In AutoCAD, you can use the Layouts feature to create drawing sheets that display scaled views of your model in an area you can customize for printing. In addition to a view or views of your model space, you can also add any added tables, notes, dimensions, or titleblocks to your layouts that will be included in your finished drawing. Multiple layouts can be created, each with their own page setup menu which can be used to change the size, appearance, and format of paper space to be printed.
Creating a New AutoCAD Layout
You can use several methods to create a new layout or copy an existing layout. Two quick ways new layouts can be created are to use the LAYOUT command and choose New, or to right-click a layout tab and select New Layout. To quickly copy a layout, you can right-click a layout tab and select Move or Copy and then choose the Create a copy checkbox option (see image below) before hitting OK.
You can also create a new layout by copying an existing layout from a different drawing or an AutoCAD template (.dwt) file. To do this, simply right-click a layout tab and select the From Template option, then just choose the file type (.dwt, .dwg, or .dxf) and browse to the file from which you’d like to copy a layout.
Setting Up Your Layout
Each layout in your drawing can be modified using its own page setup that controls the format, size, and settings for how the drawing will look when printed. To access the Page Setup Manager of a layout you can use the PAGESETUP command, or right-click on the layout and choose the Page Setup Manager option. Then, from the Manager, simply select Modify to access the available settings. In the Page Setup dialog box, you can change a number of options including the paper size of your sheet, printer options, plot style/color options, orientation (portrait/landscape), and plot scale to name a few.
After choosing your page setup options simply hit OK to apply them to the selected layout.
Adding a Titleblock
Once your layout is set up, try adding a title block to provide more details about your project and drawing — as well as giving it a professional look. Titleblocks can be created from scratch or imported in a variety of ways, including from a drawing template, block, or existing drawing. Some standard titleblocks are included with AutoCAD and can be found in your template folders, like the one used in the example below.
Creating Layout Viewports
After you’ve created and set up your layout and then inserted a titleblock, you can create viewports to display your model at different scales, views, and angles within the drawing. To create a new viewport, use the VIEWPORTS command to choose from a variety of standard viewports (including single, two, three, etc.) in various orientations, or use the Layout ribbon tab to make custom viewports in different shapes and locations. Using these methods, you can create viewports to show your entire design — or separate details of the design — at different scales and angles. Viewports can be made using a variety of objects, including polygons, rectangles, and circles. You can also use the Viewcube to modify or change the desired view.
Once your viewports have been created, use the properties menu to adjust your settings like annotative and standard scales, visual styles, transparency, and turning on/off the very useful Display Lock for each viewport individually.
More on AutoCAD Layouts
Switching Between the Model Tab and Layout Tab
Create Speedy AutoCAD Paper Space Viewports (Video)
Want to learn more? Check out all the benefits of AutoCAD on our Featurespage; troubleshoot and get the details on previous software versions over on the AutodeskKnowledgeNetwork; or take a look at all entries in our series, ExploringtheFeaturesandBenefitsofAutoCAD.
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