Using these options, you can restrict movement, scaling or rotation to specific axes. For example, to allow movement along the Y axis only, enable Y axis and disable X axis and Z axis. Now, when you drag with the Move tool selected, the movement will be along the Y axis only.
Use the Coordinate System setting, also on the Tools menu, to choose whether the angles refer to the world coordinate system or the object coordinate system.
Cinema 4D remembers the state of the axes (locked or unlocked) separately for each tool. For example, if you have made a movement along the Y axis while X and Z were locked with the Move tool, and you then switch to Rotate, all axes are unlocked again. When you change back to Move, the program remembers that only the Y axis was unlocked for Move.
The axes can be locked and unlocked in the Cinema 4D Project menu.