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Using Model Space Viewports in AutoCAD

January 1, 2021

There are two types of viewports in AutoCAD. Model Space viewports and Layout space viewports. Viewports are areas that display different views of your drawing and/or model. Layout viewports are objects that you can scale to display the view of your drawing on a layout tab for publishing and production. In model space, you can split the drawing area into one or more rectangular areas called model space viewports. Viewports are areas that display different views of your model. In large or complex drawings, displaying different views reduces the time needed to zoom or pan in a single view. You can configure these viewports from the View tab on the Ribbon as shown.

The illustrations below show several model space viewport configurations. You can save and restore viewport configurations by name with the VPORTS command or pulling down the Viewport Configuration from the ribbon as shown.

When you display multiple viewports, the one that is highlighted with a blue rectangle is called the current viewport – shown as 1 below. The remaining viewports will be displayed grayed out as for not used.

from Autodesk Help – these points describe the options you have when using model space viewports.

  1. Commands that control the view, such as panning and zooming, apply only to the current viewport.
  2. Commands that create or modify an object are started in the current viewport, but the results apply to the model and can be visible in other viewports.
  3. You can start a command in one viewport and finish it in a different viewport.
  4. You can make any viewport the current one by clicking in it.

You can modify the size, shape, and number of model space viewports in a viewport configuration:

  1. Choose from several viewport configurations by clicking the [+] or [-] control in the top-left corner of a viewport.
  2. Drag the boundaries of viewports to adjust their size.
  3. Press CTRL while dragging viewport boundaries to display the green splitter bar and create new viewports. Alternatively, you can drag the outermost splitter controls.
  4. Drag a viewport boundary onto another boundary to remove a viewport.

After you create a new viewport, you might want to maximize and center the view by double-clicking the mouse wheel to perform a zoom extents.

If you want to configure the viewports a certain way for your model move the sliders around until you get the desired configuration.  Under the  New name:  Enter the name of your viewport and it will appear in the Named Viewports section and be able to reuse throughout your drawing session.

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