AutoCAD questions answered; Lineweights and plot styles

I received a great question this week from Steven:

I have a question for you for an efficient method to use regarding line weights and scale. I’m a young architect starting up my own firm this has always been a problem. Do you think I should have a CTB (i never use the other method) for every scale I print it? And if so which line weight category should I be using depending on the scale? I draw in 1:5, 1:10, 1:20 or 25, 1:50, 1:100, and 1:200. It would be wonderful if there were a method using only one CTB. Am I dreaming?

AutoCAD Plot Styles and Lineweights Q & A

Lineweight questions answered

With remarkable serendipity Mark S.Sadler recently posted a great explanation of AutoCAD Plot styles and line weights on his ‘Best CAD Tips Blog’.

Added Value?

So what do I have to add? – Keep it simple ;)

Plot styles, CTB’s and STB’s can be very powerful – but in the end they can become simply one more dang thing to manage…

The simplest set up I have found for effective plotting is to set all of the line weights to ‘By Layer’ and plot directly using the standard AutoCAD ‘Monochrome.CTB’. This is installed on every users machine by default, so it needs very little managing.

Plotting some parts of your drawing in colour

If you do need to plot in colour, the simplest way is to to set the Layer colour to a ‘True Color’ – this is not mapped in the pen table, so AutoCAD will plot it in colour. Allen has this topic covered in his post ‘Plot with color without changing the Plot Style Table‘ Over at

Good question

Thanks very much to Steven for his question.Do you have any advice for Steven on plotting and lineweights with AutoCAD? Please leave a comment.

Check out ‘AutoCAD Plotting 101‘ for a basic introduction printing your AutoCAD drawings.

If YOU have a question you want answered, please feel free to contact me and I’ll help if I can!


2 Responses to “AutoCAD questions answered; Lineweights and plot styles

  • Brian
    11 years ago

    Good question. …FYI: I’ve worked for some of the biggest AEC firms in NYC, and I’ve never heard of using multiple CTBs.

    • It doesn’t appear to be very common. Ive come across 1 client that uses them.