AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training
Illustration by Don Barnett

Layouts pt. 3: Cutting a viewport


From:

AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training

with Jeff Bartels

Video: Layouts pt. 3: Cutting a viewport

We are ready to create a viewport such that we can see our part and set it to a measurable scale. Now you maybe asking yourself where is our part drawing in relation to this Layout tab? Let's take a look. If I go back to Model space, I can do that by clicking the Model tab, we can see our drawing. This is where we create our geometry and our dimensions. Let me click back on my Layout tab. Now the layout sits on top of Model space. That means if I want to see my geometry, I have to cut a hole in this layout. Now AutoCAD calls this hole a viewport and we are going to create a viewport using the Viewport toolbar.
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  1. 3m 27s
    1. Welcome
      1m 6s
    2. Introduction to AutoCAD
      1m 29s
    3. Using the exercise files
      52s
  2. 23m 16s
    1. Modelspace
      2m 21s
    2. Toolbars
      3m 24s
    3. Pulldowns
      3m 36s
    4. AutoCAD's command line
      1m 46s
    5. Dockable palettes
      3m 23s
    6. The Status bar
      2m 59s
    7. Saving your workspace
      2m 12s
    8. Essential settings
      3m 35s
  3. 19m 8s
    1. Opening an AutoCAD drawing
      3m 1s
    2. Mouse functions
      2m 2s
    3. Zooming, panning, and regen
      5m 11s
    4. The multiple-document environment
      3m 24s
    5. Saving your work
      2m 34s
    6. Using templates
      2m 56s
  4. 16m 37s
    1. The Line command
      3m 17s
    2. ORTHO and POLAR modes
      5m 45s
    3. The Circle command
      3m 27s
    4. The Heads-Up display
      4m 8s
  5. 15m 51s
    1. Defining units of measure
      6m 13s
    2. Drafting with architectural units
      5m 1s
    3. Drafting with metric units
      4m 37s
  6. 20m 52s
    1. Cartesian coordinates
      5m 50s
    2. Object snaps
      10m 27s
    3. Automating object snaps
      4m 35s
  7. 23m 33s
    1. Rectangle
      4m 22s
    2. Ellipse
      6m 0s
    3. Hatch
      8m 34s
    4. Polygon
      4m 37s
  8. 23m 28s
    1. Move and Copy
      6m 45s
    2. Rotate
      5m 6s
    3. Offset
      6m 1s
    4. Erase
      2m 6s
    5. Undo and Redo
      3m 30s
  9. 12m 38s
    1. Windows and crossing windows
      4m 49s
    2. Removing from selections
      3m 44s
    3. Using key-ins
      4m 5s
  10. 1h 4m
    1. Trim and Extend
      6m 55s
    2. Fillet
      5m 3s
    3. Chamfer
      6m 36s
    4. Array
      8m 2s
    5. Mirror
      6m 54s
    6. Stretch
      5m 51s
    7. Scale
      5m 19s
    8. Grips
      7m 37s
    9. Explode
      4m 17s
    10. Polyline edit
      7m 48s
  11. 26m 8s
    1. Layers
      3m 32s
    2. The Layer Properties Manager
      9m 8s
    3. Layer control
      4m 30s
    4. The ByLayer property
      5m 27s
    5. The Layer Previous command
      3m 31s
  12. 43m 16s
    1. Single-line text
      3m 47s
    2. Text justification
      7m 3s
    3. Text styles
      7m 31s
    4. Multi-line text
      6m 30s
    5. Editing
      3m 24s
    6. Bulleted and numbered lists
      4m 7s
    7. Symbols
      6m 19s
    8. Spell-checking
      4m 35s
  13. 29m 0s
    1. Creating dimensions
      8m 36s
    2. Dimension styles
      6m 39s
    3. Callouts
      6m 42s
    4. Tweaking dimensions
      7m 3s
  14. 14m 53s
    1. The Distance command
      4m 17s
    2. The Property Changer
      6m 31s
    3. The Quick Calculator
      4m 5s
  15. 25m 10s
    1. Creating and inserting blocks
      10m 16s
    2. Using blocks
      5m 47s
    3. Modifying blocks
      4m 8s
    4. Building your library
      4m 59s
  16. 48m 45s
    1. Quick plots
      6m 42s
    2. Selecting a pen table
      5m 37s
    3. Layouts pt. 1: Choosing paper
      3m 23s
    4. Layouts pt. 2: Inserting a title block
      3m 13s
    5. Layouts pt. 3: Cutting a viewport
      6m 18s
    6. Layouts pt. 4: Reusing layouts
      4m 16s
    7. Scale factors
      4m 0s
    8. Sizing modelspace text
      7m 17s
    9. Sizing modelspace dimensions
      4m 48s
    10. Sizing linetypes
      3m 11s
  17. 10m 1s
    1. Drawing compatibility
      3m 5s
    2. E-transmitting
      3m 12s
    3. Saving to the Design Web format
      3m 44s
  18. 20s
    1. Goodbye
      20s

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Watch the Online Video Course AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training
6h 58m Beginner May 13, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

