A compass, also known as a pair of compasses, is a technical drawing instrument that can be used for inscribing circles or arcs. As dividers, they can also be used as tools to measure distances, in particular on maps. Compasses can be used for mathematics, drafting, navigation and other purposes.
Prior to computerization, compasses and other tools for manual drafting were often packaged as a set with interchangeable parts. By the mid-twentieth century, circle templates supplemented the use of compasses. Today these facilities are more often provided by computer-aided design programs, so the physical tools serve mainly a didactic purpose in teaching geometry, technical drawing, etc.