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Join Jeff Bartels as he covers the most important features of this industry-standard drafting and design application in AutoCAD 2011 Essential Training. This course begins with a tour of AutoCAD's interface and the tools used to create basic shapes. It then focuses on the methods used to modify and refine geometry while emphasizing accuracy and good habits to build a solid design foundation. The course covers using layers, line types, and colors to organize a drawing file and explains how to efficiently annotate a design and prepare it for final output. Throughout the title, Jeff shares industry techniques used in production and reinforces concepts using practical examples. Exercise files are included with the course.
Now that we have added a title block to our layout, we are ready to finalize our settings and create a Viewport, such that we can see our part and set it to a measurable scale. First of all, let's take a look at the geometry in this layout. Notice the geometry is displaying using the layer colors. Wouldn't it be nice if our layout displayed just like a plot preview? Let me show you how we can do that. I am going to right-click on the Layout name, and then I will select Page Setup Manager, and then I will select Modify. Now, we have already taken care of these plot settings ahead of time.
Let's take a look at the plot style table. I will open up this menu and I will select the monochrome pens, and notice that since I am using a layout, I have the option of displaying the plot styles. I will turn this feature on, I'll click OK, and close. Now, my geometry is displaying using the colors in the plot style table. We can take this concept even one step further. Maybe I would like to see my Lineweights as well. I can do that by adjusting a Mode setting in the Status Bar. I am going to come down and click this toggle.
this controls the display of the Lineweights. When I turn this on, we can see the Lineweights in the drawing, and now I am truly able to work in a plot preview style mode. At this point you may be asking yourself, where is our part in relation to this Layout tab? Let's take a look. I am going to come down to the lower left and I will click the Model tab, this returns me to Model Space, where my part geometry is located. Notice Model Space looks a little different now, because our Lineweight toggle is turned on. If you find the display of the Lineweights to be a problem, you can always turn them back off.
The Lineweights will plot just fine whether this toggle is turned on or not. I am going to leave mine on and then I will return to the Layout tab. Layouts sit on top of Model Space. So if I want to see my part, I need to cut a hole in this layout. This hole is called a Viewport, and if I am going to create a Viewport, I need to put it on a layer of its own. So I am going to open up the Layer Properties Manager and I'll click the New icon. I will call my layer Viewport, and then I will click the green check to set this layer Current, and I will return to the drawing.
To create the Viewport, I will click the View tab, and the tool I am looking for is down here in the Viewports Panel. Now, launching this command is essentially three clicks. I am going to click New, then Single, and then OK. Now, I will pick two points to define the rectangular shape of my Viewport. I am going to select the endpoint here and the endpoint here. Notice we can now see the part through this Viewport. A Viewport is a lot like a window into Model Space.
Watch this, if my cursor is inside the Viewport and I double click, AutoCAD gives me access to Model Space through the window. From here, I can pan, zoom. I can even work through this Viewport. It's a lot like reaching your hand through a window. In fact, we'll adjust the plotted scale of this geometry by adjusting the zoom factor. Now, I don't have to do that manually, instead, once I am in the Viewport, I am going to come down to the Viewport Scale Menu and I can set the Scale from here. Notice that I have several of the standard engineering and mechanical Scales at the top of the menu and I have several architectural Scales down here at the bottom.
Let's see if this drawing will fit in the Viewport at a Scale of 1:1. It looks like that will work nicely. I am going to pan this over and center it a little better in the Viewport. Once you finalize your Viewport, it's a good idea to come down and click this padlock to lock it. Otherwise, if you accidentally roll your scroll wheel, you will change the scale of the Viewport. You might think that you could roll the wheel back to fix this, unfortunately, it never works. The only way to correct the Scale is to come back to the Viewport Scale Menu and reselect the Scale from this list.
Now that I have set my Scale, I am going to come down and click this padlock to lock it, and from now on, if I pan or zoom in the Viewport, AutoCAD is going to pan and zoom the entire layout. If I would like to jump out of the Viewport, I am going to move my cursor outside the Viewport boundary and I will double click. Now my cursor is back on the Layout tab and I have access to all of the layout geometry and objects. I would like to do one more thing in keeping with my plot preview analogy. I would like to turn off this grid.
This grid is coming from Model Space and it really doesn't benefit me that much on the Layout tab, so I would like to turn it off. To do that, I will double click to jump into the Viewport, and then I'll come down to the Status Bar and I will click the Grid toggle to turn it off, and it will be turned off in this Viewport only. When I am finished, I'll double click outside the Viewport boundary to jump out. Now, remember when I created my Viewport, I put it on a layer of its own. You may be wondering why that's necessary? Let's take a look. I am going to go to the Home tab, and if I turn off the Viewport Layer, notice that the rectangle disappears and I don't have to worry about this Viewport showing up on my plots.
That's why it's a good idea to put it on a layer of its own. Now, I would like to do one more thing, I would like to rename this layout. Layout1 is kind of generic. To change the name, I will double click on it and I will call this Final Design, and I'll press Enter. When the time comes to plot this layout, remember that all of the plot settings have been taken care of ahead of time. All I have to do to send this to my printer is click Plot, and OK. And since I am plotting this to a PDF, I have to give it a file name.
I am saving this to my Desktop, and I will call the file final design, and I will click Save. On my screen is an example of the final plot. Layouts are the most powerful way of creating plots in AutoCAD. Their benefits even go beyond the Viewports, plot preview, and naming features that we have seen here. If we can incorporate layouts into our workflow, we have taken the first step towards using even more powerful features, like Sheet Sets, Page Setups, and Publishing.
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