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- View Offline
- Adjusting preferences
- Customizing the interface
- Opening and managing drawings
- Constructing a 2D drawing
- Creating and inserting block references
- Building a library using the Content Manager
- Making references to external files and images
- Plotting drawings
- Creating a model in 3D space
Skill Level Beginner
Plotting drawings using the layouts can save you a great deal of time when creating hard copies of your drawings. Once a Layout has been configured, the task of plotting is reduced to a couple of clicks of the mouse. In this lesson, we are going to learn how to use the Mac edition of AutoCAD to configure and plot a Layout. On my screen, I have a drawing of a mechanical part, and I would like to create a formal plot of this drawing, one that's plotted to a scale using a standardized titleBlock. To do that, I am going to use a Layout. Now a Layout represents a sheet of paper, and every AutoCAD drawing starts with two generic layouts that we can use to plot our drawing.
One way to access the layouts is by using this flyout in the Status Bar. If I open this up, we can see Layout1 and 2. To view a Layout, I can select it from this menu, here is Layout1 and 2. Let's return to model space. Another way to access the layouts is by using the Show Drawings & Layouts tool. This brings up a dialog box that acts a lot like the Quick View Layouts tool on the Windows platform. To visit a Layout, simply double-click on the Preview.
Once again, I am going to return to model space. I'll use the Show Drawings & Layouts tool, and I'll double-click on the Preview. Now I would like to plot this drawing on an 8.50 x 11.00, otherwise known as an A-size sheet of paper. So let's visit Layout1 and we'll set this up. The first thing I am going to do is erase this generic Viewport. I'll do that by selecting the edge, and I'll press the Delete key. Now since we are using the Mac edition of AutoCAD, this generic layout is already configured to match the settings of my default printer. Let's take a look.
I am going to open the File menu, and I'll come down and select Page Setup Manager. From here, I can see my two layouts, notice that Layout1 is configured for my EPSON printer, and it's set to 8.50 x 11.00 inch sheet of paper. If I wanted to use a different printer or a different paper size, I would click this gear and select Edit. Notice that we're seeing the same options that we see when we launch the Print command, that's because the layout is essentially a visual representation of our plot settings.
If I wanted to, this is where I could select a different printer or sheet size. I am going to click OK and Close. Since my layout is ready to go, the next thing I want to do was add my titleBlock. Now I could just draw my title block right here on the paper, but in an effort to save time, I am going to open a drawing that contains my titleBlock geometry. So let's launch the Open command, and then I am going to look in the chapter_05 folder, and I'll open this drawing called titleBlock.
Let's maximize this on screen. Now to move this geometry into the other drawing, I am going to click-hold-and-drag, to create a selection window. Then I will right-click, I'll come down to Clipboard, and I'll select Copy with Base Point. And the point I am going to use is an object snap override. I am going to Shift+Right-click and select Mid Between 2 Points and I'll select the endpoint here, and the endpoint here. Now that the geometry is copied to the clipboard, I am going to close this drawing.
I won't save changes. Then I will right-click, I'll come down to clipboard and I'll select Paste and then I'll center this geometry on screen as best I can. Remember that the only way to guarantee that the titleBlock is in the middle, is to print the sheet and then measure and move the titleBlock if necessary. All right, this looks good. But you know what? I don't want my geometry printing in color. So let's assign a pen table to this layout. To edit the Layout, I'll go to File, and I will come down and select Page Setup Manager.
Then I'll click the gear, and I'll select Edit. From here, I'll select the Advanced tab and I'd like to assign the monochrome pen table, and I'd also like to display the plot styles. Let's click OK and OK to dismiss the dialog boxes. Finally I'll click Close. Now when I am working on my layout, I am essentially seeing a plot preview of my drawing. Let's zoom back out.
The only thing I have left to do is cut a hole in the paper, so I can see my part in model space, and I can create a Viewport by opening the View menu. I'll come down to Viewports, and I'll select 1 Viewport. I will then pick two points to define the size of my Viewport. I'll select the endpoint here and the endpoint here. I will then place my cursor inside the Viewport boundary, and I'll double-click to jump in. If I was to pane or zoom at this point, you can see that the Viewport is acting just like a window into model space.
Let's set this geometry to a measurable scale. I can do that by opening the Viewport Scale menu on the Status Bar, and I am going to try a scale of 1 X 1. And it looks like this will work. So let's pane this over and I'll center it a little better inside the titleBlock. Now that my Viewport is scaled, I am going to lock the Viewport by clicking this padlock. This way I can't accidentally change the Viewport scale by panning or zooming when I am in the Viewport. To jump out of the Viewport, I'll place my cursor outside the boundary, and I'll double-click.
Now I have access to all of my text objects on the Layout tab and I can make changes to this text if necessary. You know what I'd like to do one more thing. This grid really isn't necessary inside the Viewport. I am going to turn it off by double- clicking inside the Viewport boundary, then I will come down to the Status Bar and I'll click the Grid toggle to turn it off. Finally, I'll jump back out of the Viewport by double-clicking outside the boundary. Now that my layout has been configured, anytime I want to print this drawing, all I have to do is launch the Print command and click the Print button.
On my screen is a representation of the final plot. As you can see, setting up a layout on the Mac edition of AutoCAD isn't much different than how we do it on the Windows platform. The best part is once you have your layout configured, you can easily plot your drawings using only a couple of clicks.