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AutoCAD Productivity

“Best of” Basics: Irregular Viewport

by Michael Beall

From: AutoCAD Productivity Articles #145
Originally published: April 2016

When you need a viewport shape other than a rectangle, the first order of business is to be able to view the objects in Model Space at the desired scale. From there, you can create a polyline to essentially ‘crop’ the objects in Model space, then turn it into a viewport.

Setting the scaleThe best drawing for testing this is in the path

C:\Program Files\Autodesk\AutoCAD 20xx\Sample\Database Connectivity

If you have AutoCAD 2014 or prior, the drawing name is db_samp.DWG

If you have AutoCAD 2015 or later, the drawing name is Floor Plan Sample.DWG

Sample drawing with polyline

How to Create an Irregular Shaped Viewport

  1. Right-click on a layout tab and make a new layout with a large viewport.

  2. Double-click in the viewport, then set the desired scale from the scale list on the Status bar. You may want to start with 1/64″ = 1′-0″ so you can see all of it.

  3. Return to Paper space and create any closed polyline, spline or circle to be the viewport.

    Note: If you are creating a Polyline, you must use the Close option if it is to be converted into a viewport. If you did not use the Close option, use Pedit and select the polyline, then use the Close option.

    In this illustration, I created a polyline around the perimeter of the floorplan. (Ideally, this would be on a dedicated layer on which you typically create your viewports).

  4. ClipOn the Layout tab, click Clip.

  5. When prompted to select the ‘viewport to clip’, select the rectangular viewport.

  6. When prompted to select the ‘clipping object’, select the polyline (or whatever object you created in Step 3, above).

Sample drawing with irregular viewport

AutoCAD will convert the polyline into a viewport and erase the original rectangular viewport!

See all the articles published in April 2016

Michael's Corner

Between 2003 and 2016, Michael Beall (and one or two guests) wrote almost 600 articles for CADTutor. The focus of these articles is AutoCAD productivity, and although some of them are now more than a few years old, most remain relevant to current versions of AutoCAD. The article above is just one example. Check out Michael's Corner for a full listing.

Tip of the Day

DWG TrueView

DWG TrueViewQuite often, you need to share your AutoCAD drawings with co-workers or others who don't have a copy of AutoCAD. In the past, this meant either providing drawings in DWF or buying some special viewing software. Well, now you can share your drawings files in DWG format for free.

Autodesk's own DWG TrueView application is free to download and install, and it looks just like AutoCAD. Co-workers without AutoCAD can not only view your drawings but they can plot them too and publish them as DWF. See here for more information.

Today's tip is by David Watson

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