AutoCAD is a computer-aided drafting and design program that is the industry standard for a wide variety of 2D and 3D work. AutoCAD 2008 features several improvements over previous versions, but the core functionality and workflows have remained consistent for years. Users who have any of the more recent editions of the software will find AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training to be a valuable resource. Instructor Jeff Bartels has taught and used AutoCAD for a decade, and in this course he focuses on the difficult to master concepts that matter most to professional AutoCAD users. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Opening, viewing, saving, and sharing drawings
  • Customizing the workspace
  • Mastering drawing fundamentals and specialized commands
  • Defining units of measure and controlling accuracy
  • Making primary modifications and major changes to a drawing
  • Organizing layers and reusable content
  • Annotating and dimensioning
  • Plotting with layouts
  • Sizing linetypes, modelspace text, and dimensions for a plot
Subject:
CAD
Software:
AutoCAD
Author:
Jeff Bartels

Layouts pt. 3: Cutting a viewport

We are ready to create a viewport such that we can see our part and set it to a measurable scale. Now you maybe asking yourself where is our part drawing in relation to this Layout tab? Let's take a look. If I go back to Model space, I can do that by clicking the Model tab, we can see our drawing. This is where we create our geometry and our dimensions. Let me click back on my Layout tab. Now the layout sits on top of Model space. That means if I want to see my geometry, I have to cut a hole in this layout. Now AutoCAD calls this hole a viewport and we are going to create a viewport using the Viewport toolbar.

So I'm going to turn on a toolbar, let me move over an existing tool and right-click. And in the toolbar list, I'm going to come down and select my Viewports toolbar and when I click, that guy pops up on screen. I'm going to dock him at the top of my interface. So let me click and hold in the blue area and we'll drag him up to the top of the interface and I will release. Now good form says that we should cut our viewports on their own layer.

Notice I have already created a layer, I have called it viewport and I have set it current so I'm practicing good form. Now I can cut the viewport or the hole in my layout by using this button. I'm going to come up and click the single Viewport icon and when I click, AutoCAD wants me to specify one corner. I will click one corner and then I will come down and I will click another corner. Basically, I'm just making a rectangle. Now be careful, I happen to have running Object Snap set so be careful where you click, you might end up grabbing part of your title block. I'm just going to click in space here.

When I do, AutoCAD cuts a hole in my layout and I can now see my part. This viewport is like a window into Model space. Watch this. As I move my cursor on screen, my cursor is moving around on top of my paper. If I move over my viewport and double-click, I jumped into the viewport. That means if I hold down my wheel and pan, I'm panning the contents of this viewport inside my layout. I can also zoom if I wish. In fact zooming is how we will set the scale because the paper is always going to stay the same size, it's the contents of the viewport that we're going to adjust such that it plots to a measurable scale.

Let me click outside the viewport to get back on to my paper and let's set this viewport to a measurable scale. I can do that by clicking on the viewport edge to highlight it and then I'm going to come down to the very bottom of my screen where it says VP Scale, let me click the dropdown. Once again AutoCAD shows me a list of my standard scales. Now if you are drawing a setup for architectural units, you will be using the architectural scales. Since this drawing is setup for decimal inches, I will be using the scales above. Let's select a one-to-one scale and see if our drawing will fit on this paper. Yes, it will.

Alright now that I have set the scale of my viewport, I'm going to protect myself, I'm going to come down and click my Lock button. This will prevent the viewport scale from changing. If I do wish to change this viewport in the future, all I have to do is highlight it, come down here and unlock it and then I can change the scale. Let me hit my Escape key to clear the grips and let's address one more thing. You may be wondering why we should put a viewport on a layer of its own. That's because when I plot this drawing, I don't want to plot the edge of my viewport. If the viewport is on its own layer, I can turn that layer off and this little rectangle won't show.

Let's try that. I'm going to go to my Layer Properties Manager. Let's set a different layer current, I'm going to set layer 0 current and I'm going to come down and turn off my viewport layer. Let me click OK and notice that viewport no longer shows up. Let's address one more thing. All of my geometry is still being represented in color. Let's fix that. I'm going to come down and right-click on my Layout tab and I'm going to select Page Setup Manager. From here, I'm going to come over and click Modify and in my Page Setup dialog, I'm going to come up and set my pens.

Remember that as a beginner, we are going to select the monochrome pens. Here's one of the benefits of using a layout. Notice I have got a button that says Display plot styles. Let me check this button. We will click OK and we will click Close. Notice when I zoom in on my geometry, my geometry on my screen looks like my pen table. In fact we can take it up one more notch. If I come down and click my LWT mode, AutoCAD will even show me the line weights. LWT stands for Line Weights.

So now I'm truly working in a plot preview. Now since we just turned on our LWT mode, let me show you something that's interesting. I'm going to go to Model space. When your LWT is turned on, unfortunately we can also see the pen weights in Model space. This can be annoying because no matter what your zoom factor is, the line weight always stays the same. If that becomes a problem, you can always come down and turn this off. It will always plot correct no matter which way it's set. So doesn't look so good in Model space, looks great on your Layout tab.

Let's return to the Layout tab. I want to do one more thing before we send our plot, let's rename this layout. That's kind of a generic name, Layout 1. If I want to rename the layout, I'm going to double-click on it and I'm going to call this 11x17 and I will hit Enter and let's send this plot. One of the benefits of setting up your layout ahead of time is that your drawings are very easy to print. If I want to send this to my printer, all I have to do is right-click on the tab, select Plot and click OK.

I don't have to touch any of those settings because I have already filled out the dialog box. Now once again since I'm printing to a PDF, I am saving a file. If you are printing directly to your printer, your paper is probably already coming out. Let me click Save to finish my print. And here is an image of my finished plot. Layouts are the most powerful way of creating plots in AutoCAD. Their benefits even go beyond the viewports, plot preview and naming features 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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