Set Up Plotters and Printers

Each plotter configuration contains information such as the device driver and model, the output port to which the device is connected, and various device-specific settings.

AutoCAD LT lists printers or plotters configured for use with Windows in the Plot and Page Setup dialog boxes. You do not need to configure these devices with the system printer driver unless the AutoCAD LT defaults differ from the Windows values.

NoteNonsystem devices are referred to as plotters and Windows system devices are referred to as printers.

If a plotter is supported by AutoCAD LT, but not by Windows, you can use one of the HDI nonsystem printer drivers. You can also use a nonsystem driver to create PostScript, raster, or Design Web format (DWF) files and Portable Document Format (PDF) files

You must configure local or network nonsystem plotters and Windows system printers with nondefault settings. You do not need to configure system printers if you change only the paper size.

AutoCAD LT stores information about the media and plotting device in configured plot (PC3) files. Plot configurations are portable and can be shared in an office or on a project as long as they are for the same driver, model, and driver version. Shared plot configurations for Windows system printers may also need to be for the same version of Windows. If you calibrate a plotter, the calibration information is stored in a plot model parameter (PMP) file that you can attach to any PC3 files you create for the calibrated plotter.

You can configure AutoCAD LT for many devices, and store multiple configurations for a single device. Each plotter configuration contains information such as the device driver and model, the output port to which the device is connected, and various device-specific settings. You can create several PC3 files with different output options for the same plotter. After you create a PC3 file, it's available in the list of plotter configuration names in the Plot dialog box.

To create these PC3 files, use the Add-a-Plotter wizard in the Autodesk Plotter Manager. The Plotter Manager is a Windows Explorer window. The Add-a-Plotter wizard is modeled after the Windows Add Printer wizard. Using the Add-a-Plotter wizard, you can specify whether you want to configure a nonsystem, local, or network plotter, or a system printer. You can create any number of plotter device configurations that use either the Windows system printer drivers or Autodesk nonsystem plotter drivers. Your configurations are stored in your user profile.

There are a number of ways to modify the default settings for a Windows system printer without creating a PC3 file. For example, you can modify the properties systemwide from the Control Panel. You can also choose Properties in the Plot dialog box and plot without saving the properties.

NoteIf you upgrade a driver, try using your existing PC3 file. If it does not work, then you need to create a new PC3 file. In many cases, it may be possible to copy and paste some of the settings from the old PC3 file to a new one created with the new driver.
Procedures
To open the Autodesk Plotter Manager

You can also use any of the following methods to open the Autodesk Plotter Manager:

  • From the File menu, choose Plotter Manager.
  • At the command prompt, enter plottermanager.
  • From the Tools menu, choose Options. On the Plot and Publish tab, choose Add or Configure Plotters.
To create a PC3 file for a Windows system printer
  1. Open the Autodesk Plotter Manager.
  2. In the Autodesk Plotter Manager, double-click the Add-a-Plotter Wizard shortcut icon.
  3. In the Add-a-Plotter wizard, read the Introduction, and then choose Next to advance to the Add Plotter - Begin page.
  4. On the Add Plotter - Begin page, choose System Printer. Choose Next.
  5. On the Add Plotter - System Printer page, select the system printer that you want to configure.

    The list includes all printers known to the operating system. If you want to connect to a printer that is not in the list, you must first add the printer using the Windows Add Printer wizard in the Control Panel.

    (Optional) The Import PCP or PC2 screen enables you to use configuration information from a PCP or PC2 file created with an earlier version of AutoCAD LT.

  6. On the Add Plotter - Plotter Name page, enter a name to identify the currently configured plotter. Choose Next.
  7. When you reach the Add Plotter - Finish page, you can choose Finish to exit the Add-a-Plotter wizard.

    A PC3 file for the newly configured plotter appears in the Plotters window and the plotter is available for plotting in the list of devices.

