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AutoCAD Video of the Month: Back to Basics: Introduction to Layouts and Viewports

Leslie Feldman
September 14, 2016

AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT users more or less live inside one of two working environments—model space and paper space—so it behooves you to nail down the fundamentals of each.

Here, in our hour-long video introduction to layouts and viewports, we give you the 2D half of the story. By default, AutoCAD starts you off in model space, which is a limitless 3D drawing area. You then switch to 2D paper space, with its layouts and viewports, when you’re ready to print or plot.

AutoCAD model space. Introduction to Layouts and Viewports in AutoCAD LT 

Now, about those paper space layouts and viewports ….

As noted above, a layout is a 2D environment. There you can specify the size of your drawing sheet, add a title block, display multiple views of your model, and create dimensions and notes for your drawing.

AutoCAD layout. Introduction to Layouts and Viewports in AutoCAD LT 

On each 2D layout you’ll create viewports that display different views of what you created in 3D model space. Each layout viewport is like a picture frame into model space; the view displays the model at the scale and orientation you specify.

That’s the gist of it. There’s more, but now’s a good time to stop reading—and start watching:

Build Your AutoCAD IQ! Back to Basics: Introduction to Layouts and Viewports in AutoCAD LT

Model space and paper space: A small historical detour

Once upon an AutoCAD time, model space was the only game in town. All notes, labels, dimensions, and the drawing border and title block were also created and scaled in model space.

With the introduction of paper space, AutoCAD users were given access to a space designed specifically for layouts and scaling. Take a look at the following illustration. It shows an active paper space with only two objects: a drawing border block and a single layout viewport, which displays a view of model space.

AutoCAD paper space. Introduction to Layouts and Viewports in AutoCAD LT 

Want to learn more about paper space layouts and viewports?

Check out the following Autodesk Knowledge Network articles ….

Introduction to layouts and viewports: Related concepts

Introduction to layouts and viewports: Related tasks

Introduction to layouts and viewports: Related reference

Looking for more videos? Check out the full Video of the Month series!

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Leslie Feldman

Leslie is fanning the glowing embers of the AutoCAD Blog into a raging (yet carefully managed!) bonfire, bringing light and warmth to AutoCAD customers wherever they’re huddled. He has been writing, editing, helping design, and managing the production of high-tech marketing communications—everything from party invitations, web banners, and tweets to annual reports, white papers, and animated videos—for longer than he cares to admit. So don’t ask. Leslie is thrilled to be back in the Autodesk saddle after 14 years spent wandering the desolate, non-Autodesk high-tech landscape.