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Pulling in the Plotting purse strings - Part 2

Saving time and money is possible with Plotting. We continue to look at the options available to you for reducing the time spent plotting this month.

Eliminate routine steps through automation.

This may be as simple as creating Plot Scripts or using Script Pro.

Scripts have been around since the earliest days of AutoCAD as a way to add functionality through simple files that automatically run once they are started.

A script is a text file with one command on each line.

You can run a script during a session by using the SCRIPT command.

The BACKGROUNDPLOT system variable must be set to 0 before a script can plot multiple jobs.

You create script files outside the program using a text editor (such as Notepad) or a word processor (such as Microsoft Word) that can save the file in ASCII format. The file extension must be .scr.

Each line of the script file contains a command. Each blank space in a script file is significant because SPACEBAR is accepted as a command. You must be very familiar with the sequence of prompts to provide an appropriate sequence of responses in the script file.

A script can execute any command at the Command prompt except a command that displays a dialog box. Command line versions are provided for many dialog box commands.

Script files can contain comments. Any line that begins with a semicolon (;) is considered a comment, and it is ignored while the script file is being processed. The last line of the file must be blank.

You just create a file containing the commands as if you were typing them on the command line. 

Here are the questions you need to answer if you were going to automate plotting via script file at the command line in 2006:

Command: -plot
Detailed plot configuration? [Yes/No] <No>:y
Enter a layout name or [?] <Model>: Layout1
Regenerating model - caching viewports.
Enter an output device name or [?] <None>: Adobe PDF
Enter paper size or [?] <Letter>:
Enter paper units [Inches/Millimeters] <Inches>:
Enter drawing orientation [Portrait/Landscape] <Landscape>:
Plot upside down? [Yes/No] <No>:
Enter plot area [Display/Extents/Layout/View/Window] <Layout>:
Enter plot scale (Plotted Inches=Drawing Units) or [Fit] <1:1>:
Enter plot offset (x,y) <0.00,0.00>:
Plot with plot styles? [Yes/No] <Yes>:
Enter plot style table name or [?] (enter . for none) <>:
Plot with lineweights? [Yes/No] <Yes>:
Scale lineweights with plot scale? [Yes/No] <No>:
Plot paper space first? [Yes/No] <No>:
Hide paperspace objects? [Yes/No] <No>:
Write the plot to a file [Yes/No] <N>:
Save changes to page setup [Yes/No]? <N>
Proceed with plot [Yes/No] <Y>:

So my script file would contain the following lines:

Adobe PDF


Notice the last line is blank.  I could have left each line empty for hitting return to accept the defaults.  I like to type everything in just in case someone has saved a default setting that I do not want to use.

Once you have created the file save it as a .scr file.  So I would save my file as PDF.scr.

When you want to create the plot just type SCRIPT and enter or select the file you just created. 

You may have to fiddle with your file to get it right, but once you are done, you can create plots quickly using the script.