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Creating viewports with islands

From: AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets

Video: Creating viewports with islands

The viewports that we create on our layouts are very flexible. I mean, we don't have to stick with the standard rectangle. We can also clip viewports into many different shapes. The downside to a clipped viewport is that it's based on a polyline, which means that certain shapes like a doughnut are not allowed, because you cannot have a shape within another shape. Well, in this lesson we're going to avoid the polyline altogether and create a viewport using an even more powerful object called region. On my screen I have some simple geometry. I've drawn a rectangle and some circles.

Creating viewports with islands

The viewports that we create on our layouts are very flexible. I mean, we don't have to stick with the standard rectangle. We can also clip viewports into many different shapes. The downside to a clipped viewport is that it's based on a polyline, which means that certain shapes like a doughnut are not allowed, because you cannot have a shape within another shape. Well, in this lesson we're going to avoid the polyline altogether and create a viewport using an even more powerful object called region. On my screen I have some simple geometry. I've drawn a rectangle and some circles.

At this point I am going to open the Draw panel and I'll launch the Region command. I will then select all of my geometry and I'll press Enter. And if you look at the command line, you can see that AutoCAD has converted these three objects into three separate regions. A region is technically a solid object. In fact, it's a solid that has no volume. It is paper thin. You can create a region from just about any geometry so long as it represents a closed shape. The nice thing about regions is that they support Boolean commands like Union and Subtract.

For instance, I am going to launch the Union command by typing union and I'll press enter. I'll select two of these objects and I'll press Enter. And notice how AutoCAD merges them together. Let's try another. This time I'll type subtract. I'll press Enter. I will then select the large object, press Enter, and then I will select the object I'd like to subtract and I'll press Enter. Notice how AutoCAD removed one region from the other. I show you this because you can use regions to create viewports.

That means you can do your editing much faster and you can get away with any shape you can think of. Let's try it. I'm going to erase this geometry and then I'll double-click my scroll wheel to do a Zoom Extents. On my screen I have a drawing of a tree removal plan. This cyan line represents my property boundary. If I zoom in, you can see that I have several blocks that represent trees and the trees with an X are the ones that are targeted to be removed. Let's take a look at the layout that's been set up for this drawing.

The first thing I'd like to do is create a viewport. However, I'm going to do it in a different way. I'll start by launching the Rectangle command and then I'll select this lower left endpoint and the upper right endpoint. This way I have created a rectangle that's the same size as my title block. Next, I'll launch the Region command. I'll select my rectangle and I'll press Enter. This rectangle is now a region. Now I'll jump to the View tab, and in the Viewports panel, I'll open this fly-out and I'll select Create from Object and I'll select my region.

I will then double-click to jump into the viewport. I'll use this menu to set the scale to 1:50, and then I will pan this down and I'll center it inside the view. Notice that this viewport works just like any other viewport that you've seen. I'm going to turn off the grid as well. I'll do that by clicking this icon in the status bar and then I'll double-click outside the viewport boundary to jump out. Let's edit this boundary. If I Zoom in, you can see that I have some line work passing through the text area of the title block.

Typically we would use the Clipping tool to remove this, instead I'm going to subtract it out. I'll jump back to the Home tab, I'll launch the Rectangle command, and I'll create a rectangle from the lower left corner to the upper right corner of the text block. I will then launch the Region command, I'll select my rectangle, and I'll press Enter. Next, I'll launch the Subtract command. Now, instead of typing that again, I'm going to right click and in the Recent Input Menu, I'll select Subtract from here.

I will then select the large region and press Enter and then I'll select the smaller one, the one I'd like to subtract, and I'll press Enter. I am going to jump into the viewport and pan and you can see the text area has been removed. I am going to jump out and then I'll do a zoom extents, and I'll open the Layer control because I'd like to turn on a layer here called general notes. Let's zoom in. I'm sure you'll agree that these notes are a little hard to read with the linework in the background.

Let's try and subtract that area from the viewport. Once again, I'll create a rectangle, and I'm going to turn off my running object snaps momentarily. I'll use the rectangle to surround the text. I will then convert this rectangle into a region. Then I'll right-click, I'll come down to Recent Input, and select Subtract. I'll select the large region, press Enter, and then I'll select the object I'd like to subtract and press Enter. Let's back up.

I am going to double-click in this viewport and if I pan you can see that my viewport now has a hole in it. This is something you can't do with a polyline. I'm going to jump back out and at this point you may be wondering if it's difficult to remove the hole. No, it's not. Once again, I'll create another rectangle. I'll make this one larger than the hole. Let's convert this one into a region. This time I'll launch the Union command.

