Planes Tips Part 2: Digitizing on a Plane

In our last post, we looked at the benefits of planes, where to find it in Surpac and some of its common uses. Before I begin with this week’s tip on digitizing on a plane, I’d like to point you to a webinar that I recorded recently.

This webinar makes reference to some macros I developed to extend the use of planes functionality, which I’d be happy to send to you – simply comment on this post or share it on social media, then drop me a line at

Today’s tip is helpful for users who want to ensure that their newly digitized string is created on a plane.  The plane we digitize on does not have to be vertical or horizontal either, but can be in any orientation.

First, create a plane using three points on the pit, by selecting Planes > Inclined > Plane through 3 points.

Pick any three points on your data and a plane will be created. In this example, we’ll be using an inclined plane (shown below) but it will work for any plane.

On the digitizing toolbar, ensure that Snap to Plane is active.

Next, invoke the digitizer and create points using the mouse. The points created will snap to the plane.

This is what the digitized points will look like at the cursor location.

If the digitized points need to be moved around on the plane, just ensure that the plane you created is saved and active. You can make the plane active by double clicking on it. Check out Part 1 of the Planes series for how to save a plane.

Now use Edit > Point > Move to drag the point around. The point will stay constrained to the plane.

Let us know if you’ve tried this out! Or, read more on how to save a plane and watch our webinar replay on Planes.

Read the next blog post in this series – Part 3: Rotating Data on a Plane.

Ash Colton

Ash Colton

Mining Knowledge Consultant, GEOVIA at Dassault Systèmes
Ash Colton is a qualified Mining and Engineering Surveyor with over 14 years' experience. Ash has worked on a number of mine sites (open cut and underground) and specializes in GEOVIA Surpac, MineSched and Macros. Ash is based in Perth, Australia.