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AutoCAD Essentials with Jeff Bartels is a multi-part series that takes a more modular approach to this massive program, used for everything from 2D and 3D CAD design, drafting, and modeling to architectural drawing and engineering projects. This first installment includes a lengthy tour of the interface, from understanding the concept of model space to customizing the AutoCAD preferences and working with dockable palettes. The second half of the course show how to manage your drawings, including getting the most from the mouse and many shortcuts, creating time-saving templates, and plotting from either model space or in a layout.
If the time comes that you need to print a file you have received from a client, check and see if the drawing has a pre-configured layout. Layouts eliminate all of the guesswork and many of the settings when printing an existing AutoCAD drawing. In this lesson we are going to learn how to print a layout. On my screen I have a drawing of some property. Let's say I received this file from a client and I'd like to create a hard copy of this drawing. The first thing I'll do is check and see if the client has set up a layout for this drawing. In this case, it looks like he did.
I'm going to select the PLAT tab here and take a look. Now this is actually perfect. Essentially the client has done all of the work for me. I can see that this drawing is in the title block. It displays nicely in that title block. If I zoom in, I can see that this drawing is also configured to plot such that 1 inch equals 50 feet. I'm going to do a zoom extents and to plot this drawing, I can simply come up and click the Plot icon. I can then review the plot settings. Essentially a layout is nothing more than saved plot settings.
So I can see that this layout is designed to print to DWF using a letter-size sheet. Now in my case I'm going to accept the default printer. If you want, you can open this menu and select the printer of your choice. Before I come down and click OK, take a look at this scale. You see this layout measures true size, so this paper actually is 8.5 x 11 inches. So whenever you plot using a layout, Scale will always be 1:1, which makes things really easy.
To finish the plot, I'll click OK. And since I'm plotting to a file, I'm going to save this to my desktop. I'll accept the default file name and I'll click Save. To view my drawing, I'll right-click on this icon and choose View Plotted File. And you can see a finished example of the plot onscreen. So, in the event you need to print an existing file, take a look and see if any layouts have already been created. Taking advantage of an existing layout is probably the easiest way to print an AutoCAD drawing.
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