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Specify Layout Settings

May 20, 2011

      Once created a drawing in Model tab, you can toggle to Layout tab and setup the layout for plotting such as paper size, drawing orientation.

     You can right click on the Layout tab to create new layouts or import from template files, and then click Modify button on the Page Setup dialog box to set the page.

Select a Paper Size for a Layout

      The paper size here refers to the size of the drawing. When you start Plot dialog box in Layout tab, you can assign the paper type from pull down list of the Paper text box. The Paper size is directly previewed from the sketch with its size and units. The available paper types provided in the pull down list are decided by current configuration. If you want to configure plotters to export raster images, you must specify output size by pixels. The paper size can be customized in the Virtual EPs Driver 1.0 Advanced Document Settings.

       If you specified a system plotter, the paper size is decided by the default paper settings provided in the Windows control panel. If any changes have been set to the paper size in Plot dialog box, the new size will be saved in the layout to be used instead of the size in PCP.

Determine the Drawing Orientation of a Layout

      The drawing orientation is sorted into Landscape and Portrait, which decide the plotting orientation of the drawing to be seen on a paper. If you select Landscape, plots the drawing using the length edge as horizontal. While selecting Portrait to plot the drawing using its minor edge as horizontal Changing the drawing orientation just like rotating the paper under the drawing.

       Once specified the drawing orientation, you can control whether to plot the top or the bottom of the drawing by selecting Plot Upsize-down option.

       The changes setup in Page Setup dialog box are still saved in layouts. A certain page settings can be replaced by customized plot settings, but the settings will not be saved in the layout. Unless you click Apply to layout check box.

       Additionally, changing the drawing orientation will not affect the position of plot origin which is located at left lower corner on the page once rotated.

Adjust the Plot Offset of a Layout

      You can offset the geometry on the paper by entering a positive or negative value in the X and Y Offset boxes. Changing the plotting origin may change the position of drawing on papers.

      The plot origin locates at the left lower corner of plotting area with offset value of 0 relative to X and Y direction. The drawing will be moved relative to the left lower corner of the paper once you assigned positive or negative value to the plot offset. While a negative offset assigns the drawing plotted under the left lower corner of the paper and results in the plot area being clipped.

      Select Center on Paper if the specified plot area is part of the drawing rather than the whole layout, which changes the position of plot origin.


Set the Plot Area of a Layout

       You can set the area to be plotted in Plot dialog box. When creating new layouts, default plot option is drawing limits that is to plot all the objects within the drawing paper. With the plot origin of (0,0), located at the left lower corner of the page. ZWCAD provides the following methods to select plot area:

  • Current View. Plots the contents in current view.

  • Save View. Plots a view saved previously with the VIEW command. You can select a named view from the list provided. This option is unavailable if there are no saved views in the drawing.

  • Extents. Plots the portion of the current space of the drawing that contains objects.

  • Limits. When plotting a layout, plots everything within the printable area.

  • Window. Plots any portion of the drawing you specify within the rectangle window. Click the Window button to use a pointing device to specify opposite corners of the area to be plotted, and then return to the Plot dialog box.

Set the Plot Scale for a Layout

      When you specify a scale to output your drawing, you can choose from a list of real-world scales, enter your own scale, or choose Fit to Paper to scale the drawing to fit onto the selected paper size.

      Usually, the objects in model space are displayed at the scale set in layout viewports. To plot the objects in model space with the scale specified in layouts, you assign the scale to 1:1.

Set the Lineweight Scale for a Layout

      Even if plot scale of layouts is assigned, it's enabled to scale the lineweight at a certain scale. Scaling the lineweight is nothing to do with the plot scale when plotting drawings, which is mainly used for the lines included in the objects to be plotted.

      In most cases, you choose to plot layouts with default plotting scale of 1:1. However, to plot the layout scaled by paper size A on another paper size E, you should scale lineweights to fit the new plot scale.

Copy and Move Layouts

      You can right click on the Layout tab to select Copy and Move option, on the Copy and Move dialog box, select the target moving position and the place to put the copy of the layout, click Create a copy to copy the selected layout, otherwise only moves the layout position. You should notice that Model tab can't be copied or moved.

      If multiple layouts are created in the drawing or too long a layout name to be displayed at the bottom of the drawing area, you can display the tab according to the arrowhead. The arrowhead with a vertical line represents the first and last tab individually. The current tab may not be displayed when moving the tabs.

      Save time by reusing layouts that you have already created. Within the same drawing, you may want to make a copy of a layout that contains most of the settings you want, and then make changes to the new copy. If you created layouts that you want to use again when you create new drawings, you can save the layouts as a drawing template.

To make a copy of a layout

  1. Type layout and then press Enter.

  2. On the command line, type Copy.

  3. Type the name of the layout you want to copy, and then press Enter.

  4. Type a name for the new layout, and then press Enter.

Creating a new layout

     In ZWCAD, you can create multiple layouts for a single drawing. Each layout represents a sheet of paper. For each layout you can specify the print area, print styles, print scale, lineweight scale, pen mappings, and add viewports, dimensions, a title block, and other geometry specific to the layout. The objects you add to a layout in paper space do not appear in model space.

