Are you looking for a New Year's resolution? Here's an easy one!
Named page setups were introduced in AutoCAD 2000 but they were somewhat hidden and relatively unused. In AutoCAD 2005, with the introduction of sheet sets, named page setups were slightly redesigned and made more visible. However, I’m still surprised at how many people don’t use (or even know about) named page setups. Regardless of your version of AutoCAD (2000 – 2006), if you plot (and who doesn’t?!?), you will find value in named page setups!
You can create any number of named page setups and easily restore them for any layout. For example, you might create one named page setup called Final Plot that plots the layout to your HP DesignJet on an E-size sheet at a scale of 1:1, and a second one called Test Plot that plots the extents to your LaserJet on a letter-size sheet, scaled to fit.
If you have AutoCAD 2005 or 2006, you are probably familiar with the Page Setup Manager but you may not have used it to save a named page setup. The Page Setup Manager automatically displays when you try to access the page setup for a model or layout tab. By default, AutoCAD creates an unnamed page setup for the current tab. If you select the Modify button, you can change the page setup options for that particular layout (or model). However, without using named page setups, you have to repeat the process for every layout. Using named page setups, you can set the options one time and then easily apply them to any layout. The process for creating named page setups is simple. Once they are created, named page setups will save you clicks and time!
- From the File menu, choose Page Setup Manager. You can also right-click on the model or layout tab to find the Page Setup Manager.
- Choose New.
- In the New Page Setup dialog box, enter the name of the page setup. Possible names might include: Test Plot, Final Plot, LaserJet Letter-size, DesignJet E-size, E-size Monochrome, etc.
- In the Page Setup dialog box, specify the device and other page setup options and then choose OK.
- In the Page Setup Manager, select the named page setup you want to use for the current layout (or model) and choose Set Current.
Continue to create new page setups for the various page setup configurations you might need.
All of the named page setups are saved in the current drawing but you can use the Import option to access named page setups from other drawings. Ideally, you would create all your named page setups in a template file so that they are automatically included in new drawings and easily accessible from a central location to import into existing drawings.
I think once you start using named page setups, you'll wonder what took you so long. The concept is no different than using dimension styles or text styles. You (hopefully) would never set all the dimension or text options each time you need them. So, why set each of the page setup options each time you need them???
If you've been following along with the sheet set series, I'll show you how to integrate your page setups with sheet sets.... but that post will have to wait until next year! :-)