CAD softwares

How to Create a Viewport in AutoCAD: A Comprehensive Step-by-Step Guide

AutoCAD, a widely-used computer-aided design (CAD) software, enables professionals across various industries to create precise 2D and 3D drawings. One of its many powerful features is the ability to create viewports within layouts, allowing users to showcase different views and visual styles of their drawings in a single presentation. Mastering the art of creating viewports not only enhances your presentation skills but also improves your efficiency in communicating design intent.

In this guide, we will provide you with a step-by-step walkthrough on creating a viewport in AutoCAD, covering the essentials of setting up a layout, creating viewports, modifying viewport properties, and working with multiple viewports. By the end of this guide, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the process and be able to apply it to your own projects.

Key Takeaways

  • A viewport is a window within a layout that displays a view of your drawing.
  • Viewports can be customized to showcase different views, scales, and visual styles of your design.
  • The process of creating a viewport involves setting up a layout, defining the viewport boundaries, and modifying the viewport properties.
  • Working with multiple viewports can help you present various aspects of your design simultaneously.

What is a Viewport in AutoCAD?

A viewport in AutoCAD is a window within a layout that displays a view of your drawing. It allows you to show different views, scales, and even visual styles of the same drawing simultaneously, making it easier to present your work in an organized and professional manner. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of creating a viewport in AutoCAD, so you can efficiently showcase your designs.

Understanding Layouts and Viewports

Before diving into the steps to create a viewport, it’s essential to understand the relationship between layouts and viewports. A layout is a space where you arrange your drawing for plotting (printing) purposes. It contains one or more viewports, which are the windows that display the model space views of your drawing.

In a layout, you can create and customize viewports to display your drawing in different views, scales, and visual styles. This provides you with a versatile way to present your work and helps you efficiently communicate your design intent.

Creating a New Layout

  1. Open the AutoCAD drawing you want to create a viewport for.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see the Layout1 and Layout2 tabs by default. These are pre-made layouts that come with AutoCAD.
  3. To create a new layout, right-click on any of the existing layout tabs and select New Layout from the context menu. A new layout tab will appear, named as Layout3 or the next available number.
  4. Double-click the new layout tab to make it the current layout.

Setting up the Layout

Before creating a viewport, it’s a good idea to set up the layout properties, such as the paper size, orientation, and units. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In the layout tab, right-click anywhere and select Page Setup Manager from the context menu.
  2. In the Page Setup Manager dialog box, select the new layout and click Modify.
  3. In the Page Setup dialog box, choose the desired printer or plotter from the Printer/Plotter drop-down menu.
  4. Select the appropriate paper size from the Paper Size drop-down menu.
  5. Choose the desired orientation (landscape or portrait) from the Drawing Orientation section.
  6. Set the plot scale, plot style, and other settings as needed.
  7. Click OK to close the Page Setup dialog box, and click Close to exit the Page Setup Manager.

Creating a Viewport

Now that you’ve set up your layout, it’s time to create a viewport. Follow these steps:

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  1. In the layout tab, click on the Layout panel of the Ribbon.
  2. Click on the Viewport button to access the viewport creation options. You’ll find several options, such as Rectangular, Polygonal, Object, and From View.
  3. For a simple rectangular viewport, click Rectangular. Your cursor will change to a crosshair.
  4. Click and drag to define the corners of the viewport. Release the mouse button to create the viewport. You’ll now see a window displaying a view of your drawing in model space.

Modifying the Viewport

Once you’ve created a viewport, you may need to modify its properties, such as scale, view, and display options. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Double-click inside the viewport to activate it. The viewport border will become bold, indicating that it’s active.
  2. To change the scale of the viewport, go to the View tab on the Ribbon and select the desired scale from the Viewport Scale drop-down menu. Alternatively, you can right-click on the viewport and choose Properties to access the scale setting.
  3. To change the view, you can either use the ViewCube in the top right corner of the viewport or type the view command (e.g., TOP, FRONT, LEFT) in the command line.
  4. To adjust the display style, go to the Visual Style panel on the View tab and select the desired style (e.g., 2D Wireframe, Realistic, Shaded).

Once you’ve made the desired changes, double-click outside the viewport to deactivate it.

Working with Multiple Viewports

Creating multiple viewports in a layout can help you showcase various aspects of your design simultaneously. Here’s how to create and manage multiple viewports:

  1. To create additional viewports, follow the steps outlined in the Creating a Viewport section.
  2. To move a viewport, click on its border and drag it to the desired position.
  3. To resize a viewport, click on its border and drag the grips (small squares) to adjust the size.
  4. To delete a viewport, select it by clicking on its border, then press the Delete key on your keyboard.
  5. To arrange multiple viewports evenly, select the viewports you want to arrange (use Ctrl or Shift to select multiple viewports), then click Layout tab > Layout Viewports panel > Viewport Configuration List > Tile.

By following this comprehensive guide, you should now be able to create, modify, and manage viewports in AutoCAD with ease. Utilize these steps to enhance your presentation skills and efficiently communicate your design intent to clients and colleagues.


Creating viewports in AutoCAD is an essential skill for professionals who need to present their designs effectively and professionally. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can efficiently showcase different aspects of your drawing in various views, scales, and visual styles, enhancing the way you communicate your design intent to clients and colleagues.

Incorporating viewports into your AutoCAD workflow not only elevates your presentation skills but also improves your overall efficiency in managing complex projects. With a firm grasp on the art of creating viewports, you can now focus on delivering high-quality designs and impressing your clients with polished, professional presentations.

R. Khouri

With over 30 years of experience in the CAD industry as an instructor, developer, and manager, I have a wealth of knowledge in the field. My background in computer engineering has given me a solid foundation for understanding the complexities of CAD softwares. AutoCAD is my go-to tool, and I'm passionate about all forms of computer-aided design (CAD) and design in general.
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