Making Good Use of ZWCAD: Viewports in Paper Space

By: Owen Zi

Typically, drawings are arranged in paper space before plotting. How can you use the original drawing in model space without making too many modifications? Viewports can help.

Let's take an architectural design that's been drawn in model space, such as the floor plan of an apartment. To show the details clearly, some areas should be shown at different scales. The question then arises: Do we need to copy these portions elsewhere in model space and scale them respectively, or can we manage them directly in paper space? Possibly, but not necessarily. We can readily make do with viewports. Follow along with these steps:

1. Count the number of views needed for the layout.
2. Enter paper space, and then use the MVIEW command to create multiple viewports. A maximum of four viewports can be created at a time. If more viewports are needed, repeat the command.
3. To adjust the view, activate the viewport by double-clicking it. Then use the ZOOM and PAN commands to achieve the desired view inside the viewport. When zooming the drawing, use the XP option of the ZOOM command, because it zooms the viewport to a size relative to model space. For instance, 3XP makes the viewport view three times larger than the one in model space.
4. Once the view is established, lock it so that it will not be changed accidently. The Lock option is found in the MVIEW command.

After all views of the layout are adjusted, notice that the viewports have rectangular frames that are visible but are not necessary. How can we hide viewports' frames? Here is a trick:

1. Create a new layer named "Viewport Frame", for example.
2. Select all viewport frames, and then assign them to the "Viewport Frame" layer. You can use the Properties palette or the Layer droplist to do this.
3. Freeze the "Viewport Frame" layer, and the frames become invisible.

For other layouts, apply the same steps, and you will find yourself saving a lot of time. Viewports are a helpful tool, and can help improve your drafting efficiency when applied properly.

As the flagship product of ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd., ZWCAD ( ) is a powerful CAD solution, which is highly compatible with DWG format. ZWCAD meets the needs of broad-based target groups of 2D/3D design industry, including architecture, engineering, construction, mechanics, manufacturing and electronics. So far, it has become the leading brand in China's CAD industry and now competes successfully in over 65 countries, with more than 100,000 users throughout the world.

For more information, please visit or contact ZWCAD team at [email protected]

(C) Copyright 2008 ZWCAD Software Co., Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Owen Zi is author of article written on ZWCAD. He is Director of Overseas Department of ZWSOFT. For more information, please visit: or contact ZWCAD team at [email protected]

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