Creating layouts and viewports have been around for a while; Viewports were introduced in Release 12 (1992), even though they functioned differently than what is commonly used as viewports today… The Layout function was introduced in Release 2000 (1999). So they are not new to AutoCAD, yet it is amazing how many times I hear or read of companies/individuals who do not use the power of “Paper Space.”
Here is how to make a new Layout (with its own Layout tab)
First off – If you do not see the default layout tabs, you may want to turn these on. enter OP<enter> to open the OPTIONS dialog box (or OPTIONS<enter>). Click the “Display” tab and then check the box next to “Display Layout and Model tabs” then click “OK” (seen below)
The easy way to make a Layout where you are confident in its settings is using a “wizard.” Some people are Wizard snobs and think that wizards are lame. But these wizards are very helpful. After all, our job requires us to strive for CLARITY & ACCURACY, not trying to be considered cool with the way we set up a layout…
After you go through the steps of the wizard and have your Layout, you can simply copy it and use it again without going through the wizard again.
To start the wizard: type LAYOUTWIZARD <enter> in the command line. Notice when the dialog box appears, that there are 8 steps and the good thing about the wizard is that you have the “Next” & “Back” buttons at the bottom of the dialog box so that you can easily go back and make corrections…
If you are using the “MENUBAR” go to the “Insert” tab > “Layout” fly-out > “Create Layout Wizard” to start the wizard that way as well. (as seen below)
Step 1 is to name your new layout tab. By default, AutoCAD will give you 2 generic layouts and given them generic names.
Step 2 is to assign the printer/plotter that you plan on using when printing this layout. If you are not connected to that plotter or away from the office, use the “None” option. This way you have all of the sheet sizes available to you. Otherwise assign the plotters accordingly.
Step 3 is to choose the sheet size that you plan on plotting to. It is important that you choose the correct size because there are a lot to choose from. If you are doing and architectural drawing make sure that you choose the “ARCH” prefix. And don’t choose the “oversize” if available either.
Step 4 is to assign the orientation of the sheet. “Landscape” or “Portrait” are the options. Choose the “Landscape” option if it isn’t already selected.
Step 5 is to assign a title-block to your layout. If you have your own title-block and it is not shown in the list, select the “None” option and insert it as a block later on. I will choose the generic title-block provided by AutoCAD for this tutorial.
Step 6 is where you can setup a viewport. To be honest, sometimes this is a pain so I don’t do much setup in this portion. What I do is set the viewport later. But you can define the # of viewports and even set their scale before even placing them.