How Do You Do a Flatshot in AutoCAD?

AutoCAD is a powerful software tool used by professionals in various industries for drafting and designing. One of the essential skills every AutoCAD user should master is the ability to create accurate and visually appealing flatshots. In this tutorial, we will explore the step-by-step process of creating a flatshot in AutoCAD.

What is a Flatshot?

A flatshot, also known as an orthographic projection, is a 2D representation of a 3D object that shows multiple views on a single plane. It allows designers and engineers to communicate their ideas effectively by providing detailed information about an object from various angles.

Step 1: Prepare Your Drawing

Before you can create a flatshot, you need to have a 3D model or drawing ready in AutoCAD. Ensure that your drawing is properly scaled and organized with layers for different elements.

Step 2: Set Up Your Viewports

To create a flatshot, we will use viewports in AutoCAD to display multiple views simultaneously. Start by opening the layout tab where you want to create your flatshot.

Note: To switch to the layout tab, type “layout” on the command line or select the Layout tab from the bottom of the screen.

Step 2.1: Create Viewports

In the layout tab, click on the “Layout Viewports” dropdown menu and select “Rectangular.” Click and drag on the layout space to define the size and position of your viewport.

  • Tip: Hold down the Shift key while dragging to maintain an equal aspect ratio for your viewport.

Step 2.2: Adjust Viewport Properties

Right-click inside the viewport and select “Viewport Properties” from the context menu. In the properties window, you can customize various settings, such as scale, display settings, and layer visibility for each viewport.

Step 3: Set Up Your Views

Now that we have our viewports ready, we need to define the views we want to display in each viewport. AutoCAD provides several methods to set up your views:

  • Option 1: Select an existing view from your model space by double-clicking inside the viewport and choosing a saved view from the list.
  • Option 2: Use the “ViewCube” or “Navigation Bar” at the top-right corner of your drawing area to rotate and align your model as desired.
  • Option 3: Manually set up specific views using AutoCAD’s standard views (e.g., Top, Front, Right).

Step 4: Arrange Your Views

To create an effective flatshot, it’s crucial to arrange your views in a logical and organized manner. You can move and resize the viewports by selecting them and dragging their boundaries.

Step 4.1: Align Viewports

Select all the viewports by holding down Shift and clicking on each one. Right-click on any of the selected viewports and choose “Align” from the context menu. Specify a reference point for alignment (e., bottom-left corner) and then select another viewport as a Target for alignment.2: Adjust Viewport Scale

To ensure consistency across all views, you can adjust the scale of each viewport. Double-click inside a viewport to activate it, and then type “Z” followed by “Enter” to access the zoom command. Specify the desired scale factor or select a preset scale from the list.

Step 5: Finalize and Annotate

Once you are satisfied with your flatshot arrangement, you can finalize it by adding annotations, dimensions, and text labels to provide additional details about the object. Use AutoCAD’s annotation tools to add callouts, leaders, and other necessary information.

Note: Remember to assign appropriate layer properties to your annotations for better organization and control.


Creating a flatshot in AutoCAD is an essential skill that allows designers and engineers to effectively communicate their ideas. By following these steps, you can create accurate and visually appealing flatshots that provide comprehensive views of your 3D objects.

Remember: Practice makes perfect! Experiment with different layouts, views, and annotation styles to develop your own unique flatshot creation process.