I use the command to set points relative to just about any place in the drawing, and this is certainly not relative to the last drawing operation or the last object selected. That's the beauty of the "Reference Point" operation - the past drawing history is irrelevant.
"Last Point" has nothing to do with past history. In fact, if there are currently no points in the point buffer, DC will gray out the "Last Point" option and slam you into the dreaded "Last Cursor Position" option. (The one benefit from using "Reference Point" exclusively is that you will never get slammed into "Last Cursor Position".)
Perhaps you are unfamiliar with how the "Last Point" option works. Here's an example:
To draw a circle of radius 4 using "Last Point", you would simply:
1) Hit the "O" key (to start the circle command);
2) set the center point of your circle by any means you desire;
3) hit [Apostrophe] (to start the Point Relative command);
4) key in the X value of 4; and
5) hit [ENTER] ( the Point Relative command ends as it sets the final point for your circle).
Voila. You are done. The center point of the circle (set in step 2) is the "last point" set prior to using the Point Relative command.
If this operation had been performed using the "Reference Point" option, the Point Relative command would not have ended or set a point at step five. Instead the dialog would have disappeared, requiring you ( without any prompting ) to find the center point that you already set in step 2, and then to try to set another point on top of it, without accidentally snapping to another nearby point. Why would anyone choose that as his exclusive mode of operation?
We all use the "Reference Point" option, sometimes because it is the best tool, and mostly because DC forces us to use it during point moves, but few of us would choose to use it exclusively.
I don't want the values to reset to zero (we currently have this option and I don't use it).
Good point. I wouldn't use it either, if I had no way to restore the cleared values, as I had proposed. But you've persuaded me that it might be better to make the Restore function available to users who select "reset values to zero", and not to zero values default.
First of all, we will never do a point relative operation with XYZ offsets of 0,0,0, so those values will always be the wrong values. Second, I sometimes want to repeat the same XYZ values, so having them remembered is useful. Third, in most cases we will have to enter new values in one or more fields, so it doesn't matter if they are the old values or if they are reset to zero.
Here's an example of how those of us who work in 2D would benefit from keeping the "Reset values to zero" box always checked, so long as a "Restore" key were available.
Imagine that you are following the steps above to draw a circle in 2D. After you hit [ENTER], you discover that the second point is not horizontally disposed from the center point, and the radius is larger than 4 units. The error is because you failed to clear the Y numeric field after entering 4 in the X field, and now you have to redraw or edit the circle. This error could never have occurred if all the fields had been zeroed previously.
Having a "Restore" key available makes it practical to keep "reset values to zero" checked unless you plan to do multiple operations with the same offsets.
Having to press the apostrophe key twice increases the work load!
OK, How's this?
1 ) Each instance of Point Relative defaults to the "Reference Point" option.
2 ) If the user hits the same shortcut key (eg apostrophe) again in the same instance, the option changes to "Last Point"
3a) If the "Always reset values to zero" box is checked, all numeric input fields are cleared, as they are now.
3b) If the user hits a Restore key, for example [F12], all the numeric fields are restored to their prior values.
4 ) The "O" key changes the option to "Origin"
5 ) The "C" key changes the option to "Last Cursor Position" ( alternatively, this option could be eliminated from the dialog )
6 ) The "R" key changes the option back to "Reference Point" (using the apostrophe as a toggle would force user to look at screen to avoid errors)
7 ) The "L" key also changes the option to "Last Point" (useful in the event that the command someday allows user-selected defaults)
8 ) In all cases, initial focus is set to the first numeric field, as it is now.
9 ) Point Relative command should be fixed to allow Last Point option in point moves.
10) At the very least, DC must stop slamming users into "Last Cursor Position" when they have chosen the "Last Point" option for a point move.
Again, this scheme eliminates all mouse operations and hence the need to look at the screen while executing the command.
Although the "Origin" option is dupicative of the PointXYZ command, I'm OK with the redundancy, as it eliminates the need to remember the shortcut for the rarely-used PointXYZ command (semicolon). And it is immediately available if one hits the apostrophe in error while reaching for the semicolon.
Our single point of agreement so far is that "Last Cursor Position" is a terrible option to have on the dialog, and we'd both like to see it gone. But I guess it's possible that someone, somewhere has found a valid use for it, although I cannot imagine what that use might be. ( Even you used "Last Cursor Position" exclusively until mid 2012. Since then you have used "Reference Point" exclusively. Yes, you are "not the average user." But statistically speaking, who is? )
So there; we agree on two things already. At least that's a start !
"So you're telling me there's a chance!" Jim Carrey, 1994
PS: Hi Dempsey, Good to hear from you, even if infrequently. Best Wishes