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Difference between Viewports and Saved Views?

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While saved views used be the way to best way to print out drawing, they are still useful. With saved view you can configure class and layer visibility for different activities on the drawing. Depending on what part of the drawing you need to concentrate on, saved views let you flip quickly back and forth between different 'setups' to allow you to focus only on what you need. Also, Saved Views have no crop so you can move around the entire drawing without having to adjust the view.

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There are several differences. With Viewports one can only have one scale - Saved Views on the other hand, allows one to "turn on" several Drawing Layers with different Drawing Layer Scales. For example: 3 Drawing Layers - one with graphic elements @ 1:1 a site plan @ 1:500 & a plan @ 1:50 - all in the same Saved View. A Viewport would show these 3 layers at one scale say 1:50. (We have our title block on one viewport @ 1:1 & a student this summer turned on the title block on several Plan Viewports -set at 1:50 resulting in many mysterious rectangles on several of our drawings!)

Saved views are also helpful when working out 3-D animations as a series of Saved Views. This allows one to revisit different rendering options and camera angles.

Before Viewports, Saved Views (then called Sheets) was how drawings were organized, so if one has an older file (VW10 for example) & imports this file into VW one's drawing file will be a series of Saved Views.

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"Save view" selects the view you actually see on the monitor, whatever design layer, sheet layer, viewport or whatever you are in and saves it as a link. This is a useful tool for jumping around in the drawing between predetermined monitor views. If you know that you will have to get back to a specific detail in the drawing every now and then, save it as a view and you get to it whit only a click in the "saved views" menu.

Primarily it's a useful and timesaving workflow tool. Viewports are more really "views" for printing and drawing layouts.

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  • 3 weeks later...

ok so here is what I'm understanding:

1. Saved views allow me to save layer and class visibility without cropping. This in turn makes it much easier to move between drawings that I still need to edit and very easily create an updated viewport without having to make sure all my correct classes and layers are set.

2. Viewports are a snapshot of the saved view that are placed on my Sheet. The Viewport's graphical appearance can now be edited via classes and annotations can be added as well.

Is what I'm understanding correct?

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I am not entirely sure I agree with Peters take on Saved Views. Yes, they can be used for navigation, but if you output from design layers instead of just sheet layers, then they also have a presentation purpose.

I tend to think of viewports not as a snapshot, but rather as a video camera with custom filters in front of it. It will always show you what it is pointed at, but with the right filters, you can see things that might otherwise be hidden. Some of the filters control the layers and classes that are visible. Once controls the crop. The annotations act as informational stamps on the image. And Layer and Class overrides are yet another type of filter you can use. Lots of power once you figure it out.

Saved views provide a different kind of power. They can change the part of the drawing you are looking at, the layers and classes that are visible, and even the layer and class options. They are a great way to move around the drawing to do tasks that you need to come back to over and over again.

But they can also be used to provide a way to set up for a presentation by setting the layer and class visibilities for a page to be output so you can get back to it.

If you draw much on your sheet layers that is not in viewports, then you might want to create saved views to take you to your viewports to make sure that the correct classes are visible.

And if you find yourself using saved views much for navigation, then you might want them set up for your sheet layers just because it is easier to always use the saved view pane of the Navigation Palette rather than jumping back and forth between the sheet layer and saved view tabs.


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One workflow issue with saved view is that when you visit a saved view, the visibility settings for your drawing are changed to those of the saved view. For instance layer viz may be changed from your usual Active Only to Grey Others, and a bunch of unusual classes may be made visible. If you then access another layer through the Nav or Layer pulldowns, it will show with Grey Others, and all those classes will still be visible. I therefore create a default saved view (say of the site plan, with layers set to Active Only and my usual classes visible). Now the drawing viz resets with one click in the saved view box.

Viewports are objects with internal visibility settings. Accessing sheet layer with viewport(s) does not change the viz settings for other parts of the drawings.


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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

I kind of think of saved Views as my drawing manager - it manages layers and classes.

For example, if I'm working on a particular portion of the drawing, I can turn off certain elements and save the view. I can then create a Saved View with ALL elements turned on (including stacked layers) so I can quickly toggle between where I'm working and the entire drawing...

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Remember that saved views have one important advantage over Viewports.

They don't have save certain aspects, if you just want a class set up, or a just a layer set up, or just a view, then saved views can do it.

Viewports are a combo of all and have to be all the time.

So in your templet file you could have saved views of just the class configuration for common drawings then when anyone wants to set up a viewport called the saved view then create the viewport knowing the classes are taken care of.

Very useful is the old simple saved view.

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