An Introduction to AutoCAD Page Setups.

If you’ve been following my previous posts on plotting with AutoCAD, You will know all about the various options and settings that are available to you before you even hit ‘Plot’.

We even discussed how to save your plot settings so you don’t have to spend time setting up your plots.

If you need to catch up, please read the following posts…

AutoCAD Plotting: 101

An introduction to AutoCAD’s Plotting options

More AutoCAD Options for Plotting success

Autocad Plotting – What is hidden beneath the Plot Dialogue arrow?

But what if you need to plot the same drawing a number of times using different settings?

For example

  • One full size plot
  • one reduced to A3
  • one PDF

The answer is ‘Page Setups

Page Setups

Page set ups are a method of saving your standard plot settings so that you can use them over and over again.

To use them, you need to fire up the Page Setup manager:

The AutoCAD Page set up buttonButton


The AutoCAD Mouse glyph Ribbon:  Output tab  > Plot panel  > Page Setup Manager

The AutoCAD Mouse glyph Menu: Application menu >  Print > Page Setup

The AutoCAD Keyboard glyph

Or Type ‘PAGESETUP’ at the command line

You can also Right-click the Model tab or a layout tab and click Page Setup Manager.

Right click on the current layout Tab to open AutoCAD's Page Setup manager

The Page Set Up Manager

The page set up manager gives us access to all the page set ups that have been saved in the current drawing.

The AutoCAD Page Setup manager Dialogue Box

Note: Model space Page setups are separate to Layout space Page setups.  There will be different page set ups offered to you depending on which space you are in when you are in when you invoke the ‘PAGESETUP’ Command.

Note the difference between AutoCADs model and Paper space Page setups

  1. Current Layout – Which Layout is current. In this case the default ‘Model‘ or ‘Layout1’. Unfortunately there is no way of changing which Layout you are in once you’ve started up the Page Setup manager – so make sure you have this right before you start.
  2. Help – Trust me, try clicking it… don’t be shy!
  3. Current Page Setup – Currently ‘<None>‘ because we haven’t created any yet. Available page set ups will be shown in the window below.
  4. Action Buttons – These Buttons allow you to create New page setups, modify the old ones or Import page setups from another file.
  5. Information Panel – This panel shows you the details of the page setup you just chose in the window above.
  6. This little check box forces the Page setup manager to start every time you create a new Layout… (You don’t want this:->)

Click Close when you’ve finished with the Page Setup manager, or Help if this post makes no sense at all.

Creating a New Page setup

Clicking the ‘New’ Button takes us to this window. You can chose a name for your page setup, and you can chose which previous page set up you want to base your new Page Setup on.

AutoCAD's New Page set up dialogue box

Clicking ‘OK’ take us to a very familiar looking dialog box…

The AutoCAD Page Set Up Dialogue - Very similar to the Plot Dialogue

The Page Setup dialog is very similar to the plot dialog.

In the picture above I have set up to plot an A0 sized Monochrome PDF. Note the ‘Display Plot styles’ Check box. If you have this clicked you will see a real time ‘Plot Preview’ showing how this particular pen table will look when you plot. I like this setting – others don’t, but now you know where it is. You won’t find it anywhere else.

The new A0 PDF in AutoCAD's page set up dialogue box

On hitting ‘OK’ we are returned back to the Page Setup Manager and we can see our new page setup in the list box. The final step is to click the ‘Set Current’ Button to apply these changes to our Layout.

When you hit the ‘Close’ button you will see that the changes have been applied to the layout.

An Alternative Method

You don’t have to use the Page Setup Manager to create Page setups. This time we will create a new Page setup using the ‘Plot’ Dialog.

Fire up the ‘Plot’ command (See AutoCAD Plotting: 101 if you need help with this). You will notice that we have a new option.The ‘A0 PDF’ Page setup we created earlier is now in the drop down list under ‘Name’.

We can create a new page set up right from this dialogue.

The AutoCAD Plot Dialogue

In the  picture above I have changed the Paper size to A1 ( The rest of the plot settings remain the same). The next step is to click the ‘Add…’ Button.

AutoCAD's Plot dialogue - adding an A1 PDF Page set up

We are taken to the ‘Add Page Setup’ dialog, where we can name our new Page Setup. I’m calling this one ‘A1 PDF’.

AutoCAD's Add Page Set Up window

On Clicking ‘OK’ the new page set up is completed. Our new page set up is shown in the drop down and we can now quickly and easily ‘Toggle’ from one page set up to the other.

Creating page setups for your standard plot configurations can save you bags of time, every time you plot.

The new Page setups shown in the AutoCAD plot dialogue

The obvious place to save your standard page set ups is in your template file, but Page Setups can also be imported and exported from one drawing to another.

Page setups can be used in conjunction with the ‘PUBLISH’ command and Sheet sets for some really powerful batch plotting. More next time…


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