How to Create Named Views

As we create and modify drawings, we need to see detail views, especially complicated ones, such as detailed house drawings that contain many bedrooms, living areas, garages, and so on. Typically, we need to switch from one specific area (such as the bedroom) to another (the living room, say) or from time to time see the full drawing. We have many options for doing this, such as using the zoom, pan, and aerial view functions. But it would be faster and more convenient to save these areas by name and then just restore them for quick switches. We can do that easily with ZWCAD’s View Manager function.

This function has been available in ZWCAD for quite some time, but was available only through the command line. With the ZWCAD 2010 Update Patch, things are different: we now have access to a friendly dialog box, as well as more options. You can get to this dialog box through the menu (View -> Named Views), the toolbar (ZWCAD -> View), or through the command line by entering view.

Creating Named Views

Now let’s take a look in detail how to use the View command to create named views of different areas of drawings. The general procedure is to (a) define a name for the view, and then (b) specify the area for the view.

1. Open a drawing in ZWCAD, and then start the View command.
2. In the View Manager dialog box, click New to create a new named view. You can use the current view (the one you currently see in the drawing widows), or you can specify a different one by windowing an area, such as the bedroom.
3. In the New View dialog box, enter Bedroom for the view name.
4. Choose the Define Window option, and then click the Select Window button. (See the areas highlighted by red rectangles in the figure below.)
5. Pick two points in the drawing to form a rectangle around the bedroom.
6. Back in the dialog box, click OK.
7. Back in the main dialog box, click Set Current, and then click OK.
Notice that the view jumps to the bedroom directly. Even after you move to other parts of the drawing, you can use “Set Current” to return to the named view.



Combining Views with Viewports

Combining the View command with the VPorts command, you can create many named views and then use “Set Current” inside the various viewports. This allows you to view multiple parts of the drawing at the same time. See the figures below.


Combining Views with UCSs

When it comes to the 3D drawings, you usually need to create and modify objects from different viewpoints using a variety of UCSs (user-defined coordinate systems). It is possible to restore named views with UCSs. Here is how to do this:

1. First, save the desired UCS by name by launching the UCS command, and using the Save option to save current UCS view with a name:
Command: ucs
Specify Origin of UCS/ Face/ ?/ Object/ Previous/ View/ World/3 point/ New/ Move/ Delete/ orthoGraphic/ Restore/ Save/ X/ Y/ Z/ ZAxis/: s
Enter name for saving UCS, or ? for list: test
2. Start the View command. Notice that the named UCS (“test”) is available in the dialog box’s UCS droplist. Choose it so that it is also restored when you restore the corresponding named view.

Preset Views

The View command’s list of Preset Views provides standard views used by engineers and architects, such as orthographic and isometric views. These presets let you switch quickly switch between standard 3D viewpoints. When you need one, you can select it, and then click Set Current – there is no need to define them.
It is much easier, however, to access these preset views from the related toolbar, illustrated below. The middle series of six buttons change to orthographic views (top, bottom, left, and so on), while the last set of four buttons change the viewpoint to isometric ones.

Other View Considerations

I’d like to end with a couple of tips for using the View command’s dialog box.
1. When you click Apply (after clicking Set Current) before closing the dialog box, then the corresponding view is restored in the drawing area. This allows you to confirm that this is the view you want. Think of this as a type of preview.
2. You are able to modify the settings of named views, such as renaming them, selecting a different UCS, and so on. In addition, you can redefine its display area through the Edit Boundary button.




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