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In AutoCAD 2011: Tips, Tricks, and Industry Secrets, Jeff Bartels shows AutoCAD users how to become more efficient power users, reducing the amount of time it takes to accomplish a task, increasing profit margins, and strengthening marketplace competitiveness. The course covers everything from shortcuts used in geometry creation, to program customization, to real world solutions to common problems. Interface customization, block and reference management skills, and express tool usage are also covered. Exercise files are included with the course.
Generally speaking title blocks come in two orientations, Portrait and Landscape. Unfortunately, these orientations don't always match up well with the CAD drawing. So in some cases you'll need to rotate the view of your geometry such that it fits better on the sheet. In this lesson we'll learn how to rotate a view such that our geometry matches the orientation of a title block. On my screen I have a drawing that represents a plat of survey. This cyan line represents the property boundary. As you can see there is also an existing home with a concrete driveway on the slot. Let me mention that the units in this drawing are set to decimal feet.
And since we're dealing with property the Y-axis represents the direction of north. Let's take a look at the layout. This is a typical 11x17 inch title block. I'd like to start by creating a viewport. I'll do that by selecting the View tab and I'll move down to the Viewports panel and I'll click New, I'll select Single and OK. And then I'll click the outside corners to define the viewport size. I'll double-click to jump in and I'd like to turn off this grid.
I'll do that by clicking the icon in the status bar. I would also like to turn on my lineweights, so I'll click that toggle as well, and let's set this geometry to a measurable scale. To do that I'll open the menu and let's try 1:20, or 1 inch equals 20 feet. Now this isn't too bad, but the geometry is still a little big for the title block. Let's try 1:30. Now 1:30 looks like it will work, but I still have a bunch of empty space on my sheet.
At this point I'm thinking if we rotate this view we can get the geometry to fit nicely at 1:20. To rotate this I'm going to choose or create a line segment that I'd like to be horizontal on the final printed sheet. I'm going to choose this line. Imagine if this view were rotated such that this line was running horizontal on the page. If that was the case this geometry should fit nicely. Next I'm going to go back to the Home tab and I'll launch the Line command, I'll pick a point out in space and I'll draw this perpendicular to my line segment.
This geometry creates the shape of an L, which is the exact same shape as my UCS icon. What I'm going to do is rotate the icon and the coordinates system to match this geometry. To do that I'll jump back to the View tab and I'll click the 3 Point UCS button. This allows me to define a coordinates system in three clicks. Now my first click is the origin point or the intersection, right here. Now I need to pick a point on the positive portion of the X-axis. That will be the endpoint of my property line.
Then I'll pick a point on the positive portion of the Y-axis. I'll select the endpoint here. Now that I'm finished I no longer need this line segment, so I'll select it and press Delete. Notice that my coordinates system is now aligned to this geometry. At this point I'm going to type plan, and then I'll press Enter twice. This will square up the coordinates system with my view. Notice that the Y-axis is once again pointing out. Let's change the scale, I'll set this back to 1:20, and then I'll pan this up and center it in the view.
I will then click this padlock to lock my viewport to protect it from any accidental changes. Finally, I need to set the coordinates system back to the World coordinates system where I started. I can do that by clicking this globe. Let's do one more thing. Take a look at this. Now that the view is rotated north is no longer pointing up on the sheet. Let's rotate this north arrow to match the rotation of the view. I'm going to re-launch the Line command and I'm still working in the viewport. I'll pick a point on screen and then I'll lock my Ortho and I'll create a line segment that represents the direction of the Y-axis.
Then I'll double-click to jump out, I'll open the Modify panel, and I'll launch the Align command. I'll select my north arrow and press Enter and I would like to align this endpoint to this one, and this endpoint to this one, and I'll press Enter twice. Now that my blocks been rotated I'll select it and then I'll grab the grip and move it back into position.
Finally, I'll double-click to jump into the viewport, I'll select this extra line segment and I'll press Delete, and they I'll jump back out. It's a common fact that real-world geometry doesn't always fit nicely into a portrait or landscape orientation. By creating a temporary 3 Point UCS we can easily rotate the view of any drawing to match the shape of our title block.
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