AutoCAD Layouts and plotting

From TOI-Pedia

Paper space

Printing in AutoCAD is called plotting. This is a general introduction to plotting and will teach you how to print a simple drawing on an A3-sized paper. But the same procedure applies to plotting on a large-format plotter (A1, A0)

Plot layout1.jpg

AutoCAD makes a difference between the model in which you're working and the layout you want to plot. To switch to the layout screen, click the layout 1 tab:


A white screen displaying your drawing appears. This is the page we are going to plot. First step is to setup the weight of the lines being printed and their print color. This is done using plot styles.

Plot Styles

Since AutoCAD 2000 there are two main types: the color dependent plot style and the named plot style. Named plot styles are relatively new, the color dependent plot styles have been used before AutoCAD 2000, so most existing drawings are color dependent. This page covers the color dependent color tables (ctb).

Before we can start plotting, we first need to load a color table. A color table tells AutoCAD which color relates to which line weight. You can find a basic example on the TOI website, which uses the same values as we've learned in Organizing your Autocad work.

Save the file on a location you can remember, and unzip it.

Now go to AutoCAD -> File -> Plot Style Manger (or Command: STYLESMANAGER)

Select plot style manager.jpg

In the window that appears copy-paste the 'zwart-wit.ctb' file.

Plot style.jpg

If your drawing is set to used named plot styles and you want to convert it to use color dependent plot styles, use the command:


Enter this command on the command line. It will convert your drawing to use color dependent plot styles instead of named plot styles.

Now that the right color has been imported, we have to change the page size and settings:

Page options.jpg

Right click on Layout 1 -> Page Setup Manager, or go to File -> Page Setup Manager

Page setup manager.jpg

Select layout 1 -> Modify

Page Setup

After clicking on modify, the Page Setup will appear:

Plot page setup.jpg

Now we can set the printer, this can either be a printer (or plotter) at the faculty, or an Adobe PDF printer.

For our purposes we'll select the Adobe PDF printer.

Next up is the Paper size: 'A3' and Drawing orientation: 'Landscape'.

The plot scale needs to be set to 1:1 and millimetres. If this is not done correctly the scale of the drawing will be off.

Plot scale.jpg

Finally, the right color table has to be set by clicking on the drop down window:

Dropdown plot style.jpg

Select the appropriate color table (in this example: zwart-wit.ctb).

The Page Setup should now look like this:

Page setup done.jpg

Press OK to close

After pressing OK in the Page Setup the layout will change, it will now look similar to this:

Page overview.jpg

The layout now represents the A3 we are going to print. The dotted line is the page border, and shows us which part of the page can be printed (everything inside the rectangle).


We can also see a viewport; this is essentially a 'window' into the model. A layout page can have multiple viewports, but for now, we will keep it at one.

In the layout there is a difference between 'model space' and 'paper space', in model space we can move and scale the viewports. In model space, the scale of the model can be adjusted.

Let's go to paper space by clicking on the MODEL button, it should now change to PAPER:

Paper space.jpg

Now scale the viewport to a bigger size by first clicking on the viewport itself and then on the upper right corner

Viewport scale.jpg

Right now, the viewport has the correct size, but the model has the wrong scale (in this case its to small, but it could also be to big.)

To correct this, click on the PAPER button, which then changes to MODEL.

Model space.jpg

We can now zoom and pan in the view port, but we still want to set a correct scale.

Now pres 'z' to activate the ZOOM command:


we can now input the desired scale, a scale of 1:500 for instance, should be typed like: 1/500xp


Execute by pressing [space] or [enter]

AutoCAD zooms to the correct scale, and we've just got to position the drawing with the middle mouse button (be careful not to scroll, as this changes the scale!!)

Return to paper space, by changing the MODEL button to PAPER, the layout should now be ready for plotting:

Ready to plot.jpg


Check your settings one more time and then go to File -> Plot

The Plot screen appears with the correct settings:

Plot screen.jpg

Press OK to plot.

Because we've selected an Adobe PDF printer, we've got to select a location somewhere on the D:\ drive to save the PDF file, like the My Documents map.

But if you selected a regular printer instead of an Adobe PDF printer, you should now be running toward the printer to eagerly await your very first AutoCAD plot!

-Meerdere viewports

-Standard layout (naam schaal etc.)

-Lijndikte preview

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