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Marking Up Drawings with Volo View and AutoCAD

By Nancy Fulton, OpenCAD

This tutorial, and 350 more step-by-step tutorials for AutoCAD 14, 2000, 2000i & 2002, can be found at http://acad.complete-support.com. Visit the website to sign up for a free trial subscription.
(c) 2002 OpenCAD International Inc. All rights reserved. Permission to publish granted exclusively to Tenlinks, Inc.


Volo View Express is a free product that supervisors and customers can download and install on their workstations that lets them view .dwg and .dwf files from within Internet Explorer. Volo View Express also allows users to zoom, pan, print and control layer display within drawings.

Volo View 2, which costs $195, is the full version of the Volo View application. This product allows users without AutoCAD to view, mark up and plot .dwg, .dwf and a wide range of raster file types. Many companies are using Volo View to reduce their dependence on AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT.

Note: Click on images to enlarge.

In this project you learn how to :

  • Use Volo View to open drawing files
  • Use Volo View to display and shade 3D
  • Use Volo View to mark up layouts,
  • Bring mark up files into AutoCAD
  • Work with markups for multiple layouts

You will find this project useful if you work with individuals or companies that use Volo View, or are considering its use.

You will find the source files required for this project in the 4015a.exe self-extracting executable. To unpack the source files, save the .exe file to a folder on your local hard disk. From the Windows Start menu, choose Run. Select the .exe file. Choose OK, then specify where the source files should be placed.

If you wish to do both lessons in this project, you purchase and install the full Volo View 2 application from the Autodesk Store located at http://www.autodesk.com/store. You can follow some of the steps on the second lesson in this project just using AutoCAD 2002.

Using Volo View to Mark Up Drawings Without AutoCAD

In this project you learn how to mark up a drawing using Volo View 2.  If you do not have Volo View 2 you may want to review the steps in this project just to become familiar with the capabilities of the project in case you have to show someone else how to use it. If you can use AutoCAD, you will find Volo View extremely easy to master.  

  1. Launch Volo View
  2. From the File menu, choose Open.
  3. Select the 4015a.dwg drawing file extracted from the 4015a.exe. Note that you can also open .dwf, .dxf, raster image and Inventor files.
  4. Choose Open.

  5. Right-click in the drawing and choose Black & White. This makes the geometry easier to see.
  6. Right-click in the drawing, choose Layouts, then choose Model.  This will display the geometry in model space.

  7. Close the Layouts window.
  8. On the Standard toolbar, choose Orbit.
  9. Click and drag in the drawing to display a 3D view of the model.
  10. Right-click and choose Gouraud Shaded.

  11. Click and drag again to modify your view of the shaded object.

  12. Press ESC to exit this shaded view which is only visible in the Orbit command.
  13. Right-click and choose World Markup Plane. You can't mark up 3D Views unless they are displayed within viewports in layouts. In model space, mark ups must be made on the World Markup Plane.  

  14. From the View menu, choose Layouts.
  15. Choose Multi-View Layout, then choose close the Layouts window.
  16. From the Font Size list, choose 36 pt. This specifies the size of the text you are about to create.
  17. From the Markup toolbar, located on the left side of the screen by default, choose Note.
  18. Click in the title bar area of the drawing.
  19. Type Enter Title Block Data to remind the drafter to finish filling in the title block.
  20. Select a point outside the title block.

  21. Drag one of the green handles to change the shape of the note.
  22. On the Markup toolbar, choose Callout.
  23. Click on the big tree in the upper left view, then drag to create an arrow.
  24. Double-click in the text area of the callout.
  25. Type Remove this tree.
  26. Click outside the text area to exit the input window.
  27. Click on the text area.
  28. Drag the yellow handles to shape the text area.

  29. On the Markup toolbar, choose Cloud.
  30. Select a series of points to create a cloud around the 3D View.
  31. Right-click and choose Cancel to stop selecting points.

  32. From the File menu, choose Save As.
  33. Type 4015 (or any other file name you like) in the File name box. Make sure the file is placed in the same folder as the 4015a.dwg file. Note that the original drawing file is still intact. No changes have been made to it yet. Our version of the markup file is in 4015a.rml.

Volo View 2 is an excellent tool for allowing customers to review drawings, sales professionals to display drawings, and supervisors to mark up drawings.

Loading RLM Files into AutoCAD

In this lesson you learn how to display markup data in AutoCAD.

  1. Launch AutoCAD.
  2. From the File menu, choose Open.
  3. Double-click the 4015a.dwg file located in the folder where you unpacked the source files for this project.
  4. From the Insert menu, choose Markup.
  5. Double-click the markup file you created earlier. If you like, you can double-click the 4015a.rml file. You will find among the source files you unpacked from the 4015a.exe self-extracting executable.

  6. Click in the Layers list to display the list of layers in the drawing. Note that the _Markup layer is red, and it is locked. All the markup data is on that layer. To delete or edit the markup information, you must unlock this layer first.

You can insert a different markup file for model space, and for each layout in a drawing. If an .rml file contains markup data in model space and for multiple layouts, you must display model space, or each layout, then insert the .rml file in order to see the markups for that space. This means you may insert the same .rml file several times in the same drawing.

Each time you insert a markup file, its data will be placed on the _Markup layer. If you want each markup file's data on its own layer, rename the _Markup layer to something else prior to inserting the next .rml file.

About OpenCAD

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