Quick Tip: Get Your Layout Tabs Back

April 25th, 2013

Your day can come to a screeching halt if you open a drawing that you know has several layout tabs … and they’re not there.  This usually happens about 4:20 when you’re in a hurry to plot the project and then skedaddle.


On the Status bar, right after Model/Paper, if the layout tabs are ‘missing’ you’ll see a very dark icon.  Some call it the Black Hole, I call it Darth Vader.  Either way, it’s only there if the layout tabs are not displayed.  Right-click on it, then click the only option available, Display Layout and Model Tabs.


  • Why would you want to turn them off?  Consider this:  If you were sitting with a customer with your laptop and wanted to eliminate the clutter and get the ‘cleanest’ AutoCAD screen you could, right-click on a Layout tab, then click Hide Layout and Model tabs.  Use Ctrl + 9 to eliminate the Command line (that’s a toggle), then Ctrl + 0 to eliminate the ribbon (that’s a toggle, too).  From the drop-down menu at the end of the Quick Access Toolbar you can Hide Menu Bar, and voila!  You have one lean drawing window … and the Zoom Extents are really big!  Save this condition as a Workspace; mine’s called Nada.
  • You can also access the visibility of the Model and Layout tabs from Options >Display tab >Layout Elements: Display Layout and Model Tabs checkbox.

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About the Author


Michael E. Beall (B. Arch.) is an Autodesk Authorized Author and the owner of CAD Trainer Guy, LLC. He has been presenting onsite CAD training around the planet for more than 30 years. Contact him at michael.beall@cadtrainer.guy or give him a call at 502.500.2267.


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