F/X CAD 2018 for New AutoCAD Users 2
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F/X CAD 2018 for New AutoCAD Users 2

Mar 09, 2018
Video Length:  59:35
Presented By:  Amanda Berry

Building on the foundation established in the first webinar in this series, in Part 2 we’ll show you how Paper Space (aka layouts or sheets) works with scale through viewports so you can plot what you draw to a full-scale PDF or plotter. We’ll go further into layer best practices by looking at how you can manipulate drawings through a viewport. We’ll also cover annotating your drawing to scale. You’ll come away learning more about how F/X CAD and AutoCAD use scale in drawings, and how to plot.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)

  • Intro/TOC
  • Units
  • Scale
    • Paper Space
    • Viewports
  • Plotting (to PDF)

0:00 – 4:04: Intro/TOC

What you need in order to follow this webinar (2:50):

  • F/X CAD 2018
    • Older versions will have an older ribbon layout and will thus be harder to follow.
    • This webinar assumes you haven’t used F/X CAD yet but that you do have it installed.
  • Land F/X license
    • F/X CAD requires Land F/X.

4:05 – 12:49: Units

Setting the units in the Drawing Units dialog box (open it by typing UNITS in the Command line and pressing Enter) (4:26)


Decimal and Architectural units (5:00)

Architectural units will only apply to inches.


Precision (6:01)

Precision affects how fine, or precise, your properties (such as length) will be.


Note that AutoCAD is “unitless,” meaning when you draw a line to a set number of units (example: 10), that line will be drawing in the units that are currently set, rather than drawn in the context of the units in the existing objects in the drawing. (6:40)


In Model Space, everything is drawn in 1:1 scale, meaning that 1 foot equals 1 foot, etc. (8:25)


Checking whether the units are correct (9:50):

To test the drawing units, you can draw a line that is 10 units long. The line will be drawn in 10 of the units that are currently set. You can then check the length of that line against the length of existing objects in the drawing. (9:50)


Another way to test the drawing units: Use the Distance command (type DI in the Command line and press Enter) to test the units vs. the length of an existing object in the drawing. (10:20)


Correcting the Units (11:10)

If the units are set incorrectly, set them correctly in the Drawing Units dialog box. (11:10)


Having problems with scale in your drawing? Check the units to make sure they’re set correctly.


See our F/X CAD for New AutoCAD Users Part 1 webinar for instructions on rescaling a plan to fit the correct units (12:25)

13:50 – 44:49: Scale

Paper Space (14:30)

Opening a Paper Space Layout tab (14:30)

“Layout space” or “Layout” is synonymous with “Paper Space” and “sheet.” All these terms refer to the representation of how your drawing will plot, or print.


Opening the Page Setup Manager and modifying the setup for a Layout tab (15:25)


Selecting a plotter (16:04)

We recommend using one of several third-party PDF plotters rather than the built-in AutoCAD PDF plotter. We’ll just use the built-in plotter for the sake of simplicity in this webinar.


Selecting a paper size (17:30)

For instructions for setting up customized sheets, see our:


The What to plot menu (18:20)

We recommend selecting the Layout option to ensure that everything plots correctly.


No need to touch the Plot offset menu.


Plot scale options (18:43)

You’ll see two fields for units directly below the Scale menu:

  • Top units field: Layout units (for the selected page size)
  • Bottom units field: Drawing units (for the units you have selected in your drawing)


Make sure you select the correct units and that the Scale menu has the 1:1 option selected.


Setting the plot style (20:30)

The plot style determines the thickness of each lineweight in your drawing.


For now, we recommend selecting the LFX.ctb plot style (our default plot style) (21:50)


Editing a plot style (See our Modify Existing CTB Plot Styles documentation for details.) (22:00)


Plot options (22:32)

We recommend selecting the Plot transparency option.


Drawing orientation (22:38)

Select whether you want to plot in landscape or portrait orientation.


Viewports (22:30)

Creating a new viewport (22:30)


Setting the viewport scale (25:25)


Activating a viewport by double-clicking it (26:44)


Centering the contents of the viewport (27:40)


Scaling a viewport manually by selecting an option from the Standard scale menu in the Properties panel (not recommended) (28:17)

Your standard scale may very well not be available from this menu – especially if you use Metric units.


Setting the scale for a drawing in Imperial units (29:00)


Setting your own custom scale manually (Note: It involves a calculator!) (30:10)


Examples of custom scales (31:20)


Setting the scale using the Land F/X Scale tool (recommended) (32:30)

Our Scale tool automates the scaling process, making it much easier and more accurate.


Locking a viewport display (34:25)


Placing a scale bar using our Site Callouts tool (35:00)


Note: If you need to set different scales in your drawing, you should be using our Work Areas tool. See our Work Areas documentation for details.


Placing text & dimensions (36:20)

Placing text manually using the AutoCAD MText command (not recommended) (36:41)


Placing text using our Text tool (recommended) (37:30)

Our Text tool consolidates point sizes and fonts into a simple dialog box.


Placing dimensions using our Dimension tools (39:55)


Placing hatches (40:50)


Placing hatches manually (You guessed: Not recommended) (40:50)


Creating a closed polyline using the Boundary command (41:40)


Placing hatches using our Hatch tool (recommended) (42:40)

Note that when you rescale hatches you’ve placed with our hatch tools, the actual patterns will retain their original scale.


For more information on some of the concepts covered in this section, please see our:

44:50 – end: Plotting (to PDF)

Accessing the Plot command (44:50)

Control + P is the quickest way to plot.


Creating a plot preview (45:35)


… and plotting to PDF (46:00)

Note: When plotting to PDF using a third-party PDF plotter, make sure to select the Actual size option in the Print dialog box.


Batch plotting (i.e., plotting several sheets at once) (47:39)


Question: Is it possible to place a viewport in Model Space when creating a plan? (51:20)

Answer: It’s possible, but it won’t do what you expect it to do. For this level, we recommend just keeping the single standard view in Model Space.


Question: Is there a way to copy the page layout options from one layout to another? (53:00)

Answer: Yes. The best way to do so would be to copy the entire layout by right-clicking the Layout tab and selecting Move or Copy. You can also create sheet templates and then base future layouts on those templates. See our Sheet Setup documentation and webinars for more information:


Question: Is it possible to freeze one viewport so no changes are added, AND be able to change another viewport drawing with different changes? (55:30)

Answer: Yes. The best way to achieve this type of goal is to use a Layer State (a series of layer settings) that includes frozen layers. For more information, see our:


How to freeze layers in certain viewports but not others (57:30)


Overview of Index Colors (58:10)

Index Colors are attached to your CTB plot style file. To plot in color, select a True Color instead of an Index Color for the linetypes you want to plot in color.


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