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Plotting from paper space

Posted on 2008-10-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-04
When I open a layout tab, the paper space units are always in inches even though all my other units are in metric.
This makes it difficult to scale the viewport as the simple 1/200, 5XP etc do not work correctly. You have to convert the ratio to a metric part of an inch to get a correct scale. e.g. To zoom the layout to a scale of say 1:200 you have to zoom to 39.370" (1m) / 200m = 0.19685XP.
I then have to use a plot scale of 1" to 1 unit. It works but its not ideal.
Neither "Help" or my AutoCAD handbook cover this situation. Typical examples always have the same type of unit in both spaces.
My .dwt is metric and my default plot device has a metric paper size.
Where is the layout getting its units from and how do I change the paper size units to mm?
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Question by:ISGJackson08
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by:JustinDoerr
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I have a couple ideas....
Would you mind sending a drawing you are having this issue with.
I would like to try a couple things and see if we can get this resolved for you.

Thanks,

Justin
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by:dhsindy
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Set your model space scale - on the format tab.  Then, go to the viewport in Paper Space and define the units in the view.  Post if you need more detailed instructions.
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by:borgunit
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If you are inserting a title block/border, make sure it is defined in metric size ie 1189 x 841 units. Then control it in paperspace from Page setup, usually FILE >> PAGE SETUP MANAGER
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by:darrenmcwi
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You can always scale your paperspace border up by 25.4 so paperspace is setup with metric just like your model.

You could also create your own custom menu or toolbar that scales viewports per those hybrid imperial/metric scale factors.

The other option is upgrading to a newer vewsion of AutoCAD which has a scale list you can edit to enter those odd-scaling factors.
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by:ISGJackson08
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Justin,

could u have an email address to forward this drawing on to you?

Cheers
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by:ISGJackson08
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None of these solutions have worked im afraid.
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by:darrenmcwi
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Actually any of my three suggestions will work. They just might not be feasable for you to impelment if you don'e have the ability to upgrade to a newer version of SutoCAD (ScaleList feature can be easily customized to accomodate your issue).

Customization (custom tool buttons) will work unless  don't know how to customize or have thr ability to hire someone.

Scaling your border in paper by 25.4 (or drawing a metric unit border) also will accomodate this. This is the option most likley you'd be able to implement. This is how a truely metric company would creaate a "hard" metric drawing where the border was drawn in metric units to jive with the model. A "soft" metric dawing would be what you're trying to create.

Short of one of those above options or custom lisp/vba/.net/arx programming to give you that functionality (calculating the conversion factors for you) you don't have any other options.

If customization is an issue, post it here and someone will likely post the solution.
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by:ISGJackson08
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Unresolved
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by:darrenmcwi
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So what have you tried? My offered solutions are valid and the only way short of programming. AutoCAD out of the box doesn't do this.

You said none of the solutions have worked. So you tried using a current version of AutoCAD with the Scle List feature?

[Expert's request for an emailed file deleted; working questions by email violates the Member Agreement.  Instead, upload files to this question, or to another publicly accessible site and post a link to the file(s) in the question.  --modus_operandi, EE Moderator]

Have you tried creating a custom tool button with the proper rations? Email me the CUI or MNS/MNU file you created. Post it here or include a screen capture.

Have you scaled your border up/down so the size matches the model units?  post or email the drawing.  Any of the solutions I posted will work and I've used them all.

If you haven't tried them and have questions, post what the issues are with attempting the solutions.
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by:darrenmcwi
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Solutions offered work. Used them plenty of times. Poster offered no examples of what they've tried, or how they tried it.
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by:ISGJackson08
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The user has now gone away for christmas and this will be hopefully resolved in the new year. i will try your resolutions myself as he may have been doing something wrong.

He is using AutoCAD Lite 2007 by the way.

Cheers.
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by:darrenmcwi
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modus_operandi:, due to the nature of CAD, the files often contain intellectual property and can not be posted publically which is why most CAD discussion forums often have a user sending a particular file directly. You'll find few users willing to share problem files if they must be posted puboically.
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by:ISGJackson08
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we have successfully used all the suggestions except for scaling the paperspace border by 25.4. A custom scale in scale list is the preference. So we can print to scale but would still like to know if it is possible to change the units in paperspace from imperial to metric and where CAD is picking these units up from in the first place. I was told it was from the default printers units but mine is definitely set to mm.
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by:ISGJackson08
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dhsindy: could i please have more detailed instructions on comment left 10.08.2008 at 10:37PM BST, ID: 22673755 .

on here or email to rpage@isgjackson.com and dbacon@isgjackson.com
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by:darrenmcwi
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AutoCAD is unitless with a few exceptions. System variables like MEASUREMENT (saved in the drawing) and MEASUREINIT (for drawings started from scratch) can be set to metric or imperial which sets which sets of linetype definitions and hatch patterns are used.

