Express Tool: EXPLAN – Improved PLAN command

The PLAN command is commonly used in 3D to get your view back to “home” and squared up so that you are looking down onto your drawing. It is also helpful when working in 2D drawings and the view has been rotated. Using PLAN will un-rotate your view back to “home.”
The EXPLAN command is an Express Tool and is a better version of the PLAN command (in my opinion). I usually tell CAD users to use PLAN to reset their view back to “home.” This works fine but the PLAN command does a ZOOM EXTENTS after the view has been adjusted. So the user has to navigate (zoom) back to where they were in the drawing prior to using the PLAN command.

With EXPLAN you can “square-up” your view based on an object that you select without doing a ZOOM EXTENTS.

Here’s how:

Shown below is a 3D view of an area of a drawing.

Explan 1


By using the usual PLAN <enter><enter> the result is a view that is perpendicular to the World UCS (WCS) but with a Zoom Extents applied to the result (shown below)



On the other hand, Using the EXPLAN command found on the Express Tools tab > Tools panel > Extended Plan (shown below) asks you the same series of questions as the PLAN command but includes the ability to select an object.


  • Select object – The view will be centered about the selected object.
  • <enter>
  • <enter>



The result is shown below.




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 3D Intro, Express Tools, TIPS. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Express Tool: EXPLAN – Improved PLAN command

  1. Christina Huffman says:

    You can also rotate an entire view within a layout viewport by changing the UCS and using the PLAN command.

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