Plotting AutoCAD drawing can be tricky. Especially for people who just learn AutoCAD. Saw several posts in the forum saying they are confused how to do it. Why the plot result is not correctly scaled. Plotting is actually very easy. Simple. Just click plot or publish then you’re done. But there are some rules and steps you have to do when you draw and arrange your model in layouts, it’s already started when you create your file!
1. Set Your Units!
The first rule is set your drawing unit correctly, and draw with that unit. I’m saw that many AutoCAD users actually don’t care about units. When they insert blocks with incorrect unit, it’s kind of messy. They have to rescale it manually. And this might sound weird, but some of them actually draw it by scaling it, just like drawing it manually on paper. Use appropriate template for your drawing. If you use metric, then use ISO templates. Or you may change the units after you draw. Basically AutoCAD only recognize two units in plotting: inch and mm. So the easiest for you is drawing in those units. Of course you can draw in meters, feet, or other units. But that’s a different story. Let’s talk about the basic first. Draw the object original size, not scaled. Draw all your objects. For annotations, there are two choices:
- Draw all your objects in model and annotation in layout
- Or you can annotate in your model and use annotation scaling (for AutoCAD 2008 or newer). We will discuss about this on separate post.
2. Set Your Page/Layout
Next thing you should do is setup your page. Use layout, because it is easier to understand and easier to manage. Open your layout. We should already have a viewport. Delete it, we don’t need it at this time. We will create a new one, this one might will be seen too small or too large after we set our page. Now let’s set the page setup. Open your page setup manager. You can open it by right clicking over the tab name, then select page setup manager. Or by right click over quick view layout.
On your page setup manager dialog box, you can see a list of your layouts. Let’s create a new page setup. Click new, give it name such as ‘My A4 layout’, then click OK. This will open page setup dialog box.
Set this values below:
- Your printer/plotter type and sheet size.
- On what to plot, select Layout.
- Ensure plot scale 1:1.
- Plot style table you want to use.
We created this layout with real paper size. So we use scale 1:1. The only scaling we will do is scaling our objects view inside viewports. Click OK. Now click set current to apply the changes to your active layout. Your layout1 is ready. Open your layout2, then open page setup manager again. Select your previous page setup, then click set current. I believe there is an easier way, but can’t find it. I usually already have it setup in my template, or simply make a copy from existing layout. Do you have any suggestion how to apply the page setup to multiple layout?
3. Setup Your Title Block
Now you should see your real paper size. The dashed rectangle is the area where your printable area. Place your title block here. You can insert existing title block if you already have one, or draw a new one. Remember, this is 1:1 scale. So if you want to have 3mm height text, use 3mm as it heights.
4. Place Viewports and Set the Scale
Now we are ready to place our viewport. You can place it by clicking new in view tab, viewports section, new icon. Or you can use viewport configuration.
In the opened dialog box, select single standard viewport, then click OK. Draw your viewport as you desired. You should see all your drawing inside it. Or in the old way, I prefer to type MV then [enter] :) Next, set the scale. Select your viewport, and select the scale you wanted. You can do it from viewports toolbar or annotation scale bar.
5. Plot it!
Just activate plot by hitting [ctrl] + P or typing PLOT [enter]. Or of course, from menu or ribbon. Everything should be ready now, but check it first by seeing the preview. If you already familiar with it, you can try to publish multiple drawings at once. Not so difficult now, right? I’m looking forward if you have other plotting tips you would like to share.
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Actualy iam.doing landscaping.in bangalore small.projects I.will.do.but if I learn auto cad I can do good business
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You can connect with our twitter account for CAD related here: @CADnotes
I am new to Autocad and need some help setting up a page. I am using a template (Engineering Imperial) and it is only 20 units wide, I need it to be 80 units or 1:4 so I can draw to scale. I can’t figure it out; can you point me in the right direction?
Hi Edwin, are you referring to the page/layout? The page size depends on the paper size you chose. If you need larger paper, change the paper size in page setup.
Hello Edwin! I am beginner in AutoCad. I draw a simple home plot and when i printed it in usual A4 paper it come too small.How can i re size it keeping all figures? Thank you
Hello Edwin,if I draw real size dimensions of 100000 mm,how can i plot it using 20″x30″ paper?i sure can use `1:1000 scale,but can I manipulate my dimension styles so that the plotted dimensions would still be consistent with my drawings?
You would love to use annotation scale. This feature is exactly for that. Try to read this: introduction to annotation scale.
Hi! Edwin, your in the world for the right time, and your so potential than you know
Thanks a lot for your tips, they are really helpful. Recently I`ve got a problem. I do have a saved CTB and each page in lay out are set by that, and when I preview in Plot the line colors are as I set, but when I want to publish, they are in their own colors, for example red is red not black as i set in page set up and CTB. How can I change my publish options so I can have my saved CTB not colored one? I would be grateful if you help me with this.
Thanks a lot for all your tips, they are very helpful. I'm looking for days to find a way to define a plotstyle to "true colors". In the plot style manger, they only list 255 colours, but I used some "true colors" in my drawing and now, I cannot control their lineweight or their color :/ I don't know what to do, I have 22 sections made with 4 or 5 layers with these "out of control" colors…Please can you help me ?
If you use STB plot style, you can use any color and not limited to 256 color. Read more about STB here: https://www.cad-notes.com/2011/01/using-named-plot…
Because you already have your drawing using CTB, you can convert the drawing to use STB. You can read about it here: http://autodesk.blogs.com/between_the_lines/2011/…
So I made this drawing in cad, I used actual size of for my work wich in real life is 30cm by 60cm
I want to print it out the same size but can't find a option that would alow me to tile this big imige into a4 sheets ?? Is this even possible in cad ?
Are you trying 30cmx60cm with 1:1 scale? You need larger paper than A4 then.