Adding Transparency Per Viewport

I started working part-time recently and I actually got to use this new transparency feature that is new to AutoCAD 2011. And now I love it. It is as easy as freezing layers in viewports – REALY!

(the picture below shows how your drawings may currently look without transparency)

Here’s how:

  • First and most importantly, Turn ON the TPY (Transparency) button in the status bar or else you wont see any of these settings.
  • While in a Layout Tab, activate the viewport in which you want to apply transparency.
  • From here, you may be aware that you can freeze layers from the layers drop-down menu but we are going to open the “Layers Manager” to add the transparency.
  • LA <enter> to open the Layers manager
  • Scroll to right right of the Layers Manager – and you will notice that you have a whole bunch of options that you don’t usually have when you open it up in Model-Space. These new options are only available while you are in a viewport thus the prefix “VP…”
  • Find the Layer within the Layer Manager and then locate the column “VP Transparency” and click it. A little dialog box will appear.
  • You can set transparency values from 0-90 – 90 being the most transparent. In this example, I used 90 to show the effect, feel free to adjust accordingly.
  • Click OK when finished.
  • Now close the Layers Manager and you will see the transparency take efffect. If you do not see the effect, make sure that the TYP button is turned on in the status bar & make sure that the viewport is activated when setting the transparency value.

(The picture below shows the TYP “transparency” button in the status bar)







(The Picture Below shows the results)

This setting is great but if you plot/print, you may not see the transparency in the plot.

To fix this:

  • In the “Plot” dialog box, make sure that the “Plot Transparency” check-box is checked. and you should be ready to go.

One last tip: Apparently, when plotting with transparency, it takes longer because AutoCAD processes the plot as a picture instead of plotting it as “vectorized” lines and arcs. So be patient when plotting. The results are worth it.



About AutoCAD Tips

This blog serves as a knowledge base for myself (and anyone else) so that I can reference tips & tricks that I have learned and also refer others to it as well. I hope that this blog helps you learn at least one tip to make your drafting/design experience better.
This entry was posted in BASICS, Layout, Modifying, New in 2011, TIPS. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Adding Transparency Per Viewport

  1. Gary Barnes says:

    I wish a few more AutoCAD processes were explained as clearly as this!

  2. Jorge Guerrero says:

    Best Explanation So Far. Thank You. In AutoCad 12 you have to go in Page Setup Manager and check the Plot Transparency Option. It does not appear in the Plot window.

  3. Paco!! says:

    You are a boss nen!!!

  4. Vince says:

    Awesome,to speed things up can the above process be done by just SELECTING the elements (LISP)?

  5. Arthur Lichtenberger says:

    I am new to layout views, though I now have a viewport up and have set the printer, paper and scale etc and have the cad inside the viewport window positioned etc. My problem is that I would like to insert a border dwg file as a block into the layout view. I can do so (with the viewport window active/dbl clicked) by inserting it into the viewport. HOWEVER, when I go back to model space, I now also see the border (which is a big problem!). How can I insert a border into the Layout view and have it only show up in that one viewport (and not model space)? If when the viewport is no longer engaged (regular viewport window linewidth), and I digitized a feature in cad (eg a rectangle)- it can be seen in the viewport but it won’t show up in model space. So one could draw the border without the viewport engaged- but this would be a crazy solution… having the draw each border for each layout every time. I tried, with the viewport not engaged, to insert the block, but it won’t insert unless I have double clicked in the viewport and made it active (and then it shows up in model space).
    …. driving me crazy. PS, I am using autcad 2013 for Apple

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      It sounds like you have the viewport activated when inserting the block. This is called working in “Floating Model Space.” Sometimes this is needed – but the trouble that you have described comes when you need to get out of the viewport. A usual method is is double click outside of the viewport to get you back into Paper Space, but if you cannot double click outside of the viewport because the edge is outside of the view, you can use the command PS , You can also use _PSPACE .
      You can also activate a viewport by using the command MS

      As an extra tip, If you have viewports that overlap eachother and want to cycle through which viewport is the active one, Use CTRL + R to cycle through the various viewports


  6. John Grguric says:

    Hello can you let me know why my autoCAD 2015 LT is fading when I zoom into the drawing? It just started doing out of the blue.

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