Using Work Areas
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Using Work Areas

Aug 31, 2018
Video Length:  1:02:00
Presented By:  Amanda Berry
Work Areas provide a perfect way to organize your schedules, scales, layers, and User Coordination Systems (UCSs). Whether you need to separate out phases in your schedules or show an area at a different scale and viewing angle, you need to know how to manipulate a Work Area.
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/Why Are Work Areas Awesome?
  • What Are Work Areas?
  • When Would You Need a Work Area?
  • Rules for Work Areas
  • Basic Examples
  • Advanced Plan Drafting
    • Layer Suffix
    • UCS
    • Model Space Viewports
  • Using Work Areas in Xrefs

0:00 – 2:29: Intro/TOC/Why Are Work Areas Awesome?

2:30 – 6:49: What Are Work Areas?

A Work Area provides a way to individualize a particular section of your drawing from the rest of the drawing for planting, irrigation or Reference Notes.


Example of a Work Area in CAD (3:00)

Work Areas must always be on the designated Work Area layer.


Scaling Work Areas (4:55)

Each Work Area can have its own scale.


Using the Highlight tool with Work Areas (6:05)

6:50 – 9:37: When Would You Need a Work Area?

  • Create schedules for different areas of your drawing. (6:50)
    • Building A planting, Building B planting, Building C planting
    • Front yard, backyard
    • Work to be paid for by Client A vs. paid for by Client B
    • Phase 1, Phase 2, Phase 3
    • Sheet 1, Sheet 2, Sheet 3
    • Quantity troubleshooting
  • Allow for multiple scales in one drawing. (8:39)
    • Create an enlargement in one area
    • Affects callouts, texts, dimensions, and hatches
  • Break the drawing into manageable sections. (8:54)
    • Check plant callouts/labels or irrigation piping only in one section
  • Quick access to different UCSs (9:19)
    • Switch between rotations along a curved road or drawing to drawing

9:38 – 11:59 Rules for Work Areas

  • The insertion point of a block must be inside the Work Area (tree, shrub, amenity, irrigation head).
  • The majority of an area’s polyline vertices must be inside the Work Area.
  • Work Areas shouldn’t overlap.
    • They can, but it can lead to schedule areas.
  • Work Areas CAN be inside other Work Areas.
    • This is a change from past versions. Use with discretion.
  • Plant Schedules are the only schedules with the “All” option.

12:00 – 32:37: Basic Examples

Placing a new Work Area (12:55)


Highlighting plants within a single Work Area (15:00)


Demonstration of why a block’s insertion point needs to be within a Work Area for the block to be counted by that Work Area (15:20)


Creating a Plant Schedule for one Work Area (15:55)


Demonstration of why the majority of a hatch’s polyline vertices must be within a Work Area for that hatch to be counted by that Work Area (19:00)


Breaking up a hatched area (example: a planting area) to have separate hatches in separate Work Areas, in order to calculate the items represented by the hatch separately (19:58)


Assigning scales to Work Areas (21:05)

Note that a schedule you run for a specific Work Area will conform to the scale assigned to that Work Area in Model Space. However, schedules for different Work Area scales will be the same size in Paper Space sheets.


Placing a schedule for the entire drawing (24:00)


Placing a schedule for all Work Areas in a drawing (24:55)


Work Areas within Work Areas (aka nested Work Areas) (25:45)


Limitations of schedules counting within nested Work Areas (25:45)

If you run a schedule and choose the All Work Areas option, items within nested Work Areas will be counted separately based on their insertion points or polyline vertices.


Another limitation: If you create a nested Work Area and assign it a scale that differs from the outer Work Area, items within the inner Work Area will still be scaled according to the scale assigned to the outer Work Area. (30:25)

However: If you re-create the outer Work Area and don’t give it a scale, it will be assigned world scale and items within the nested Work Area will be scaled correctly.

32:38 – 47:11: Advanced Plan Drafting

Layer Suffix (32:38)

Adding different layer suffixes to different Work Areas (32:38)

Note that the Work Area title will always appear at the point where you started drawing the Work Area.


Layer suffixes allow you to gray out or freeze objects within specific Work Areas within a Viewport or Xref.


UCS (38:10)

Assigning a UCS to a Work Area (38:10)

A User Coordinate System (UCS) allows you to view a Work Area at the rotation angle of your choice, and will also zoom to the extents of that Work Area.


Restoring an existing UCS for a Work Area (39:56)


Moving between UCSs for different Work Areas makes it much easier to label plants in those Work Areas.


Scaling Work Areas while using UCSs and placing scale bars from our Discipline Graphics library (41:07)


Model Space Viewports (43:30)

Using the New Viewport tool to turn a Work Area into a viewport (43:30)

When you create a viewport, you are isolating a region from the rest of the drawing, freezing all Land F/X layers outside that viewport (but not the Xref layers).


Changing the viewport color of selected layers (46:15)


Use the CTRL+R keys to cycle between different viewports on a sheet.

47:12 – end: Using Work Areas in Xrefs

Creating an Xref that will include all Work Areas from a drawing (48:25)

Land F/X will only recognize Work Areas if they are on the layer L-WORK-AREA.


Exporting the Work Areas to an Xref using the WBLOCK (Write Block) command (49:22)


Browsing to the Xref and placing the Work Areas (50:08)


Creating a schedule for Work Areas in an Xref (51:00)


Question: If a plan is separated into turf and shrub phases but they’re in the same general area, how can I differentiate between them? (53:00)

Answer: You can use the plant type options from the Plant Schedule dialog box, or you can use the Highlight tool and Select Similar option to move plants to different layers. You may also have those different phases in different DWG files, which would allow you to Xref one into the other. When running a schedule for one of these phases, you could then uncheck the Include Xrefs option, which would only list the plants in the main drawing (i.e., the turf or the shrubs).


Question: Is it possible to place one schedule that includes everything in a drawing, and another that doesn’t include a specific area (such as a stormwater facility)? (55:54)

Answer: Yes. You can do it by layers or by Xref. We recommend using the Xref method in this case.


Question: Instead of creating a new viewport, why not just use Layer States? (57:13)

Answer: You can use Layer States, but you’d still need to create an inner viewport. You can use these tools in conjunction with each other if you want – especially if you have to create viewports on multiple sheets.


Question: If you create multiple viewports, will it affect the plotting sheet size? (58:55)

Answer: No, it won’t.


The Work Area layer name is customizable. Its name doesn’t have to be L-WORK-AREA, but its name DOES need to match the name assigned to that layer in the present Preference Set.  (59:36)

Keep in mind that if you change the name of this layer, Work Areas won’t work in past drawings because the layer names won’t match anymore.


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