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You’ve probably noticed the tabs at the bottom of the drawing area labeled Model, ,Layout 1, and Layout-2. So far, you’ve done all of your work in the Model tab, also known as Model Space. The other two Layout tabs open views to your drawing that are specifically geared toward printing and plotting. The Layout views allow you to control drawing scale, add title blocks, and even set up different layer settings from those in the Model tab. You can think of the Layout tabs as page layout spaces that act like a desktop-publishing program.

You can have as many Layout tabs as you like, each set up for a different type of output. You Can for example, have two or three different Layout tabs each set up for a different scale drawing or with different layer configurations for reflected ceiling plans, floor plans, or equipment plans. You can even set up multiple views of your drawing at different scales within a single Layout tab.

To get familiar with the Layout tabs, try the following exercise.

  1. With the.Plan file open, click the tab labeled Layout 1.You see the Page Setup dialog box .
  2. Click OK. A view of your drawing appears 011 a gray background-as shown in Figure 7.8. This is a view of your drawing as it will appear when plotted on your current default printer or plotter. The white area represents the printer or plotter paper.
  3. Try zooming in and out using the Real time Zoom tool. Notice that the entire image zooms in and out, including the area representing the paper.


Let’s take a moment to look at the different elements of the Layout 1 tab. As mentioned previously, the white background represents the paper on which your drawing will be printed. The dashed line immediately inside the edge of the white area represents the limits of your printer’s margins. Finally, the solid rectangle that surrounds your drawing is the outline of the Layout view port. A view port is an AutoCAD object that works like a window into your drawing from the Layout tab. You may also notice the triangular symbol in the lower-left comer of the view.

This is the UCS icon for the Layout tab. It tells you that you are currently in the Layout tab space. The significance of this icon will be clearer in the following exercise.

  1. Try selecting part of your drawing by clicking in the lobby area. Nothing is selected.
  2. Now click the solid rectangle surrounding the drawing as shown in Figure 7.9. This is the view port into the Model tab. Notice that you can select it.
  3. Right-click and select Properties from the popup menu. You can see from the Properties dialog box that the viewport is just like any other AutoCAD object with layer, line-type, and color assignments. You can even hide the viewport outline by turning off its layer.
  4. Close the Properties dialog box.
  5. With the viewport still selected, click the Erase tool in the Modify toolbar. The view of your drawing disappears ‘With the erasure of the viewport. Remember that the viewport is like a window into the drawing you created in the Model tab. Once the viewport is.erased, the drawing view goes with it .
  6. Double-click anywhere within the viewport’s boundary. Notice .that the UCS icon you’re used to seeing appears in the lower-left comer of the viewport. The Layout UCSicon disappears.
  7. Now try clicking the lobby of your drawing. You can now select parts of your drawing.
  8. Try zooming and panning your view. Changes in your view only take placewithin the boundary of the viewport.
  9. Choose View > Zoom > All or type to display the entire drawing in the viewport.
  10. To return to Paper Space, double-click an area outside the viewport.


This exercise shows you the unique characteristics of the Layout tab. The objects within the viewport are inaccessible until you double-click the interior of the viewport. You can then move about and  edit your drawing within the viewport, just as you would while in the Model tab.

The Layout tabs can contain as man.y viewports as you like, and each viewport can hold a different view of your drawing. Each viewport can be sized and arranged in any way you like or you can even create multiple viewports, giving you the freedom to layout your drawing as you would a page in a desktop-publishing program. You can also draw in the Layout tab, or import Xrefs and blocks for title blocks and borders.

Plot Scale in the Layout Tab Viewports

In the first part of this chapter, you plotted your drawing from the Model tab. You learned that to get the plot to fit onto your paper, you either had to use the Scaled to Fit option in the Plot Settings tab of the Plot dialog box, or you had to indicate a specific drawing scale, plot area, and drawing orientation.

The Layout tab works in a different way: It is designed to allow you to plot your drawing at a 1-to-1 scale. Instead of specifying the drawing scale in the Plot dialog box, as you did when you plotted from the Model tab, your drawing scale is determined by the size of your view in the your tab viewport. You can set the viewport view to an exact scale by making changes to the properties of the viewport.

To set the scale of a viewport in a Layout tab, try the following exercise.

  1. Press the Esc key twice to dear any selections. Then click the viewport border to select it.
  2. Right-click, then select Properties from the popup menu. The Properties dialog box for the viewport appears.
  3. Make sure the Categorized tab is selected, then locate the Standard Scale option under the Misc category. Go ahead and click the Standard Scale option. The item to the right of the Standard Scale option turns into a list box.
  4. Open the list box and select 1/16″ = 1′ (metric users should select 1:20),The view in the drawing window changes to reflect the new scale for the viewport. Now most of the drawing fits into the viewport and it is now to scale.
  5. Close the Properties dialog box.
  6. Use the viewport grips to enlarge the viewport enough to display al! of the drawing as shown in Figure 7.10:You only need to move a single comer grip. As you move a comer grip, notice that the viewport maintains a rectangular shape.
  7. Choose File > Plot, then in the Plot dialog box, make sure the Scale option in the Plot Settings tab is set to 1:1 then click OK. Your drawing is plotted as it appears in the Layout tab and it is plotted to scale.
  8. After reviewing your plot, close the drawing without saving it.


In step 4, you saw that you can select a scale for a viewport by selecting it from the Properties dialog box. If you look just below the Standard Scale option, you’ll see the Custom Scale option. Both of these options work like their counterpart,. the Plot scale gr up, in the Plot Settings tab of the Plot dialog box.

Layout tabs and viewports work in conjunction with your plotter settings to give you a better idea of how your plots will look. In fact, there are numerous plotter settings that can dramatically change the appearance of your Layout tab view and your plots. In the next section, you’ll learn how some of the plotter settings can enhance the appearance of your drawings. You’ll also learn how Layout tabs can display those settings so you can see on your computer screen exactly what will appear on your paper output.

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