The plot units in the plot dialog specify plotting units (paper), inches or mm for imperial or metric.

The Units under the format menu dhsindy's post affect the "display" of unit values and are also "unitless" with the exception that architectual units are assumed that each AutocAD unit is one inch. You also can't "set" the units in model space, differently than the viewports. Unit display is across the board.

Aside from that, if you draw a line from 0,0,0 to 1,0,0, it's one inch long, one millimeter long, one foot long, one meter long, one yard long, one chicken long, whatever you want it to represent. The scaling of viewports and their scale lists default in AutoCAD assume you are drawing in the same units in model and paper. Even then, those scales scale the zoom factor accordingly. If you have drawn in model a line one unit long and that unit represents mm and your border in paperspace is drawn assuming one unit is an inch, you'll need to zoom viewports accordingly to compensate for the conversion, there's just no way around that. Hiow you zoom them accordingly is something you have a few choices over which I outlined earlier.

This same issue is present if you draw with one unit representing feet in model and one unit representing an inch in paper. That's just how it is....it's a pain when drawing in a mixed units like this but that's the way it is.

Autodesk has done a few things to help, like the system variables that define drawing units for purposes of inserting blocks, so a block drawn as inches inserted into a drawing drawn in millimeters is automatically scaled up by 25.4 but that applies only to inserting one drawing into another as a block and has no effect on the units you're drawing with in model vs paper and the zoom factors of the viewports.

I also don't know what dhshindy's refering to when mentioning going to thte viewport and setting the units there after setting them in model. They didn't understand the question, refering to something different that's doesn't apply to your inquiry or he knows something 99.9% of the rest of the AutoCAD users aren't aware of or speaking in terms of a customized (via programming or macros) environment that's not out of the box that facilitates this in a way similar to what I suggested. If I'm wrong, I'll be the first to eat my words and would actually like to know that I'm wrong because it would mean there's more functionality there that I wasn't aware of that would make my life easier.

What version of AutoCAD are you running? I'd be happy to provide you with a few sample drawings using the concepts I mentioned or just post your drawing and I'll set it up for you minus the scale list solution if you're on a version that doesn't support it.
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by:ISGJackson08
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Darren,

As mentioned on an earlier comment, our user is running AutoCAD Lite 2007.

Regards,

Ross

Ps. How would i post an autocad file on here. the file type isnt supported by the attach file segment (and it doesnt accept it in a zip folder)
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by:dhsindy
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I just noticed your request to expand my earlier remark.  I am using AutoCAD MEP - what version are you using.  They may be slightly different in terminology but they work the same.  I will work through the setup of a drawing step-by-step and come back.

What units do you normally use.
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by:ISGJackson08
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dhsindy,

as previously mentioned twice i am using AutoCAD Lite 2007.

Regards,

Ross
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by:ISGJackson08
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I don't think I'm explaining the problem very well.
I am aware that AutoCAD is unit less (apart from the chicken units which I've not used yet !) and I've been through all the various unit parameters that I know of including the inserting of block units.
These are all set to unit less or metric.
My method of creating a scaled plot is to open the layout tab, change the paper to the required size in paperspace manager, insert the appropriately sized title block (which is drawn in mm i.e approx 840 x 590 units for A1) onto the paper, create a viewport, zoom the model to scale using ZOOM; SCALE and then nXP. I then print the layout at 1:1.
However, although plot is at say A1 for example, in paperspace, the bottom LH corner will be 0,0 and the top RH corner is something like 32 x 25 instead of 840 x 590.
32 inches is approx 840mm by my calcs.
This is despite selecting an ISO A1 metric paper size in paperspace manager and the paper size being shown in mm. Then you have the problem of scaling from metric model space to imperial paperspace as I described in my original post. I accept there are ways of scaling correctly but as I have said before, typical examples given by CAD tuition always have the same type of unit in both spaces be it feet to inches or metres to mm.
So, in a nutshell, is there anyway to control the units of the paper in paperspace? i.e toggle between inches and mm.
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by:darrenmcwi
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Sorry Ross, I forgot you mentioned LT 07 earlier.

To post a file, just rename it from a DWG to a TXT, BMP or something then throw it in a ZIP file. That should work. We'll rename it back on our end once it's downloaded.

There are 2 files I'd like to get from you. One is  the DWG you are creating (the one you are inserting the title block into) It should already have the title block in it. The other is the drawingf that's the titel block itself. I want to check a few system variables between the two.

