Chapter 16

The Plot Thickens


Configuring printers and plotters

Plotting model space

Plotting to scale

Plotting paper space layouts

Plotting with lineweights and colors

Controlling plotters with plot styles

Troubleshooting plots

Despite the infinitesimally small number of offices without a computer (or two) on every desk or in a pocket, many people still want or need to work with easily readable electronic drawings (can you spell P-D-F?) or dead-tree paper drawings. You may need to give hard-copy printouts or PDF files to less savvy colleagues who don’t have AutoCAD, or to people on construction sites where relatively delicate computers wouldn’t survive long. You may want to print hard copies to review during your bus ride home. You may even find that checking drawings the old-fashioned way, with a hard-copy printout and a red pencil, turns up errors that managed to remain hidden on the computer screen.

Hard copies may also survive longer as historic records. Some 10-year-old CAD files can no longer be opened because the company that produced the software that was used to create them no longer exists, and the software won’t run on current operating systems. On the other hand, for the ultimate in hard copies, we can still read Egyptian stone obelisks that are several thousand years old.

Whatever the reason, you’ll want to print drawings at some point, and probably sooner rather than later. Depending on where you are in a project, plotting is the pop quiz, midterm, ...

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