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AutoCAD is a computer-aided drafting and design program that is the industry standard for a wide variety of 2D and 3D work. AutoCAD 2008 features several improvements over previous versions, but the core functionality and workflows have remained consistent for years. Users who have any of the more recent editions of the software will find AutoCAD 2008 Essential Training to be a valuable resource. Instructor Jeff Bartels has taught and used AutoCAD for a decade, and in this course he focuses on the difficult to master concepts that matter most to professional AutoCAD users. Exercise files accompany the course.
Most production drafting will require us to create formal plots. These plots will typically include a title block that contains our company logo, client information, scale information, drawing titles and other things. To create our formal plots, we are going to use what's known as a layout. In this session, we will set up our first layout and choose our paper size. I'm going to open up a drawing. I'm going to click my Open icon and we are going to go into Chapter 15 inside of our Exercise Files folder, and we are going to come down to drawing number 3, the 80s Game Controller.
I will highlight that drawing and click Open. Now, I would like to print this drawing, except instead of doing a Quick Print, I would like to print this drawing within my company title block. To do that, I'm going to set up a layout. To setup a layout, I'm going to come down and I'm going to click on my Layout 1 tab. Now, what we see on the screen looks like a piece of paper. It is a piece of paper. Also notice that I have a rectangle that appears to contain my drawing on the inside. Now, this rectangle is actually called a viewport and I don't want to talk about viewports just yet, so we are going to erase it.
I'm going to click my Erase button and then I'm going to come over and grab this viewport and right-click. OK, what we see on screen is a piece of paper. Notice the dashed line. That line represents the printable margin, anything that falls outside that line will not print. Now, the paper and the margin that we see will change depending on the printer and the paper size that we choose. Let's select a piece of paper for our plot. To do that, I'm going to come down and right-click on the Layout tab and select Page Setup Manager.
When I do, AutoCAD brings up my manager that shows me all of the layouts that are in my drawing. I will highlight the one that I want to change. It happens to be highlighted already and I'm going to come over and click Modify. Notice that my Page Setup box looks exactly like my Plot dialog box. That's because it works the same way. Essentially what we are doing is filling out our Plot dialog box ahead of time. So, I'm going to select my plotter. Once again, from the list, I'm going to select Adobe PDF. I would like you to select a printer that can accommodate an 11x17 inch piece of paper.
If the printer that you are connected to does not support 11x17, I would like you to come down and select the DWF6 ePlot printer. This is a virtual printer that gets installed with AutoCAD and this printer can accommodate an 11x17 inch sheet. So I'm going to leave my Adobe PDF. Under Paper size, I'm going to click the dropdown and I'm going to select 11x17. Under Plot area, we are going to leave this alone because we just want to plot the layout, we don't have to touch that. We don't have to touch the Plot offset either.
Plot scale, we are not going to bother with that either. The paper that we see on our screen is a true representation of the piece of paper, so it is going to measure 11x17, so I will always plot this at one to one. That's one of the benefits of plotting from a layout. Let me come down and click OK. And I will click Close to close my Page Setup Manager. Notice, I'm now seeing 11x17 inch sheet of paper as well as the printable margin based on the plotter that I chose. Layouts are essentially a visible display of saved plot settings.
The piece of paper we see on screen is a real-life representation of our paper as it will come out of the printer. In our next session, we will add a title block to our new layout.
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