Based on your expanded explination, I suspect (just guessing however) that the INSUNITS (and/or INSUNITSDEFTARGET / INSUNITSDEFSOURCE) system variables might be causing you issues.  If your title block was drawn in MM, then it should not have the RH corner at 32x25 rather 840x590 as you suggest. Correct me if I'm still not understanding but esentially your problem would go away if the RH of the Border was 840x590 because then both the border and model would be the same units. Ultimately, because it was 32x25 instead, that was the reason for the different units, not that you wanted or needed it that way, but that it ended up that way and you were trying to accomodate it.

Anyhow, I suspect that the drawing and/or tborder drawing are using INSUNITS, INSUNITSDEFSOURCE/INSUNITSDEFTARGET and automatically scalling the border down, causing your mm border to measure in.

Does that sound like I'm on the right track or am I still off base?  At least, this has been thhe issues in the past where I've had users open a file, and it measures one distance, then measure a different distance when it's inserted into another.
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by:ISGJackson08
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I think you've got the problem.
Please find attached two drawings exhibiting the problem. One is an A1 plot and the other an A4 plot. You will notice they both have "inch" size units for the top RH corner.
I drew the title blocks directly on paperspace rather than insert a block so I don't think the block is the issue.
I have checked the three INSUNITS/DEFSOURCE/DEFTARGET variables and they are all metres or millimetres.
However, I have just thought of a possible reason (but not solution) for this problem.
When I open these files, I get an alert (see attached print screen).
These files were originally created by the CAD output of a land surveying programme called LisCAD. Could this be the root of the problem?
I've had a look at LisCAD to see if there is anything but no luck. I'll try a post to them as well.

Files are attached. note: the file ACAD alert doesnt need to be changed.
Junction-survey.zip
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borgunit earned 250 total points
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I took a peek at the drawings and your paperpspace borders are at inch units. One is 32.3 X 21.6 and the other is 10.9 x 7.8. Normally the way it works is you draw however you wanty in modelspace and the insert or draw your border in the exact size you want in paperspace. Example 840 x 590. It looks like others have mentioned that you have the border at inch units but expect it to be something else. It you draw the border in at 840 x 590 and when plotting select something like extents and scale 1:1, you should have the control you want. The other "unknown" to control then is your viewport scale so that the scaling appears correct. Is this helpful?
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by:darrenmcwi
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Ok, I looked at the drawings and can oly ssay again that AutoCAD is Unitless with the exceptions I noted earlier.  If you want a border that goes from 0,0 to 840,590, then use need to use those unit values when you draw the border.

The 840,590 represents what you want it to be. mm, meters, inches, yards, miles, decameters, rods, chains, etc.

32.3x21.6 doesn't have to represent inches, maybe it's feet, or maybe it is millimeters.

This is really not hard. You just need to accept that if you want the corner of the border to be 840,590, you need to enter those numbers when specifying that corner.  It will then properly correspond with the sheet size in the plot dialog.
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by:darrenmcwi
darrenmcwi earned 250 total points
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Oh, you'll also need to go into the page setup manager and specify "Extents" instead of "Layout" and set the scale to 1=1 as in the included screen capture.  I've also included the DWG files (You'll have to remove the .txt extension)

I'm guessing it's the visual display of the "sheet" that was throwing you off. That's only a visual based on the configured plot settings.

All I did was scale your borders up by 25.4 and make the change to the plot settings. Also, the A4 border is a little big in the Y axis.
Junction-survey.zip
plot-dialog.jpg
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Author Comment

by:ISGJackson08
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Ah ha. I think we have a solution. I changed the plot scale back to 1:1 in page setup mgr. This gives me a top RH corner of printable area of 830 x 550 with my previous layout as
an approx 32 x 21 unit in the bottom LH. I can then scale this up to fit the paper and then zoom the viewport in metric as I have been trying to do.
What had me confused was that the original layout which I now see was approx 32mm x 21mm was showing as filling the paperspace area shown correctly and not as a small layout in the bottom corner. Therefore I assumed it was the right size when it was not. It seems you are not necessarily looking at the actual paper size. Thanks for your help.
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Author Closing Comment

by:ISGJackson08
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Thanks for all of your comments.
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Author Comment

by:ISGJackson08
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Thanks for that. As you say, its the visual display of the "sheet" that has been throwing me.
Problem solved. Thanks again.
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by:darrenmcwi
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No problem. To be honiest, I've never really comprehended the layout page setting of "Layout" for what to plot. Seems odd that the layout would be defined in a way that references itself. I tend to use Extents or another method. Tihs then with the other settings typically then gives you the proper visual representation of the sheet and it's plottable area.
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