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Cleaning Up Layout Space

Now that we have some basic dimensions on the drawing, let’s go back to the layout space and make some adjustments to the viewport and the title block so we can get the drawing ready for plotting.

Setting the Viewport Scale

Remember that in layout space (paper space), viewports are simply holes or windows into the model space environment. You can activate a viewport to zoom and pan around model space and even make changes to your model. You can also assign a viewport scale to each viewport. By setting the viewport scale, you are telling AutoCAD to display the model at a certain scale factor full scale, half scale, 1/8 = 1′-0, etc.) within that viewport. The viewport in the ANSI A Title Block layout was part of the template file used to create the drawing. In the next exercise, you’ll set the scale of the viewport and adjust the position of the model within the title border.

Notice that the dimension features are now twice as large as they were before you set the viewport scale. This is because the dimension style was set up earlier with the Annotative feature turned on (see Figure 2-35). When combined with turning on the feature that automatically scales annotative objects, as done in step 4 of Exercise 2-24, this setting actually creates another set of dimensions for the new viewport/annotation scale so that you can view your drawing at different scales and have all the annotation objects display at the correct size.


FIGURE 2-52 The adjusted dimensions


Now, let’s update the title block and place some text. When placing text in a drawing, AutoCAD will ask you to define a box in which to place the text. Once that text box is defined, a miniature text editor appears where you specified, and you can start typing your text. The text editor has a number of formatting features found in many text editors (fonts, bold, justification, etc.). You can insert predefined text fields (such as the file name, date, plot scale, etc.) and can also import text from an external text file.

So far, you’ve simply typed in the text you want to display. You may want to place text that is specific to the drawing (such as the drawing file name) or that is dynamic (for example, the plot time or date the drawing was last revised). AutoCAD provides you with a number of predefined text fields that will display various drawing or system information. In the following exercise, you’ll use a text field to create the text.

As you can see from the Field dialog box (see Figure 2-56), there are a number of predefined fields. Using field names is a great time-saver. By default, the field is updated every time you regenerate, save, or plot your drawing. So, any changes to the drawing file name will automatically update the text.

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