Knowledge Base sponsors SAGI AGM
Knowledge Base was a recent sponsor of the SAGI Western Cape AGM. We are proud to be associated with SAGI and it was great to meet up with clients and surveyors to demonstrate our software. Many surveyors at the event were not aware of the advanced survey functionality embedded in both Civil Designer and AllyCAD and we were happy to receive many enquiries following the presentation.

2012 African Training (Jan-March)
Between January and March we have already trained 172 clients! This means that our facilitators have nearly clocked up enough air miles for their own round-the-world trips.

Furthermore the spotlight was firmly planted on our trainers during their training sessions in Zimbabwe where they were interrupted by 5 radio stations and one TV channel! Needless to say, they felt like celebrities for a day.

It was a great experience to conduct training in Zimbabwe and equally good to get such positive feedback. Below are some of the companies who have chosen to train with us in the first few months of this year:

City of Cape TownCity of Cape Town (South Africa)   Windhoek Consulting EngineersWindhoek Consulting Engineers (Namibia)
City of BulawayoCity of Bulawayo and World Vision (Zimbabwe)   Buffalo CityBuffalo City (South Africa)
MDC KlerksdorpMDC Klerksdorp (South Africa)   Alfred Nzo Municipality Mount AyliffAlfred Nzo Municipality Mount Ayliff (South Africa)
Aurecon NamibiaAurecon (Namibia)   AureconAurecon (South Africa)
Bergstan BotswanaBergstan (Botswana)     

To book your training, please contact:

Western Cape, East Cape, Namibia & International Cape Town
(Head Office)
Tel: (021) 701 1850
Kwa-Zulu Natal, Free State, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mpumalanga & Zimbabwe Durban Nalini
Tel: (031) 566 3323
Gauteng, Limpopo, North West Province & Botswana Johannesburg Barbara
Tel: (011) 675 3959

Using Layouts Effectively

Layouts are powerful tools for the presentation and plotting of your design work and are usually used to arrange the various views of your drawing for plotting purposes. The following tips will help you effectively integrate the layouts feature:

What do I put on a layout?

Title blocks can be inserted as a block (or XRef), or copy/pasted from another drawing, or even drawn manually using lines, rectangles and text.

Viewports can be added to the layout provided you have defined Named Views in the modelspace ('Drawing' tab) first.

Annotations are notes, tables or text denoting for example the scale of a detail.

Additional Information Drawing objects created by the Plot Generate function.


Using layouts to replace zoom prints

Creating [layout] viewports at different scales allows you to present detailed views of your model space drawing where necessary.

Note: To create detailed views of the modelspace, you will need to define 'Named Views' in the modelspace. Use the View > Viewports menu item while in the modelspace ('Drawing' tab at the bottom of the current drawing’s window).

Setting Viewport annotative scale

The 'Annotative Scale' of a viewport is automatically calculated to make the annotative objects visible in the viewport appear the same size in mm on paper as in the modelspace. To change the annotative scale, select the viewport and view its properties. One way to avoid issues with annotative scaling is to set the modelspace drawing scale to the “plot scale” (i.e.: the scale that you will be using to plot the drawing in the layouts). For example, in a drawing that will be mostly plotted at a scale of 1:25, setting the modelspace scale to 1:25 would mean that the annotative text, dimensions and hatches would look the same in a layout viewport with scale 1:25 as they do in the modelspace (assuming the viewport's annotative scale is set to 1:1).

Creating new Layouts

To create a new layout, select Layouts > Insert Layouts.

Enter a name for your layout (eg: 'Details 1', or 'Building C Plan').

You will be prompted to add a default viewport, with either a view of the whole drawing, or using a named view.

If you add a default viewport with a view of the whole drawing, its scale will be calculated such that the viewport will fit into the layout's paper box.

If you add a default viewport using a named view, you will be prompted to choose a named view and will be able to change the viewport's scale.

Switching viewport borders on/off

You can enhance the layout by enabling or disabling the borders of your layout viewports.

The borders around the viewports can displayed or hidden by selecting the viewport and then viewing its properties. (Tip: Press F4 key to show the Properties Bar).

Setting which layers are visible in viewports

Each viewport allows you to control which layers are visible in that viewport, allowing you to hide layers which are not relevant to the layout you are publishing, without having to continually change the 'global' layer visibility when switching between layouts.

Viewport layer visibility is accessed by selecting the individual viewport, then right-clicking and selecting 'Set Visible Layers in Viewport', or by clicking the 'Visible Layers' button in the Properties Bar.

Publishing a layout

You may publish a layout to a separate stand-alone drawing file, which can then be separately edited and plotted.

Use Plot > Publish Layout to publish one or more layouts to disk.

Publishing may, for example, be used to create detail drawings from a master drawing, so that the master drawing does not have to be distributed to all parties who require the detail drawings.

We look forward to sharing more news, information and software tips with you in our next quarterly newsletter. For any feedback, enquiries or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.

The Knowledge Base Team


Projecting to Isometric and 3D

Projecting to Isometric and 3D
This Tech Tip explains how to project a 2D surround of a drawing of a safe, to 3D and isometric or orthographic views.


Classical Concrete

Classical Concrete
"AllyCAD's perpetual evolution means it's always up to date with the latest technology and simply gets better with each release."
Plean Precast Limited, UK

The AllyCAD Survey Toolkit

The Survey Toolkit allows easy generation of Survey General diagrams, General Plans and Sectional Plans. Survey points can be imported, exported, added, located and connected. Generate cadastral diagrams and general plans in a 'ready to lodge' state. Use an existing layout plan and convert it to a General Plan or generate diagrams of individual erven. The Survey toolkit is categorized into three broad parts...

Update and receive 2011 / 2013

If you are not up to date and want to receive the latest major release, please get in touch with us at For those of you that are up to date in your subscriptions this year, look forward to receiving 2013 when it is released at the end of the year. Don’t get caught out by falling behind in your subscriptions and having to pay more to get back on board.

AllyCAD 2011 HOME edition

AllyCAD HOME offers the full functionality of our Professional CAD version and is suitable for the hobbyist and for small venture drawing purposes. This version is limited only in its maximum drawing size (300Kb). With more than 40 000 AllyCAD HOME users worldwide preferring AllyCAD, experience it for just £39. AllyCAD HOME can be purchased online from the following webpage:


- Build 12 (2012/05/02)
- Build 12 (2012/05/02)
- (2010/10/20)
Civil Designer

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