Plotting Multiple Drawings at Once

Plotting Multiple Drawings at Once
Learn how to plot multiple drawings at once in AutoCAD 2018. Get quick and easy video tutorials on print and plot prep by AutoCAD experts.

When you simply plot a drawing, you only plot a single layout. For example, switch to the Furniture Plan layout and then, on the Output ribbon, in the Plot panel, click the Plot tool to open the Plot dialog. Note that you are only plotting this individual layout in this single drawing.

But what if you did want to plot several layouts or even several different drawings? Having to open each drawing and then plot each individual layout would become quite tedious. You can use the PUBLISH command to print multiple drawings at once.

Click Cancel to close the Plot dialog.

Then, on the Output ribbon, in the Plot panel, click the Batch Plot button. The program displays the Publish dialog. You can use the tools in this dialog to plot or publish multiple drawings and multiple layouts within those drawings. In addition, you can either plot them to a printer or plotter, or use the tools in this dialog to publish those drawings as DWF or PDF files. Consider how you would use these tools to plot multiple drawings.

The first thing to do is to determine what will be published. In the middle of the dialog, you can see a list of the sheets that will be published. Since you currently have only one drawing file open, that is all that is presently included in the list. But, you can also see the model tab and both layout tabs in the list. So without doing anything else, you would be able to plot all three. However, in the Status column, the program is telling you that the layout is not initialized. In other words, you have not yet specified the page setup for model space. But that is okay, because you really do not want to plot the Model tab. You also do not want to plot Layout 1.

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To remove those two sheets from the list, select them both, pressing the SHIFT or CTRL key to select multiple sheets in the list, and then click Remove Sheets. Now, there is only one sheet in the list.

But suppose you actually want to plot several other layouts in another drawing. Click the Add Sheets button. The program displays the Select Drawings dialog. Navigate to the folder containing the other drawing you want to plot and select it in the list. Since you only want to plot layouts, expand the Include drop-down and select Layout. Then, click the Select button. All of the layouts in the drawing are added to the list in the Publish dialog.

Now, if you do not want to plot all of those layouts, you can select the ones you do not want, and click the Remove Sheets button.

You can also select a sheet in the list and then use the Move Sheet Up and Move Sheet Down buttons to change the position of the sheet within the list. You can also select a sheet and then click the Preview button to open the sheet in the Preview window so that you can see how it will look when plotted. Close the Preview window.

You can also click the Publish Options… button to open the Publish Options dialog, in which you can adjust various settings. Click Cancel to close that dialog.

If you select a sheet in the list, you can view detailed information about the selected sheet, including its size and information about its page setup, such as the name of the plotter to which the sheet will be published. Note that each sheet can be published to a different plotter, as specified in its page setup.

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Once the list includes just those sheets that you want to plot, and you want to save that list, click the Save Sheet List… button to save the list. If you had previously saved a sheet list, you could click the Load Sheet List… button to load a sheet list. Since you had not loaded a sheet list, the Sheet List drop-down is currently set to None.

In the Publish to drop-down, you can either publish each sheet to the plotter named in its page setup, or you can expand this drop-down and specify that each sheet is published as a DWF, DWFx, or PDF file. Leave this set to the plotter named in the page setup.

In the Publish Output area in the lower-right, you can opt to include a plot stamp, and if you do include a plot stamp, you can click the Plot Stamp Settings button to open a dialog in which you can configure the plot stamp settings.

You can also publish the sheets in the background, or publish the sheets in reverse order. And, if you are publishing to DWF or PDF, you can open the sheets in a default viewer when it is done creating those files. You can also adjust the number of copies, and in some instances, you can control the precision of the published output.

When you are ready to publish the sheets in the list, click the Publish button. The program asks if you want to save the current list of sheets. If you think you are likely to publish this same list of sheets again, click Yes. In this case, click No.

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The program will then begin to publish the sheets in the list. In this case, since you told the program you wanted to publish in the background, you see a dialog box that tells you that your printing or publishing job is progressing in the background. If you look carefully in the lower-right corner of the Status bar, you can see that the print queue icon is animated, indicating that publishing is going on in the background. Click Close to close this dialog.

When the print job is complete, the program will display an alert balloon, exactly the same as when you use the PLOT command.

Source: Autodesk

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