      When you create a new drawing, the drawing automatically contains two default layouts:Layout1 and Layout2. You can start by using one of the default layouts, you can create your own, or your can create a new layout from another template (.dwt) file, drawing (.dwg) file, or drawing interchange (.dxf) file.Each drawing can contain up to 255 layouts.

To create a new layout using the Layout1 or Layout2 tab

  1. Right click the Layout1 or Layout2 tab,select NEW.

  2. Set up at least one layout viewport.

  3. If desired, rename the layout.

To create a new layout using a new Layout tab

  1. Choose Insert > Layout > New Layout.

  2. Type a unique name for your layout and then press Enter.

The name can be up to 255 characters in length and can contain letters, numbers, the dollar sign ($), hyphen (-), and underscore (_), or any combination.

  1. Set up at least one layout viewport.

Layout toolbar\

Command line LAYOUT

Create Layout from Template

      Right click on the Layout tab to select From template option to import DWG or DWT file directly, using information of existing template to create new layouts.

     Template layout instances are provides for designing new layouts including viewport objects. Objects of paper space and page setup of existing template are used by new layouts. Thus, layout objects will be displayed in paper space as well as viewport objects. User can retain existing objects imported from template and also delete objects. Any object from model space can't be imported while creating layout from template.

      System provides template file with extension name as .dwt. Layout templates from any drawing templates can be imported into the current drawing.

To create a new layout from an existing file

  1. Choose Insert > Layout > Layout from Template.

  2. Select the desired template, drawing, or drawing interchange file that contains the layout you want, and then click Open.

  3. Select the layout(s) from the template file, and then click OK. You can choose multiple layouts by holding down Ctrl while selecting layout names.

Layout toolbar\

Command line LAYOUT

Save layouts

      Any drawing created in ZWCAD can be saved as template drawing file ( .dwt) together with all the objects and layout settings. Using save option of LAYOUT command to save the layout as new DWT file. By default, template files are saved in the template file searching path located under the corresponding position in Files tab of Options dialog box. Like drawing template file, Layout template file go with the same extension name that contain some irrelevant information to the layouts.

      When saving a drawing containing new layouts as template file, all the named objects used in the layout ( such as blocks, layers and dimension styles) will be saved as well. The defined table options are imported as part of the layout settings together with template file. Once a template file is saved using Save option of LAYOUT command, the define table options will not be inserted together with the layout.

     Use PURGE command to clear the undesired define table options.

To save a layout as a drawing template

  1. Type layout and then press Enter.

  2. On the command line, type Save.

  3. Type the name of the layout that you want to save, and then press Enter.

  4. Specify the file name and location for the template, and then click Save.

  After you save a layout as a template, you can use the template when you create new drawings.

You can also import the template's layouts into another drawing.

Create and Use Named Page Setups

      Once you have set plot device, plot style table and relevant page setup in the plot dialog, you can save the page as named page setup which is usually used for updating current setting of Plot dialog box. Applying different page setups to the same layout may obtain specific plot result. For example, you can create named page setups listed below to control scale factor and drawing size.


Page setup name Description
NoScaling Plot at scale 1:1, E-size sheet
Scale 1 to 2 Plot at scale 1:2, C-size sheet
Draft Plot to the draft-quality plotter
Final Plot to the high-quality plotter
Fit-to-Paper Fit to Paper, A-size sheet

      Page setup is saved together with the drawing file, for the convenience of plotting without setting the page each time. If you want to plot the same layout for several times or specify output options for multiple layouts, you can use named page settings.


Managing layouts in a drawing

      You can rename layouts, delete layouts, and view a list of all layouts available in a drawing. You can also change the order in which the Layout tabs appear; the Model tab is always stationary.

     If you want to rename, delete, or reorder a layout when the Layout tabs are hidden, you can type layout to make your changes or choose Screen Menu > Tabs to display the tabs.

To rename a layout

  1. Right click the Layout tab to rename.

  2. Type a new name for the layout.

  3. Click OK.

     The name can be up to 255 characters in length and can contain letters, numbers, the dollar sign ($), hyphen (-), and underscore (_), or any combination.

To delete a layout

  1. Right click the Layout tab to delete.

  2. Click OK to confirm the deletion.

NOTE You cannot delete the Model tab or the last remaining Layout tab. To delete all geometry from the Model tab or a Layout tab, first select all geometry and then use the Erase command.

To view a list of all layouts

  1. Type layout and then press Enter.

  2. On the command line, type ? to list all layouts.

  3. Type s or press Enter to scroll through the layouts.

Commands Reference

LAYOUT: Creates and modifies drawing layout tabs

PURGE: Cleans up the unused in the current drawing file, such as drawing blocks, layers, linetypes, text styles or the dimension styles

System Variables Reference





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