Arrangement of Equally Spaced Figures in SCARM

This article will show you the way to make a sequence of figures by copy-paste and how to arrange them to be equally placed with same space between each two copies. This is useful when you make objects in the scene like custom dashed lines in road markings, vertical parts of parapets, supporting columns of covered platforms and so on.

The current versions of SCARM are using a minimum step of 1mm when moving and placing the selected objects. This is hard-coded and cannot be changed. It can be considered as limitation, but in our case it is an advantage, because it will allow the equal spacing of figures in vertical or horizontal direction when copying and moving them.

A new Translocation function is available in the Toolbox, starting from SCARM v. 1.4.0. It is intended for precise moving of the selected tracks or objects horizontally and/or vertically with user-defined step, which may be even less than 1mm. See more about how to use it in the Toolbox topic of the SCARM online help.

To see how this works, imagine that you want to draw some equally spaced objects on the layout – i.e. anti-parking or car-securing posts as these below:

Car-securing posts

Making of a single post like these in SCARM is easy – just zoom in, then draw a small square using Rectangle figure, set some height in the Properties and choose yellow color.

Before you begin, take a look on How to work with figures FAQ topic in the documentation, if you are not familiar with them.

Your first car-secure post should look like the one below.

Now select it and then copy and paste it – the copy will be placed just over original. Right-click over selection and using the “Move” command, shift the copy to the right at the distance that you wish. Now you should have two posts like these below.

Select both posts (with selection rectangle) and, if necessary align them horizontally, using “Objects” > “Align” menu command. While still selected, copy and paste them. Right click over left post and using “Move” command again, shift the selection to the right so left copied post to overlap right original post.


When ready, select the middle post and delete it – the copy will be removed, but the original will remains. Now you should have 3 equally spaced car-securing posts like these below:

You can continue to paste and move the two posts as far as you need. Or you can make a new copy of the 3 posts and paste it to make 5 equally aligned posts, then copy them and paste again to make 9 posts and so on. Do not forget to delete the copy which you use to align over the original post. Otherwise you will have many overlapping figures that will not be visible, but will consume resources and will make working with the program slower, especially for large projects with many figures.

In this way you can make any kind of equally spaced figures horizontally or vertically. If you need to use such technique for sequence at angle, make it first horizontally, then select all the figures, group them (not required, but helps later), rotate them at the needed angle and finally move them to the desired location.

See also
How to work with figures
How does Copy-Paste works

3 thoughts on “Arrangement of Equally Spaced Figures in SCARM

  1. The method for creating duplicate objects and arranging them in a regular spacing does not work for me. When I select an object, right click it and click Copy, no copy is made. There is nothing on top of the original, and no matter what, the Paste command is always grayed out. If I use the Move command, the original just jumps to wherever the cursor is. No matter what I do, I can’t create a copy of an object, in my case, a rectangle.

  2. Hello Ed,
    If the Paste command is always disabled (grayed out) even after selecting a track or object and using Copy command, then something is not working in your Windows. Restart the PC and try again – that should solve the Copy/Paste issues.

  3. Thank you, Milen — now I can copy and paste. After all my years I still can’t remember: Reboot! Reboot!


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