---Lesson 5--- 

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  • The File Command
The FILE command is where you go to exit the system, open new or existing files and/or save them. Please remember to use the PACK command prior to saving after you've done any heavy editing to your design.  Used regularly, this command will make your files run much more efficiently.

Plotting - 11 Easy Steps to Black + White Printing

  1. Load the file you wish to print or plot.
  2. Go to File/Print.
  3. Select the Setup button at the bottom and pick the correct printer. Then OK.
  4. Select the Colors button at the bottom and setup the correct colors for plotting. If you want to print only black on white, select that button. To print in color, please follow the directions at the end of this article and then return here.
  5. Go to the Print Window and pick Window and then the Select Button. Set opposing corners that represent the paper size around the objects you wish to plot.
  6. The Margins are rarely as low as they will go, but you can attain their lowest default by setting them all to zero.
  7. Go to Scale and select the appropriate way in which you plan to scale the drawing. Remember that typical scale values are as follows: 1:48 is 1/4" = 1', 1:96 is 1/8" = 1', 1:192 is 1/16" = 1', etc.
  8. If you get an "Out of Range" message, it means that the scale value you've selected is either too big or too small for the window you placed. You can increase or decrease the range by going back to Print Window/ Window/ Select and increasing or decreasing the size of the window you placed.
  9. After the correct scale has been attained, return to the Print Window area and click Paper and then the Select button. You can now see and place the actual sheet size you selected at the scale you input.
  10. If you wish to save all these settings for other plotting routines, be sure to click the Current Printer button now.
  11. Select the Print button on the bottom of the print window and all should plot as planned.

A Few Plotting Tips:

A. If you've followed these directions and the printer does not respond, you should confirm that the driver has been installed correctly in the Program Manager/Main/Control Panel/Printers Setup. Typical problems occur in the Connect/Settings configuration.

B. When processing True Type text, some printers don't recognize rotated text, while others may not position rotated text correctly. Contact the printer/plotter manufacturer to ensure they know and that you have their latest driver update. It’s getting better all the time!!!

C. If you have problems plotting or printing any of the linestyles, remember to edit the CAD.LNS file (page 4-338) and make sure that the setting in Options/ Miscellaneous/Plotter Arc Generation to at least 3 (implies degrees per chord and allows CADVANCE to control arc generation rather than the plotter). Of course, this depends on your printer/plotter - some work just great with this setting equal to zero.

D. If you are using a monochrome printer such as the HP LaserJet or HP600, be sure to set the colors in the Printer Configuration dialog box to "Black on White." Otherwise, some colors in your drawing may not print or may print as dithered lines in various densities. Actually, some folks like using the dithered line look.

E. When printing or plotting, if you modify the color settings in the Printer Configuration box, set them to "Black on White," have a color setting in your current .ini file, or have changed any of the plot colors, CADVANCE will use that setting for the rest of the work session. Otherwise, it will use the current drawing colors. Always check colors prior to printing.

F. CADVANCE reads the printer/plotter configuration from Windows when the Printer Configuration dialog box is loaded. Therefore, if you modify printer information from the Windows Control Panel while the dialog box is displayed, the changes will not be immediately reflected. Similarly, if you change printers in Print Setup, the default margins, etc., will be loaded into Printer Configuration. If you have several configurations you like to use (such as print to a plotter and print to disk), it is suggested that you list the driver multiple times in the Control Panel. Keep in mind that CADVANCE saves each plotter/port combination separately in the .INI file. If you load a new .INI file during your work session, you must press the Setup button in the File/Print dialog box and OK it in order to reset the new information.


  • HP Plotter Helpful Info:

Older HP plotters, such as the 7585, do not support HPGL/2. Unfortunately, the HPGL driver was written before Windows was available and certain features, such as plotting to the edge of the paper, are not supported. You may want to try using the 7586B driver for roll-feed plotters and experiment with various paper size settings as a workaround, but results can be unpredictable. HP has no plans to update HPGL for Windows and has passed control of the driver to Microsoft.

On the other hand, many of the newer HP printer/plotters have no way to link a pen to a color, and so you will be unable to link a color to specific pen of weight. You have two options here: 1.) you can weight the lines in CADVANCE (please plot the TESTPLOT.VWF you received in training to ascertain the weights you prefer), or 2.) you can assign a specific weight to a color in the File/Print/Colors dialog window.


  • Plotter Pen Configurations

The Windows drivers for pen plotters rely exclusively on color information from applications such as CADVANCE in order to select the proper pen for output. These colors can be defined in CADVANCE's Printer Configuration/Colors dialog box, which is used to map your CADVANCE drawing colors to the pen colors provided by the plotter driver. Once you have set up this configuration, pressed OK and confirmed that it plots with the pen weights you want, select the "Current Printer" button in the "Save Configuration To INI" portion of the dialog box. In the future the proper configuration will be loaded automatically. Remember that you can open and save multiple INI setups and they may only affect printing configurations.

Keep in mind that pen mapping for plotting and printing is done exclusively by mapping RGB (red-green-blue) values from the application (CADVANCE) to a selected device driver. If the color that is sent by the application doesn't have an equivalent RGB-valued pen, Windows attempts the closest match.

In most cases, plotters only have 8 pens, while CADVANCE allows you 15 drawing colors. Thus, there may be 7 colors on your drawing that will not be mapped to a color pen. For example, let's call CADVANCE Color #9 "tree green", which is probably not available in the plotter driver color list. To map the screen color tree green to plotter pen color green, click the option button next to #9 in CADVANCE's printer COLORS dialog, then set the color bars to R=0, G=255 and B=0 (either by sliding the bars or typing in the numbers). When you plot, everything drawn in Color #9 will go to the pen you have identified as Green (it is up to you whether that pen is actually green or not).

Sometimes it is difficult to figure out what screen color RGB (red-green-blue) values correspond to a plotter pen color such as "Off White." To help you set up your plotter configuration in CADVANCE's Printer Configuration/Colors dialog box, the RGB values provided by HP, Houston and Calcomp are listed here. Contact other manufacturers for their equivalents, Although the odds are any other kind of printer/plotter can emulate one of these.

Calcomp Plotters

Black   0, 0, 0
Dark Red  128, 0, 0
Dark Green  0, 128, 0
Pea Green  128, 128, 0
Dark Blue  0, 0, 128
Lavender  128, 0, 128
Slate  0, 128, 128
Light Gray  192, 192, 192
Pale Green  192, 220, 192
Pale Blue  166, 202, 240
Off White       255, 251, 240
Medium Gray  160, 160, 164
Dark Gray       128, 128, 128
Bright Red  255, 0, 0
Bright Green  0, 255, 0
Yellow  255, 255, 0
Bright Blue  0, 0, 255
Magenta  255, 0, 255
Cyan  0, 255, 255
White  255, 255, 255


White  255, 255, 255
Black  0, 0, 0
Red  255, 0, 0
Green  0, 255, 0
Blue  0, 0, 255
Yellow  255, 255, 0
Magenta  255, 0, 255
Turquoise  0, 255, 255
Orange  255, 128, 0
Violet  128, 0, 255
Brown  128, 128, 0
Lime Green  1, 255, 53
Light Brown 128, 102, 0
Pink 255, 0, 128


Red  255, 0, 0
Green  0, 255, 0
Blue  0, 0, 255
Yellow  255, 255, 0
Red Violet  255, 0, 255
Aqua  0, 255, 255
Orange  255, 128, 0
Violet  128, 0, 255
Brown  255, 192, 0
Black  0, 0, 0  

End of Lesson 5 - Next Lesson >>>

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