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Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD

Workspaces in BricsCAD

In BricsCAD there are two main workspaces: Paper Space and Model Space. In this series we're going to explore the Paper Space workspace, what it does, how it works, why it's used and the various features, such as viewports, templates and annotations.

In the last post we looked at how to work with layouts and templates in BricsCAD. In this post we will look at how to create and edit viewports in Paper Space in BricsCAD.

What is a viewport?

A viewport is an entity that is added to Paper Space. It acts as a "window" to your model. In a layout you can create multiple viewports each of which displays a unique view or window of the Model Space. You can control the view, scale, and content of each layout viewport separately.

A layout viewport is created as a separate entity that you can copy, delete, move, scale, and stretch as you would any other drawing entity. You can snap to the viewport borders using entity snap.

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- viewports

Simple Paer Space layout with 4 viewports.

Zooming or panning in the current viewport affects only that viewport. Each viewport has its own layer visibility settings. You can also turn off the display of the content of a viewport.

To edit the model directly from Paper space; double-click the viewport. Any changes you make that directly alter the model, such as deleting a part or adding a dimension line, will be reflected in the model itself, not just the viewport you are currently using.

To deselect a viewport; double click outside of the viewport.

How to add a viewport

By default, BricsCAD layouts are created with a viewport already attached. However, if you want to add more viewports, or you have used a template that does not contain any viewports, you have a few options.

How To Create a New Viewport

  1. Enter the MVIEW command (Paper Space Views buttons on the Ribbon).

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- viewports

Note: Do not confuse the VPORTS command and the MVIEW command. The VPORTS command works in both Paper Space and Model Space, the MVIEW command works only in Paper Space.

Learn more about VPORTS→

How to Modify a View Inside a Viewport

To change the angle and zoom factor of a view inside a viewport:

  1. Double-click the viewport.
  2. Edit the view, as you would in Model Space.
    You can use the LookFrom widget, 3D mouse and middle mouse wheel.
  3. To exit double click outside of the viewport.

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- modify

Note: Any edits to the model, such as hiding or moving an entity, will be reflected in all the viewports. View angle and zoom factor will not have an effect on the other viewports.

There is a useful button in the bottom right corner of the BricsCAD workspace. It tells you which layout you are in and whether you are editing the layout or the viewport.

  • P: (Paper Space) means you are working on the layout directly.
  • M: (Model Space) means you are working inside the viewport.

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- button-800x244

You can also use this to switch between layouts and between the view and the Paper Space. Right-click the button to open up the options. Single-click to switch between Model Space and Paper Space quickly.

How to Change the Scale of a View Inside a Viewport

To change the scale of a viewport:

#1 Approximate

  1. Double-click the viewport.
  2. Use the middle mouse wheel, to zoom in and out.
  3. Double-click outside of the viewport to exit.

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- scale

#2 Accurate

  1. Select the viewport.
  2. Modify the scale factor in the Properties Panel.Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- scale factor
    You can choose a standard or custom scale.

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- scale properties

Note: You must lock the viewport using its properties, to prevent further changes to the scale factor

How to Modify the Visual Style of a Viewport

To modify the visual style of a viewport:

  1. Select the viewport.
  2. Change the visual style using the Properties panel.Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- visual style

Note: a change to the visual style of a viewport will not affect the visual style of other viewports on the same page.

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- paperspace extra-stuff-800x439

This layout contains 3 viewports. 2 are in the hidden visual style and one is in the Mechanical visual style

Does a viewport have to be rectangular?

No! A viewport does not have to rectangular.

Use the VPCLIP  command to edit existing viewports and create all kinds of weird and wonderful shapes.

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- cliping

Example of some of the differently shaped viewports that can be created in BricsCAD

You can also draw a closed polyline or spline on the Paper Space layout and use that as the frame:

  1. Launch MVIEW command.
  2. Select the Object option.
  3. Select the entity you wish to use as a border.


  1. Launch the MVIEW command.
  2. Choose the Polygonal option.
  3. Draw the viewport shape you desire.

Editing Layers in a viewport

In the layers panel there are lots of options specific to viewports. They are labeled with "VP". For example, you can change the layer color in a given viewport using the VP color parameter and the Linetype with the VP Linetype parameter. There is also the option to freeze layers using the VP Freeze parameter (freezes the layer on the current viewport) and the New VP parameter (freezes the layer on any new viewports that are created).

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- layers-800x247

Note the VP prefix on the layers panel indicates how the layer appears in a given viewport.

To edit the layers for a given viewport, first double click the viewport, then open the layers panel or Drawing Explorer.

How to Rotate a view

To rotate a view:

  1. Rotate the viewport.
    This rotates both the view and the viewport frame.Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- rotate

Note: This only works if the VPROTATEASSOC system variable is ON.

How to Lock a Viewport

To make sure no further changes are made to a viewport, e.g. scale, you can lock the display. Once locked it is no longer possible to zoom or pan a viewport.

How to Lock a Viewport:

  1. Select the viewport.
  2. In the Properties panel, change the Display locked option to Yes.

Viewports - Paper Space in BricsCAD- lock view


    1. Select the viewport.
    2. Choose VPLOCK from the menu in the bottom-right corner.

lock menu

How to Hide the Viewport Frame

To turn off the viewport frame visibility, simply freeze the layer the viewport is placed on. However, it's worth noting that the frame is not actually visible when printed.

Note: this will also hide any other object on the same layer, so it's a good idea to move viewports onto their own layer!

What's Next?

That's all for this post, be sure to come back, in the next post we will look at how to add annotation to your drawing in paper space.

Learn more about Paper Space in BricsCAD:

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