When I have a large job with many layouts, I have always printed them separately. I have used the "plot all layouts" command, but unless they all have the same page settings, it doesn't work. Is there a way I can do a page setup for all layouts at one time to make all of the page settings the same? (I do it manually, but when I have so many layouts to go through, my computer tends to freeze up, which is my reason for wanting to plot them all at the same time.) Also, is there a way, when printing all layouts, I can get them to print in chronological order? I have my tabs in order, but the computer tends to pick the printing order of the layouts randomly.
From contributor T:
Your multiple layouts may be exceeding the limits of the printer's memory, hence the freeze up. Check with your printer supplier if you can increase the amount of memory.
I have heard of batch plot, but I don't know what it is or what it does.
My coworker and I tried batch plot, and it is a tremendous help - it really makes the printing process more organized and functional. It still takes a bit of time for our computers to print them in batch plot (she has had the same problem with regen-ing layouts that I have had), but maybe it will work better without auto-regen off. You have been a big help. Thanks for all of your input.
One more thing. We got lost on the tangent of batch plot and auto regen. Is there a way to do a (universal) page setup on all of the selected layouts, other than in batch plot?
You can always make the page setup you need on one layout tab and when you print, you can pick previous plot, but this requires you to select each layout tab individually and then select plot. This can be a pain if you have a lot of tabs.
I believe out of all of the AutoCAD utilities, plotting has to be the most difficult one to master. The more flexibility you require, the harder it is to be consistent. In all fairness, it’s not all AutoCAD’s fault. Sometime plotters just won’t play nice with the other machines. Some helpful tips: make sure your plotter has as much memory as it can hold. Make sure your plotter is configured properly and has updated software. Get as much memory into your computer as possible, have a fast computer if your pocketbook can handle it. When plotting large projects, shut down all unnecessary programs running in the background. These are just a few things that have worked for me.
(defun c:plt ( / e layout)
(foreach e (layoutlist)
(vl-cmdf "_-plot" "n" e "Dans plot" "HP LaserJet 4V/4MV PostScript" "n" "y" "y")))
Here all you would have to do is edit the line at (vl-cmdf…) as if you were to enter the –plot command at the prompt and fill in the blanks. You can even use detailed plot configuration. The next thing you’ll need to do is sort the layout list. I like to name all my layouts a page number, i.e. 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0. This makes it much easier to sort.
(defun c:plt ( / e l layout)
(setq l nil layout (layoutlist))
(foreach e layout
(setq l (append (list (read e)) l)))
(setq l (vl-sort l '<))
I have several drawings that I have set up to print to a printer. They print fine. The printer is an HP DesignJet, so it makes “very importantly” compliant HPGL2 plt files. When I print, I may go directly to a layout tab and print it. When I have a bunch of different drawings to print, I will choose to print them to *.plt files. Printing to plt files can be done right in the drawing when you go to plot or from the batch plot utility.
Open a drawing in ACAD and make sure you set your page setup so it works and prints to your printer.
Now click on file, page setup, click on the add button for page setup name.
Type in a name, such as Extents36x24, then click ok.
Save the drawing and close ACAD.
Now go to Start, programs, ACAD, Batch Plot Utility and let it fire up.
Now click on file, add Drawings.
Find the drawings you want to print and then click open.
You will now see them in your window.
Make a crossing window with your mouse to select them all.
Now right click and choose layouts.
Choose all layouts or last active layout, whatever works for you, then ok.
Now right click again and choose Page Setups.
Browse to the file that you saved earlier that you created the page setup name extents36x24.
Give it time to open the dwg file.
You will see Default and the extents36x24 in the list. Choose the extents36x24, then ok. (Note: Choosing default will get the current layout page setup that you have for each layout.)
Now right click again and choose plot devices. Choose the same plotter name.pc3 file that was in your page setup, then click ok.
Now right click again and choose Plot Settings.
Choose plot area “extents”. Your original drawing should have used this.
Set the plot scale to 1:1.
You should have several plt files in a few minutes. To print these, you can use one of several free print utilities. I highly suggest you buy the program called viewcompanion. This utility will let you view the plt files, make them up and convert them to pdf also!
If you cannot view your plt files with this, then you will need to use a different print driver because your existing print driver does not make compliant plt files. I will frequently batch plot to plt files, then open them in viewcompanion and batch print them to 11 x 17 pages for ½ size sheets to review and redline before actually printing my drawings.
Also, you do not need to have ACAD in your computer to print the plt files. Once ACAD creates the plt files, much faster then going to a printer, you can have any computer in the office print the plt files with viewcompanion.
PS. By having different page setups in each tab, you should be able to select the tabs you want to print and have them go to different printers and use different plot styles. I do it all the time.