CoolTechStuff: Arrette Scale

By Larry Mortimer,  AIA


Here’s an app that can turn your iPad into a drawing tool that allows you to sketch freehand while maintaining accuracy in your drawing.


What Does It Do: Arrette Scale integrates accurate drawing tools with
Arrette2freehand drawing tools to combine the creativity of a sketch with the accuracy of a drafted drawing.



System Requirements: IPad with iOS 6.0 or later.accuracy of a drafted drawing.the

What does it cost: $5.99 (there is also a free version).

How Does it Work:

Arrette uses lines, erasers, grids, layers, and a tool called the Edge (a combination ruler and protractor) to help you draw accurately. The edge tool in line mode allows you to draw straight lines, and in circle mode to draw perfect circles and arcs. Base images can be imported from maps, photos, or other sources (including the iPad camera), and used to trace over.

Key Features:


• 4 pen colors and 2 line weights
• The grid works in metric or imperial units
• Includes distance & area measurement tools
• Layers can be re-ordered, hidden, or merged
• Layers can be transparent and time-stamped
• Base images can be scaled and rotated
• Drawings can be shared via email, Twitter, Facebook or Dropbox
• Import or export PDF, PNG, or JPG files
• Edge tool can rotate in 1 to 15 degree increments


Pros: Inexpensive. Simple, intuitive user interface with nice built-in help documentation.

Cons: Only available on iPad. More pen colors would be useful and the area measurement tool should use polygons instead of freehand lines.


Conclusion: If you like to sketch, you’ll like Arrette Scale. It’s like drawing on tracing paper, but with the additional tools needed to keep things accurate.

More Information at:

Purchase at:

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