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Plotting and Page Setups

When you plot a drawing, AutoCAD needs to know a number of different settings (printer, paper size, orientation, margins, color settings, plot scale, etc.). You can specify these settings each time you plot, but for consistency AutoCAD allows you to save all these settings to a page setup. A page setup is simply a group of plot settings saved to a user-specified name. In the following exercise, you will make changes to the page setup associated with the ANSI A Title Block layout.

Notice the dashed line that appears around the edge of the layout (see Figure 2-61). This dashed line represents the printable area on your drawing. It’s not an actual drawing object (you can’t select it), but only a visual indication of what part of your drawing will be printed. If any part of your drawing extends outside this dashed line, those parts will be clipped from the final print. To fix this, you can adjust the plot scale of your drawing, move or adjust the geometry within your drawing, or adjust the margins of your printer.


FIGURE 2-61 The printable drawing area


When you plot a drawing in AutoCAD, you are presented with the Plot dialog box (see Figure 2-62). The Plot dialog box has all the same options as the Page Setup dialog box (in fact, you can use the PLOT command to create page setups). These options allow you to make last-minute changes to your page setup or temporarily override settings contained in the page setup. For example, your page setup may be defined for a C- or D-size plot, but you may want to create a quick check plot on an A-size sheet. The PLOT command allows you to change your plot setting without going through the process of creating a new page setup.


FIGURE 2-62 The Plot dialog box

In the following exercise, you’ll create a plot using the page setup you just created.

Once the plot is complete, the Plot/Publish icon is displayed in the notification tray in the lower-right corner of the status bar (see Figure 2-63). This indicates the results of the PLOT command and reports any errors that may have occurred. To view the plot results, click on the icon to display the Plot and Publish Details box. Here you can view the results of all plots submitted during the current AutoCAD session.


FIGURE 2-63 Plot/Publish details

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