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Plotting from single layout into multiple files


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Hello, i have following problem:


I have floorplans from a building with a total of 80 appartments. Now i want to plot PDFs in A3 format, each page with 1 appartment. That would be 80 pages/PDF-files.


The way i did it up to now was i have put all A3 pages in a single layout and used the Window-function in the Plot dialog to print each page individually, manually numbering the file-names, and combining files in Acrobat as needed.


But doing this for 80 pages is too much - especially because i will likely have to plot it more often in the future. As far as i can see, i could make 80 layouts and use the Publish function, make a sheet-list and plot that way.


I keep wondering - is there not a more efficient solution to this problem than creating 80 layouts? There must be a more intelligent solution to this. Whats the preferred way of doing this?


Best regards,



P.S. i use AutoCAD2007 and Acrobat for plotting.

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I would make the 80 paperspace layouts personally, especially given you said you will likely have to print these again in the future. Do it once, do it right etc etc..

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Pablo Ferral

80 layouts in one file may be too many. I recommend using xrefs to keep each layout as 'light' as possible. The sheet set manager is good for this...

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Ok thanks. Not quite the solution i hoped for. I guess for anything more convenient i need to get my hands dirty with scripting.


You could create a script with coordinates describing each window, or make views with names but it will be as time consuming as making layouts and the layouts would be a much better solution in the long run.

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Is there something in the new AutoCad versions that makes this easier? Surely there are more people who want to plot larger quantities of PDFs..


I suppose it would be easy for Autodesk to implement a feature for this. Where i can drag up multiple windows in the polt-dialog on the same layout, and preview all this too.

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This is why paperspace was such a breakthrough when it first came out. The ability to plot multiple views of the same model space.


The PDF part is a different issue. Most people use a 3rd party software for batch plotting PDFs as AutoCAD and PDFs still don't play well together.

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FYI, i ended up not making 80 layouts, but i put all floorplans on a single layout, and made 80 page-setups using pagesetup-manager. Can then be batch-plotted using publish, and saved as a sheet-list to plot again further down the road. Its a few less clicks if im not mistaken.


Its still a painful and repetitive process, i guess there are poeple who need to plot not 80 pages, but an order of magnitude more - guessing the publish function could use some additional functionality to make this a bit more efficient..

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Publish will plot layouts using the default page set up or one you assign through publisher. You can publish the same layout multiple times but you have to assign each page set up to each listing in publisher. A lot more clicks, unless I am missing something. I don't know why you are staying aweay from separate layouts for each. If you or your system is not comfortable with 80 layouts in the same file, you can create separate files for plotting and XREF the model into each and then use publisher to plot the set.

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Empty the sheetlist, add the sheet, copy the sheet 80 times, select appropriate page-stup from the drop-down, rename sheetnames (with consecutive numers in order), save sheetlist, publish, combine PDFs in Acrobat.

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I would look at maybe using views and a autoplot routine that just uses one layout tab but keep changing the view within, this way does not matter how many sheets, only hiccup is the changing of the title block attributes. There are some posts here about autoplot views.


2nd option pretty sure you can write via VL a sheetlist so no need for manual entry with so many edits, do a google for it.


Just another way if you create in 1 layout 100 titleblocks each with its own zoom of modelspace object and title details then you can plot all title blocks in one go using a lisp, the example posted here is for this option but in modelspace could be changed. It would make sense to have a create title lisp that say asks pick centroid point, scale, now make a new title block adding page number Number of sheets etc as you go.


(PROMPT ".....PRINTING DRAWING TO plotter....")
(setq oldsnap (getvar "osmode"))
(setvar "osmode" 0)
(setq ss2 (ssget "x" '((0 . "INSERT")(2 . "Da1drsht"))))
;(setq ss2 (ssget "x" '((0 . "INSERT")(2 . "Da1drsht")(410 . "Model")))) 
(setq n (sslength ss2))
(setq index 0)
(repeat n
   (setq en (ssname ss2 index))
   (setq el (entget en))
   (setq inspt (assoc 10 el)) ; insertion pt
  (setq xmin (- (cadr inspt) 6.0))
  (setq ymin (- (caddr inspt) 6.0))
  (setq xymin (strcat (rtos xmin 2 1) "," (rtos ymin 2 1)))
  (setq xmax (+ xmin 813.0)) ; hard coded for 813 wide 6mm offset
  (setq ymax (+ ymin 566.0)) ;hard code for 566 high
  (setq xymax (strcat (rtos xmax 2 1) "," (rtos ymax 2 1)))

 (COMMAND "-PLOT"  "Y"     "" "//PRODPRN01/Design-5100"
       "A3" "M"     "LANDSCAPE"   "N"
       "W"   xymin   xymax "1=2"  "C"
       "y"   "Designlaser.ctb"      "Y"   "" "n"   "n"

 (setq index (+ index 1))
(setvar "osmode" oldsnap)

Edited by BIGAL
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Al: i know nothing about AutoCad scripting, nor Lisp. However i do know a fair bit of C#, altho i have never done anything acad-realted with it (i believe Autocad has a .Net api?).


I was thinking maybe do it with ordinary rectangles as borders, on a layer (that has a magic name), a script could scan for these rectangles in the active layout, loop through them and set the plot-windows coordinates and plot accordingly. PDF filename numbering could be done according to Y-coordinates of the rectrangles(or similar). Rectangles would have the advantage that you can just copy them around without setting up views or sheets and what not.


But as i said, i have never done any scripting or api programming with autocad, so not sure if something like this could be done.

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It always amazes me that people are willing to jump through hoops because they don't like a perfectly functional tool that does exactly what they want. So what if you think having a bunch of layouts is "messy". The only thing that "mess" does is allow you to print a set of 80 drawings with just a few clicks.

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Its functional - but perfect is a stretch for this use-case, to put it mildly. It could be as easy as pressing 80 times ctrl-v. For bigger jobs like 500+ pages it becomes outright inadequate.

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Ctrl+V 80 times is easy compared to a few clicks? One of us is missing something here.


I plot sets of over 100 drawings on a regular basis. I have two page set ups to choose from. The full size one is set as default. Half size can be assigned to every layout at the same time. Once the project is set up, the entire set can be sent to the plotter in a matter of seconds.

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Yes apparently i don't get it. How do you create the 100 layouts? Create one manually, and then right-click the tab, select 'Move or copy', check 'Create a copy', select 'move to end' 100 times? Then adjust 100 viewports and edit title block, plan number and so on?

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I was not taking setting up the viewports into account. My drawing sets often use the same viewports of the model for four trades and about six subtrades so I can use the exact same layouts for multiple files. I was not taking into account that each one of your layouts would require a different view. So I guess we are talking about the same amount of preparation work. I guess it really comes down to how you prefer to do the prep work. To me it seems ludicrous to have so many page set ups like you think it is messy to have a ton of layouts.

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