    At this time, you can change the default settings for the plotter by choosing Edit Plotter Configuration on the Add Plotter - Finish page. You can also perform a plot calibration test on your newly configured plotter by choosing Calibrate Plotter on the Add Plotter - Finish page.

To configure a local, nonsystem plotter
  1. Open the Autodesk Plotter Manager.
  2. In the Autodesk Plotter Manager, double-click the Add-a-Plotter Wizard shortcut.
  3. In the Add-a-Plotter wizard, read the Introduction, and then choose Next to advance to the Add Plotter - Begin page.
  4. On the Add Plotter - Begin page, choose My Computer. Choose Next.
  5. On the Add Plotter - Plotter Model page, select a manufacturer and model. Choose Next.

    If you are configuring a PostScript device, select Adobe from the Manufacturers list.

    If your plotter is not in the list of available plotters, and you have a driver disk for your plotter, choose Have Disk to locate the HIF file on that driver disk, and install the driver supplied with your plotter.

    (Optional) The Import PCP or PC2 screen enables you to use configuration information from a PCP or PC2 file created with an earlier version of AutoCAD LT.

  6. On the Add Plotter - Ports page, select the port to use when plotting. Choose Next. The ports available for the specified device are displayed.
  7. On the Add Plotter - Plotter Name page, enter a name to identify the currently configured plotter. Choose Next.
  8. When you reach the Add Plotter - Finish page, you can choose Finish to exit the Add-a-Plotter wizard.

    A PC3 file for the newly configured plotter appears in the Plotters window, and the plotter is available for plotting in the list of devices.

    At this time, you can change the default settings for the plotter by choosing Edit Plotter Configuration on the Add Plotter - Finish page. You can also perform a plot calibration test on your newly configured plotter by choosing Calibrate Plotter on the Add Plotter - Finish page.

To configure a network, nonsystem plotter
  1. Open the Autodesk Plotter Manager.
  2. Double-click the Add-a-Plotter Wizard shortcut icon.
  3. In the Add-a-Plotter wizard, read the Introduction, and then choose Next to advance to the Add Plotter - Begin page.
  4. On the Add Plotter - Begin page, choose Network Plotter Server. Choose Next.
  5. On the Add Plotter - Network Plotter page, enter the share name of the network plotter server that you want to use.

    The server must already exist on the network. For more information, see your system administrator.

    You must use the universal naming convention (UNC). The correct format of a UNC path is \\server name\share name. You can select an existing share name on your network by choosing Browse.

  6. On the Add Plotter - Plotter Model page, select a manufacturer and model. Choose Next.

    If you are configuring a PostScript device, select Adobe from the Manufacturers list.

    If your plotter isn't in the list of available plotters and you have a driver disk for your plotter, choose Have Disk to locate the HIF file on that driver disk, and install the driver supplied with your plotter.

    (Optional) The Import PCP or PC2 screen enables you to use configuration information from a PCP or PC2 file created with an earlier version of AutoCAD LT.

  7. On the Add Plotter - Plotter Name page, enter a name to identify the currently configured plotter. Choose Next.
  8. When you reach the Add Plotter - Finish page, you can choose Finish to exit the Add-a-Plotter wizard.

    A PC3 file for the newly configured plotter appears in the Plotters window and the plotter is available for plotting in the list of devices.

    At this time, you can change the default settings for the plotter by choosing Edit Plotter Configuration on the Add Plotter - Finish page. You can also perform a plot calibration test on your newly configured plotter by choosing Calibrate Plotter on the Add Plotter - Finish page.

Commands
PAGESETUP

Controls the page layout, plotting device, paper size, and other settings for each new layout.

PCINWIZARD

Displays a wizard to import PCP and PC2 configuration file plot settings into the Model or current named (paper space) layout.

PLOT

Plots a drawing to a plotter, printer, or file.

PLOTTERMANAGER

Displays the Plotter Manager, where you can add or edit a plotter configuration.