Get the Perfect Plan View with the AutoCAD Explan Tool

12 Apr, 2015

If you’re a 3D user, you’ve certainly noticed that the Plan command always insists on doing a Zoom Extents. If you want a plan view of your current display, then the Explan command is right for you. Join Lynn Allen as she shows you the advantages of using this awesome Express Tool!

Video Transcript

Hello there, this is Lynn Allen. Welcome to another AutoCAD tip courtesy of Cadalyst magazine. I hope you are having a great week so far. Today I'm going to talk about yet another Express Tool because you know how I love (heart) my Express Tools. This one is going to come in handy for those of you work in 3D, which I hope is a whole bunch of you.

Let's say I'm working on this particular view in my drawing. I'm working on the chairs or the pool table, and now I want to look at it from a plan view. So if I go into the Plan command, you see that it always loves to do a Zoom Extend. I don't want it to do a Zoom Extend. I want it to actually just do a plan view of the portion of the drawing that I was currently looking at. Now I'm going to have to zoom in, and I don't like to have to do any extra work because I'm very AutoCAD lazy -- you can quote me on that.

So let's go back where we were before. This great Express Tool allows you to select the objects that you want it to zoom in on after it does a plan view. It's awesome. So let's go to the Express Tools on the tab, which hopefully you have loaded into AutoCAD. Now it's not in a very obvious place. I will be the first to admit that. It's underneath Tools -- it's hiding from you, so that might be why you don't know about it. Then I'm going to go to Extend Plan -- the Explan tool.

When I do that, it's going to ask me to select the objects on the screen that I want to make sure that I have in my display window. So it doesn't display the entire Zoom Extend, which sometimes can go very badly. Those Zoom Extends can get things all over the place. So I'm going to say my main focus is on the pool table. You can select multiple objects. I'm going to go ahead and just select that one. Then I'm going to hit an extra Enter, and you'll see that in this case it gave me the plan view but it still has me zoomed in on the object or objects that I really care about.

So that's the Explan command. It's a very cool command. If you work in 3D, give it a try. It's going to save you some time. Be a lazy AutoCAD user like me. I'll see you back here in two more weeks. Thank you so much for joining me.

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