The Layout Explorer allows creation and modification of drawing layouts. A drawing layout is a view of all or part of a drawing with the option to include additional items specific to the layout. A Draft it drawing can contain any number of Layouts. An entity can be in any number of layouts. Entities on the main drawing cannot be modified when viewing a layout, only entities actually drawn in the layout (which do not appear in the the main drawing).
You can see in the picture to the left the Layout Explorer window. The top section contains the various command icons for layout manipulation and the lower part shows the layout content of the active drawing (icons for the drawing and for four layouts).
Clicking on a layout name in the list changes the display in the Drawing area to show that layout. To switch back to the drawing simply click on 'Drawing' in the list.
The buttons in the Layout dialog box are:- 'Create Layout', 'Delete layout', 'Show layout contents', 'Update layout contents', 'Copy layout'.
To create a layout simply click on the 'new layout' button. Only the entities selected at the time are included in the layout, if no entities are selected then the entire drawing contents are included in the layout. Layouts are automatically named 'Layout1', 'Layout2' and so on. It is possible to rename a Layout, click on the layout to rename then click on it again and type in the new name.
To delete a layout, select it in the layout list and click on the 'Delete Layout' button.
The 'show layout contents' button is be used to select the entities stored in a layout. Click on a layout in the list and it is displayed. Click on the 'show layout contents' button and Draft it returns to the whole drawing and highlight (selects) the entities currently stored with that layout.
Now selected these entities form the Selection set. Use any of the Draft it methods to Select Items to add to or remove from the selection. Once the entities required for the view are selected click the 'Update layout contents' button and select the layout name to update from the list.
The 'Copy layout' button creates a duplicate layout of the currently selected layout, the new layout is named 'Copy of Layout1' (If the original layout was Layout1).
To explain further what is possible lets look a the example picture below. This is an A0 size sheet at a 1:50 scale containing a plan and 4 elevation views of a building. The rectangle around the outside is Draft it Sheet Border.
It is easy to see the requirement that the entire drawing would need to be printed, however it might also be the case that each floor plan and each elevation would require to be on its own printed sheet, with information specific to that sheet. This is possible with layouts as the Draft it Print command only considers the currently selected display in the layout explorer when calculating what is to be printed. The layout explorer here shows a total 7 layouts have been created. One for each elevation and plan and another for both plans together.
Clicking on 'plans' in the layout list changes the display to that shown below.
So this layout was created when both plan views were selected then whilst the 'plans' layout was the current display an A2 sheet border was added.
This means that the sheet border is only displayed and can only be modified when this particular layout is selected. The rest of the entities (the plans) can only be edited when the 'drawing' is the current view.