Following the Plot

Looking at drawings on a computer screen and exchanging them with others via e-mail or Web sites is all well and good. But sooner or later, someone — maybe you! — will want to see a printed version. Printing drawings — or plotting, as CAD geeks like to call it — is much more complicated than printing a word-processing document or a spreadsheet. That's because you have to worry about things such as drawing scale, lineweights, title blocks, and weird paper sizes. I go deeper into plotting in Chapter 16, but this section gives you an abbreviated procedure that can help you generate a recognizable printed drawing.

image The following steps show you how to plot the model space portion of the drawing. As Chapter 5 describes, AutoCAD includes a sophisticated feature — paper space layouts — for creating arrangements of your drawing that you plot. These arrangements usually include a title block. Because I promised you a gentle tour of AutoCAD drafting functions, I've saved the discussion of paper space layout and title blocks for a bit later. When you're ready for the whole plotting enchilada, turn to Chapter 5 for information about how to set up paper space layouts; see Chapter 16 for full plotting instructions.

Follow these steps to plot a drawing:

  1. Click the Plot button on the Quick Access Toolbar.

    The Quick Access Toolbar is at the left end of the program's title bar, ...

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