AutoCAD 2009: Quick View Commands (Circles and Lines AutoCAD Tutorial)

30 Jun, 2008 By: Lynn Allen

Don't get lost in multiple layouts; use Quick View Layout and Quick View Drawings.

Quickly access the Quick View tools from the status bar.
Sometimes we work with a drawing that contains so many layouts, it's difficult to keep track of all those pesky layout tabs. Sometimes we work with multiple open drawings and a plethora of layouts. It's easy to get lost in the land of layouts, but two new tools in AutoCAD 2009 can help us avoid that: Quick View Layout (Qvlayout) and Quick View Drawings (Qvdrawing). First, you'll find these two handy tools down on the status bar. Sure, you can key them in, but why do that when they are just a quick pick away?

Quick View Layouts
After entering the Qvlayout command, you'll see an image on your screen similar to the one below.

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Qvlayout displays all the layouts in the drawing. (Click image for a larger version)

Here you'll see a graphic display of all of your layouts along with model space. Note that the model space view doesn't display the actual drawing — just an icon as seen to the far left in the figure above. This icon remains the same regardless of the drawing you are in. Here's where the fun begins. Select any of the layouts to quickly switch to it. Hold down the Crtl key, and then move the wheel on your mouse to increase or decrease the size of the layout images. (How would you ever figure that out if no one told you?) If your drawing contains too many layouts to display on the screen, you can use the automatic scroll arrows that display to move to the right or the left of your layout display.

Use the scroll arrow to view the layouts to the left or right of the current display.

Tip: If you have multiple monitors, you can use them to display complete rows of Quick View images. Notice the icons that appear automatically in the upper left and right corner of the layouts. These allow you to quickly plot or publish a layout (very handy).

Use the Plot and Publish icons to quickly print a layout.

A right-click gives you the menu seen below. Here you'll find you can create, delete, move, copy, or rename a layout. You can select all the layouts to publish. You can add the selected layout to the sheet set or apply a different page setup. The coolest of them all, however, is the ability to Export a Layout to Model Space, which effectively makes it easy for you to convert any layout to a drawing — hoorah!

The shortcut menu contains many valuable options.

The toolbar that appears below the layouts also has some viable options. Here you'll find you can pin the Quick View Layouts open (effectively sucking up all of your screen real estate), create a new layout, publish, or close the Qvlayout command.

Use the toolbar below the layout images to pin Qvlayout open.

Quick View Drawing
Let's move on to the Quick View Drawing command. Here you'll find a similar experience as you did in Quick View Layout, but this tool takes things one step further. Here you'll find you can view all of your open drawings AND all of the layouts within those open drawings.

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Quick View Drawings displays your open drawings and the layouts within those open drawings. (Click image for a larger version)

Level one displays all of your open drawings. Level two displays the layouts within those drawings. Select any of the drawing images to make it the current drawing. As you move from one open drawing to the next, you will see the layouts for that drawing. Move your cursor up to any of the layouts, and you will feel as though you are back in the Qvlayout command again. The same basic concepts apply: hold down the Ctrl key and move the mouse wheel to increase or decrease the size of the drawing or viewports. A scroll arrow will display if you have too many drawings or layouts to fit on the screen.

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Quick View Drawing also displays the layouts in each open drawing. (Click image for a larger version)

Right-click on any drawing to display the shortcut menu.
A right-click on any drawing image displays a valuable shortcut menu. Here you'll find you can close all the open drawings or — my personal favorite — close all the other files. This effectively closes all the open drawings except for the selected one (which can definitely come in handy). The shortcut menu on the layout images is exactly the same as the one shown in Qvlayout.

The toolbar underneath the drawing and layout images can be used to pin open the Quick View Drawings tool. (You'd really better have a second monitor if you plan on doing that!) You can also start a new drawing, open an existing one, or close the Qvdrawing command.

The Qvdrawing toolbar can be used to create a new drawing, open an existing one, or pin open the Quick View Drawings command.

On occasion, a drawing may not have a stored image for a layout, and you'll see a placeholder image that looks like the figure below.

Expect to see this icon when no image can be found.
This placeholder image is displayed when any of the following instances occur:
  • if you create a new drawing (no saved image yet)
  • if you haven't initialized the layout
  • if you haven't yet saved the drawing file
You will also get this placeholder image if the system variable UPDATETHUMBNAIL (phew!) is set to 0. Believe it or not, there is a command called Updatethumbsnow that can be used to update all the thumbnail images (you just can't make this kind of stuff up).

I do find on occasion that both the Quick View commands lose the tooltips and shortcut menus behind the layout images (which means they are of no use). Although not common, this situation is frustrating. I also noticed that when the model space layout tabs are moved to the status bar, essentially the only means of moving from one layout to another is through the Quick View Layout command (unlike previously, when you could access them directly from the status bar). This will probably force most of us to keep the layout displayed as the traditional tabs.

So give these two new Quick View commands a try. They are definitely different and not for everyone. But if you are always buried in layouts, then you will enjoy these new commands! Until next month, happy AutoCADing!

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