AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 Bible

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Draw a circle centered in a rectangle

It’s common to need to place a circle in the middle of a rectangle, especially in mechanical drawings. It’s easy to do using object snap tracking.

Object snap tracking tracks the coordinates on object snaps and for this task, you need to track the midpoint of the rectangle’s sides. Here are the steps:

  1. Make sure that the Object Snap Tracking button on the status bar is on, or press F11.
  2. Make sure the midpoint object snap is on or press F3.
  3. Right-click the Object Snap button on the status bar and choose Midpoint, if it isn’t already highlighted.  This sets a running object snap for midpoints.
  4. Draw a rectangle (RECTANG command).
  5. Start the CIRCLE command.
  6. At the Specify center point for circle or [3P/2P/Ttr (tan tan radius)]: prompt, pass the cursor over one midpoint of a rectangle side until you see it marked. This is called acquiring the object snap.
  7. Move the cursor toward the center of the rectangle and then pass the cursor over a rectangle side that is perpendicular to the first side, to acquire that sides midpoint.
  8. Move the cursor toward the center of the rectangle until you see the tracking lines from both midpoints cross each other at the rectangle’s center.
  9. Click to specify the circle’s center.
  10. At the Specify radius of circle or [Diameter]:  prompt, specify the circle’s radius.

Watch the video to see how it’s done!


How do you use object snap tracking?

Ellen Finkelstein
Latest posts by Ellen Finkelstein (see all)

9 comments to Draw a circle centered in a rectangle

  • Andrew Puller

    You could also use the Mid between 2 points osnap.

    Draw your rectangle.
    Start the circle command.
    + right click.
    Choose Mid between 2 Points.
    Turn on osnap if it is not already on. (need either mid point snap or end point)
    Choose the mid point on two opposite sides or two of the opposite corners.


  • Ellen

    Yes, that would also work! Thanks for the suggestion.

  • Hans

    i would say Andrews idea is a beter method and what i would use it’s much easier and you can use a diagonal Mid two points

    Regards Hans Graveman

  • Hans

    you can use M2P on the two oposite corners (diagonal) of a rectang


  • Lucas

    M2P is my favor trick to teach my students all the time. Great Mr. Hans


  • Edgetrimmer

    While I often use the m2p method, it is good and very helpful to know the method shown by Ellen. It takes a little practice to get used to it but it’s actually easier and less clicking. Thanks Ellen.

  • Ellen

    Yes, the object snap tracking method does use less clicking. I think it’s a little more difficult conceptually and you need to move the cursor in a specific way, but in the end, I think it’s quicker.

  • Mohammad Fraes

    thanks … i use shift+right click to control snaping and i like it so .. its goot for draw circle like this

  • jagdish

    Also you can do like this – type as below in command line
    (end+end)/2 or (mid+mid)/2
    you can use any other snaps

    or if you need to draw any object in certain distance from any point type as follow

    100 = represents distance
    0= represents direction in degree

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