11.1. Box Tool

The box tool, which is shown in Figure 11.2, allows you to move an axis-aligned box around in 3D space. You can use the box tool with the Box and Clip operators to interactively restrict plots to a certain volume. The box tool is drawn as a box with five hotpoints that allow you to move the box in 3D space or resize it in any or all dimensions.


Fig. 11.2 Box tool with a plot restricted to the box

You can move the box tool around the Viewer window by clicking on the origin hotpoint, which has the word “Origin” next to it, and dragging it around the Viewer window. When you move the box tool, it moves in a plane that is parallel to the screen. You can move the box tool backward and forward along an axis by holding down the keyboard’s Shift key before you click and drag the origin hotpoint. When the box tool moves, red, green, and blue boxes appear to give a point of reference for the box with respect to the X, Y, and Z dimensions (see Figure 11.3).

You can extend one of the box’s faces at a time by clicking on the appropriate hotpoint and moving the mouse up to extend the box or by moving the mouse down to shrink the box in the given dimension. Hotpoints for the box’s back faces are drawn smaller than their front-facing counterparts. When the box is resized in a single dimension, reference planes are drawn in the dimension that is changing so you can see where the edges of the box are in relation to the bounding box for the visible plots. You can also resize all of the dimensions at the same time by clicking on the “Resize XYZ” hotpoint and dragging the mouse in an upward motion to scale the box to a larger size in X,Y, and Z or by dragging the mouse down to shrink the box. When all box dimensions are resized at the same time, the shape of the box remains the same but the scale of the box changes.


Fig. 11.3 Box tool while it is resized or moved