Somatic cytokinesis in higher plants involves, besides the actual construction of a new cell wall, also the determination of a division zone. Several proteins have been shown to play a part in the mechanism that somatic plant cells use to control the positioning of the new cell wall. Plant cells determine the division zone at an early stage of cell division and use a transient microtubular structure, the preprophase band (PPB), during this process. The PPB is formed at the division zone, leaving behind a mark that during cytokinesis is utilized by the phragmoplast to guide the expanding cell plate toward the correct cortical insertion site. This review discusses old and new observations with regard to mechanisms implicated in the orientation of cell division and determination of a cortical division zone.