SelectPlane.svg SelectPlane.

The plane will be created aligned to the face of the object, or to the plane defined by the three vertices.


  • Press the View-top.svg XY (top) button to set the working plane on the XY plane. To easily draw on this plane, you should set the view to the top or bottom (the normal is in the positive or negative Z direction). Press 2 or 5 to quickly switch to these views.
  • Press the View-front.svg XZ (front) button to set the working plane on the XZ plane. To easily draw on this plane, you should set the view to the front or rear (the normal is in the negative or positive Y direction). Press 1 or 4 to quickly switch to these views.
  • Press the View-right.svg YZ (side) button to set the working plane on the YZ plane. To easily draw on this plane, you should set the view to the left or right side (the normal is in the positive or negative X direction). Press 3 or 6 to quickly switch to these views.
  • Press the View-isometric.svg View button to set the working plane to the current 3D view, perpendicular to the camera axis and passing through the origin (0,0,0).
  • Press the View-axonometric.svg Auto button to unset any current working plane, and automatically set a working plane when a tool is used. When a drawing tool is selected the grid will be automatically updated to the current view; then, if the view is rotated, and another tool is selected, the grid redraws in the new view. This is equivalent of pressing View-isometric.svg View automatically before using a tool.
  • Set the "Offset" value to set the working plane at a certain perpendicular distance from the plane you selected.
  • Set the "Grid spacing" value to define the space between each line in the grid.
  • Set the "Main line every" value to draw a slightly thicker line in the grid at the set value. For example, if the grid spacing is 0.5 m, and there is a main line every 20 lines, there will be slightly thicker line every 10 m.
  • Click on the "Center plane on view" checkbox to draw the plane and grid closer to the camera view in the 3D view.
  • Press Esc or the Close button to abort the current command.


See also: Draft API and FreeCAD Scripting Basics. See the WorkingPlane API.

Working plane objects can easily be created and manipulated in macros and from the Python console.

You can access the current Draft working plane, and apply transformations to it:

import FreeCAD

Workplane = FreeCAD.DraftWorkingPlane

v1 = FreeCAD.Vector(0, 0, 0)
v2 = FreeCAD.Vector(1, 1, 1).normalize()

Workplane.alignToPointAndAxis(v1, v2, 17)

A Draft command must be issued after changing the working plane to update the visible grid.

You can create your own planes, and use them independently of the current working plane.

import WorkingPlane

Plane = WorkingPlane.plane()