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CAD tip CAD tip # 7585:

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Plotting/exporting a series of drawing frames composed in a DWG drawing (or creating layouts).

A - answer If you get a DWG drawing which contains multiple frames (with individual drawings, title blocks) composed as a rectangular array in the modelspace, you can use the following utility that "batch plots" these sub-drawings, or - better - splits them into individual layouts, that can be batch-plotted using the PUBLISH command, or "explodes" them to separate DWG files or presets a set of page setups.

The free LISP utility CADstudio PlotDWGarr can be downloaded from After you load it with APPLOAD, you can use the PlotDWGarr command to start the batch plotting (to the current - last-used - print device, with the current parameters - see your last PLOT) of all frames in the array, or the LayDWGarr command to generate new layouts containing the individual "drawings" (frames), or the wbDWGarr command to wblock the frames to separate DWG files, or the pcDWGarr command to generate a set of page setups (plot configs).

In all cases, the application first prompts for the shape of the rectangular array with the "drawings". You will sequentially specify the top left point (1), the size of a single frame (2), the distance between columns (3) and between rows (4), the number of columns and rows (see the picture). Possible missing frames - frames with no content - are ignored (not plotted).

Entering data

Alternatively you can specify the plot frames using predrawn rectangles (on a given layer) or block references (of a given name).

As a result, either a respective number of plots is printed, or a series of numbered layouts or DWG files or a set of page setups is created. The generated layouts are created from the layout template "(PlotArrTemplate)" (rename an existing layout to this name). In this template you can predefine the viewport size, its scale, page setup, etc.). You can then plot this series in one go using the PUBLISH command. Similarly, the pcDWGarr creates page setups and automatically publishes these setups to the output device defined in the page setup template ("PlotArrTemplate").

See LayDwgArr in action:

See a sample of a drawing.

Please avoid using AutoCAD drawings in this "fake modelspace" way - use rather Layouts, or specialized solutions like AutoCAD Electrical.

100% *  CAD 
30.9.2010    17447×   FAQ  
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applies to: AutoCAD ·

See also:
Tip 11604:How to set plot transparency for all layouts in a DWG?
Tip 10759:How to publish a DWG to a PDF file without attaching "-Model" to its name?
Tip 6515:AutoPDF - Automatic publishing of PDF file on every save of the DWG drawing
Tip 4429:Aligning a rotated drawing before print.
Tip 4260:AutoDWF - Automatic publishing of DWF file on every save of the DWG drawing

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