I'll do that by typing union. I'll press Enter. I will then select the large region followed by the smaller one and I'll press Enter, and AutoCAD fuses the shapes together, removing the hole. Using regions we can take our viewports to a whole new creative level. Virtually any shape is possible and edits are as simple as Union and Subtract.

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This video is part of

Image for AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets
AutoCAD: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets

66 video lessons · 8135 viewers

Jeff Bartels
Author

 
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  1. 1m 28s
    1. Welcome
      53s
    2. Using the exercise files
      35s
  2. 47m 11s
    1. Adding relevant data to Quick Properties and tooltips
      5m 38s
    2. Creating custom ribbon tabs and panels
      8m 55s
    3. Creating macro-enabled tools
      10m 29s
    4. Increasing speed with command aliases
      4m 44s
    5. Finding commands and system variables using Auto Complete
      2m 35s
    6. Optimizing the size of palettes
      3m 17s
    7. Accessing drawings using Favorites
      2m 25s
    8. Controlling notification bubbles
      2m 24s
    9. Restoring hidden messages
      3m 53s
    10. Following a blog from within AutoCAD
      2m 51s
  3. 1h 0m
    1. Disabling mode settings on the fly
      3m 28s
    2. Finding hatch boundaries in busy drawings
      3m 32s
    3. Generating boundaries from difficult shapes
      2m 20s
    4. Calculating the overall length of multiple entities
      6m 16s
    5. Calculating the area of multiple shapes
      4m 42s
    6. Flattening geometry to a single elevation
      4m 0s
    7. Trimming all entities to one side of an object
      2m 42s
    8. Eliminating duplicated geometry
      5m 10s
    9. Creating true offsets
      3m 44s
    10. Finding errors when joining multiple entities
      6m 48s
    11. Moving and copying entities using Windows shortcuts
      2m 24s
    12. Solving expressions using the command prompt calculator
      5m 1s
    13. Using the Calculator palette
      10m 25s
  4. 21m 17s
    1. Bringing all text objects to the front
      1m 20s
    2. Underlining single-line text
      1m 21s
    3. Managing numbered and lettered lists
      3m 36s
    4. Creating superscript and subscript text
      3m 18s
    5. Removing formatting from MTEXT
      3m 26s
    6. Using fields to identify who revised a drawing
      3m 10s
    7. Squeezing text into tight spaces
      3m 5s
    8. Hiding extra annotative scales
      2m 1s
  5. 16m 55s
    1. Creating "one-click" dimensions
      1m 52s
    2. Dimensioning angles greater than 180 degrees
      1m 40s
    3. Creating dynamic dimension breaks
      2m 20s
    4. Making linear dimensions act like aligned dimensions
      2m 44s
    5. Finding dimensions with false values
      1m 38s
    6. Creating parent/child dimension styles
      4m 45s
    7. Making dimensions easier to read
      1m 56s
  6. 14m 40s
    1. Making global edits to attribute data
      4m 1s
    2. Clipping references using curved geometry
      2m 21s
    3. Exchanging one block symbol for another
      3m 3s
    4. Using drag-and-drop to insert content
      3m 17s
    5. Creating a block library in two clicks
      1m 58s
  7. 10m 42s
    1. Making global changes to layer names
      3m 19s
    2. Converting all object properties to BYLAYER
      1m 43s
    3. Navigating layer lists using the keyboard
      2m 5s
    4. Producing a hard copy of the layer settings
      1m 34s
    5. Removing stubborn layers
      2m 1s
  8. 25m 1s
    1. Accessing viewports within viewports
      3m 21s
    2. Creating viewports with islands
      6m 5s
    3. Creating legends using the Change Space tool
      3m 55s
    4. Rotating viewport content to match layout
      4m 55s
    5. Importing layouts from template files
      2m 3s
    6. Visualizing multiple design alternates
      4m 42s
  9. 30m 18s
    1. Consolidating backup files into a single folder
      2m 48s
    2. Launching applications from within AutoCAD
      3m 53s
    3. Creating custom linetypes
      5m 9s
    4. Incorporating symbols into custom linetypes
      2m 48s
    5. Salvaging data from a corrupt drawing
      3m 57s
    6. Applying hyperlinks to drawing objects
      3m 34s
    7. Converting drawings from name-based to color-based plot styles
      2m 0s
    8. Identifying the owner of a drawing
      1m 18s
    9. Incorporating drawings into PowerPoint presentations
      4m 51s
  10. 31s
    1. Goodbye
      31s

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