For simplicity and clarity, CAD users develop landscape designs at full scale.  For instance, when drawing a doorway in CAD, the door would be 3 feet wide, a courtyard wall might be 20 ft 6 inches long (entered as 20.5 decimal feet).  However, since these drawings get placed on sheets of paper that are much smaller, a scale factor is required so that the final drawing has a usable conversion factor. The figure below shows common scale factors in use in the USA.


Typical sheets in use in the USA are the architectural B, D and C sizes. The figure below shows a layout using a D size sheet measuring 22 x 34 inches.

USA architectural sheets

Consider the design in the figure shown below. The DISTANCE command (used in model space) shows that the site is about 160 feet wide.

Movie Set scale 1:48 Here is a movie in which we show how to present a design on an architectural C size sheet at 1:48. 


As shown below, if we create a layout on an architectural B size sheet in landscape orientation, select the frame edge and type 0.48 in the scale slot, and set the scale of the floating viewport to a fixed scale of 1/48 the design does not fit.

1 to 48 scale

The next available scale is 1/96 and as shown below, that's a suitable scale leaving plenty of room on the sheet for other information such as title block and image files.

1 to 96 scale

For example, suppose the design calls for the installation of some custom artwork near the swim pool as shown below.

Custom work

To do that we would move the floating viewport into a suitable position. Note that the viewport now extends past the edge of the paper.

Shift viewport

Tip: At this point, use tools and sent the viewport entity frame to the back.

Pasting illustrative images

You might start SppDb your gCADPlus companion plant database and select an image to illustrate the concept you have in mind.


Insert a copy of the image into your drawing. The process is made simple because it is possible to select and copying the path to the file.

Path to file

The image file can be pasted in model space or layout space. We have a preference to past images such as this directly in layout space using the path to the image file copied from SppDb as shown below.

Image file


It is highly likely that you will want to add various details to illustrate designs. In contrast to the plan view, these are not necessarily to scale. in the example below, we have a detail of how to plant an advanced specimen. this information needs to be displayed in layout space but in its own floating viewport.


The layout manager is used to create a new floating viewport on top of the one containing the design.

The layouts manager is activated by clicking on the layout tab.

Layout manager

In this instance, we create a new viewport in an appropriate location. We find it easier to create the new viewport outside the existing frame as shown below. Adjusting what is to be displayed in the viewport is much easier.


Move the viewport into position once the desired content has been set.

Move viewport

Display of the plant schedule can also be handled in the same manner.

Plant Schedule

The sheet is starting to take shape.


Taking a close look at the plant schedule show a rather large number of Japanese Yew specimens along the eastern boundary.


This is a drafting error. Further inspection of the row of the Yew symbols revealed that each symbol had been duplicated - a copy placed precisely on top of the original symbols. that's a problem difficult to detect, but could have very big ramifications when quoting quantifies for a job.

The duplicated symbols were removed and the update schedule tool used to refresh the schedule.


The schedule of course is generated from model space data using the plant tools.

At this stage, the title block information might be added. the design is by no means complete, but it is a good idea to lay the final presentation sheet out at this juncture.

You might even generate a PDF print at this stage. Make sure to set the PDF writer with the correct paper size and orientation and the plot at scale 1=1


Click on the image below to see the resultant PDF file.



Tip: Although it is possible to set the color of the border such that it does not show in a print, leave that step till last.

Fine tuning

Rotate the model such that the front boundary is at angle zero

Fine tune

Alternative orientation and scale

The examples above show the design on a B size sheet in landscape view. It is also possible to create layouts in portrait view on (say) a C size sheet. This enables a more appropriate scale factor of 1/48 to be applied and the plan fills the sheet.




Scale 1/96 on architectural B sheet