AutoCAD 2015 and AutoCAD LT 2015 Bible

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Create a scale for plotting

You should draw full size, but rarely do you plot at full size. That’s because your models are not usually the same size as your sheet of paper. Therefore, you have to scale your drawing when you plot. There are a number of ways to do this, but here is the most direct method I can think of.

  1. 815.29Click a layout tab. Usually, you’ll see 1 default layout. You can delete or resize it. You can create new layouts on the Layout tab, in the Layout Viewports panel.
  2. Select a viewport. To do this, you must be in paperspace. If you can’t select the viewport, double-click outside it. The viewport border is heavy when you are in model space on a layout and returns to its normal width when you are in paperspace.
  3. Open the Properties palette on the View tab, in the Palettes group, or use the keyboard shortcut, which is Ctrl+1.
  4. Under the Misc heading, click the Standard Scale item; then click the down arrow to expand the list of scales. If you aren’t sure which scale you want, pass your cursor over some of the scales to see the result in the viewport. Choose the scale that fits your objects the way you want. Most people are required to use standard scales, but you can use the Custom item and make up your own if you want.
  5. Once you have set the scale, you should lock the viewport. you can do this in the Properties palette, changing the Display Locked item’s value to No. A quick way is to click the Lock/Unlock button on the status bar, next to the VP Scale pop-up list.

With the newer AutoCad version, you can also do the following steps:

  • on Layout tab, go to View/Viewports/1 Viewport
  • specify the corners of the new viewport to the desire size
  • double click into the new viewport region. The viewport border will be highlighted thicker to show the viewport is active.
  • with the cursor still within the viewport, type zoom, then select S for Scale,
  • Type in the desire scale of drawing to be plotted on the paperspace i.e 1:100xp (to represent drawing in 1:100 scale)
  • Move the cursor out of of viewport, then double click to exit the viewport.
  • Click on the border of the viewport, then right click and select Display Locked/Yes to lock the scaled viewport
  • the viewport’s border can now be resized to display the desire extend of the drawing by dragging the grip points.
  • Viewport can also be moved around the paperspace to the desire position.

How do you create a scale for your viewports? Leave a comment!

Ellen Finkelstein

14 comments to Create a scale for plotting

  • Kent

    I use about 8 standard scales so I type, as an example, Z24 for 1/2″ imperial scale. Obviously this is set in a lisp file so that the lisp code inputs zoom, 1/24XP for me. I do use the drop down annotation scale list but I find typing commands to be faster most of the time.

  • frank de brouwer

    Am I missing something? In a layout-tab you choose papersize (g.e. A0) which is in real units. So in paperspace plottingscale is always 1:1. The scale of the drawing is set in modelspace with the command: (z for zoom, s for scale, 1:100 is the required scale (could be any scale you wish) and xp is a part of the command i never understood, but has to be added). Then you can manoeuvre your drawing so that it fits the viewport and if neccesary you can adjust the size of your viewport and/or your papersize (don’t use your scrollingwheel, because it ruins your scaling). This is the way i do things for the last 20 years. Did I do something wrong all the time?

  • Pat Davies

    I have been doing this like Frank as well. One thing I am never sure about is the text. I put all this in my model space and at that stage assume a scale to plot to, which generally works, but if this plots to a different scale then all the text needs re-sizing. Is there a way around this?

  • Pjenk

    Frank although I have also drawn in model space at fractional scale but drawing in full scale is no doubt best pratice. There are so many benifits to it. You should try it. Ellen’s method of assigning scale to the view ports is simple and straigh forward. The imediate bennifit for you will be to standardize your paper stock, and make your model adjust to your view port instead of have to adjust all of the other factors around your plotted model size. Give it a try and remember from another old dog, “Old Dogs can learn new tricks” ((-;

  • Ellen

    Pat, there are 2 ways around your problem that I know of:
    Annotative scaling:
    Putting the text in paper space:

  • AllenJ

    Frank, You’re not doing anything wrong. You’re just doing it like it was 20 years ago. There are new tools to deal with viewports. As shown, you can select the scale from the properties pallet. To prevent accidental Zooms you can Lock the viewport. See the 3rd option under the Misc. category in the image posted in the blog.

  • Tapio Kotilainen

    I do this by page setup, where I use one printer to which I have made those suitable standard print sizes (and I still use color dependant plotting style, because I haven’t figured out why not to do like I have always done). I never draw limits. And as what comes plotting, I use M-Color software to make very high quality but tiny pdf-plots.

  • frank de brouwer

    thanks ellen and pjenk; i figured it out and it’s briljant. have been fooling around for a third of my life with the zoom scale command, that is’nt very user-friendly and allways gives a surprise-result (for urban design we draw in meters and for architectural design in mm, so we have to use different scales for the same result).
    I will use this new way of plot-scaling from now on. Thanks again; Pjenk, you were right about the old dogs, never expected me to be one.

  • Becky Wurzel

    Great article, Ellen.

    I always draw to scale in Model Space, and place text/notes on my Paper Space.
    For assembly drawings, I draw all parts fully assembled in 3D, and put each
    part on it’s own layer. Then when I create my views in Paper Space, to show
    individual part details, I freeze all but the part I want shown, in the current viewport.

    Another command: scalelistedit
    Using that command, I create the scales I use frequently
    so that they appear in the drop down list.

  • jana saravanan.g

    what are the uses and advantages of autocad scalling.
    plz tell me

  • umar

    my problm is . how to scaling my drawing. plz tellme .and ans me on my email

  • umar

    how to lay out scaling

  • vishwa

    how to scale the layout

  • Mohammed

    how can i make blocks in the same scale?


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