What are Layouts?
When starting a new drawing in QCAD, the model space (also "model" or "drawing model") is shown. This is a special block where the main drawing is created in real size (1:1).
A layout (also "layout block" or "paper space") is another special block that is usually used for printing a drawing or parts of a drawing. A layout shows one or multiple parts of the drawing, often accompanied by a drawing border and drawing header. Each part of the drawing can be shown at a selected scale and angle.
Consider the example "flange.dxf" which comes with every installation of QCAD. When you open the drawing in QCAD, you can see the model space where all the geometry is created in real size. The geometry is typically arranged in a way that made it convenient to construct it.
If you switch to the first layout (listed as "Layout (*Paper_Space)" in the block list), you can see that the same drawing has been re-arranged, a border has been added and a detail of the drawing is shown at a different scale:
It is important to understand at this point, that this is still the same drawing. These elements have not been copied and when the drawing model is changed, the layout will reflect these changes immediately.
What are Viewports?
The rectangular areas with a dashed orange border in the layout above are called viewports. A viewport is a window to the drawing model. It shows a part of the drawing model in a layout. You can also think of a viewport as a special kind of a block reference that always references the model space block and happens to be clipped at a given size.
Every new drawing automatically has a layout block. New layout blocks can be added using Block > Add Layout Block.
Viewports can be created using Draw > Viewport > Add Viewport
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