Described and made Easy
everybody needs to do is to plot out there drawing to paper.
The plot command has many options and settings and sometimes
can confuse people so I have explained everything below
to try and help you make plotting easy. We can plot to any
printer or plotter as long as you have installed the correct
drivers in Windows before running the program. This includes
older pen plotters, laser printers, inkjet printers and
plotters and another other output device that your windows
has drivers for.
start with, the command to plot a drawing is PRINT in MicroSurvey.
You can run the print command by typing it at the command
prompt, picking the little printer icon in the top left
of the screen, or you can pick the print command from the
file pulldown menu. They all bring you to the following
prompt shown below.
Print command has 4 different ways to select what you wish
to plot. They are shown on the Option Bar just below the
command prompt, as shown above.
WINDOW: This method allows you to use the mouse to place
a window or box around the location on screen that you wish
to plot. You can use Object Snaps to accurately pick locations
as required. This allows you to plot either the entire drawing
or a portion of the drawing simply by windowing the exact
portion desired. If you pick a window larger than the drawing
then the blank area selected will also be plotted.
EXTENTS: One of the more common methods of selecting the
are to be plotted is to pick the extents of a drawing. This
automatically picks everything in the drawing that is available.
To see what you will pick you should run Zoom Extents prior
to the PRINT command. This command does not plot any blank
area around the drawing. If you have a point outside of
your desired plotting area then Extents may not be the best
way to pick as it will grab that point as well as the rest
of the drawing giving you more than required.
VIEW: This will plot exactly what is on screen. This
could be a smaller portion of the drawing that you zoomed
to. If you zoomed to show the entire drawing and then zoomed
back a bit, the portion plotted will include the entire
drawing and the blank area around it - exactly what you
see on screen.
NVIEW: If you used the VIEW command to save named views
of different portions of the drawing, this option allows
you to plot one of those named views.
you have decided on what you will plot, you then have to
tell the program how to plot it.
following dialogue box will come up on screen and allow
you to configure it as required.
there are so many options, we will break the dialogue up
in the following subsections and examine each one.
option tells you which plotter or printer is currently selected
and will receive the plot. It also tells you the size of
the plotted area that you can plot into. This is smaller
than the actual paper size in most cases due to the plotter
change to a different plotter you can pick on the SETUP
button above. It will bring up the Windows Printer Setup
dialogue (below) where you can select from the list of plotters/printers
that are configured in your computer. You can modify the
properties of the plotter, if required, pick the paper size
and the orientation of the paper before picking OK to return.
Pen plotters may require you to setup the pens to match
them with the correct color in your diagram and the carousel
location in the plotter to ensure you get the correct width
of pen for each line. If this is the case then you would
do this via the Properties button.
Units, Orientation and Margins
sure to have the correct units selected to match your drawing.
Metric drawings will use mm and Imperial drawings use inch.
You can select the orientation of the paper to ensure the
paper and plot are going the same way to best use the paper.
The Margins are set by the Windows plotter driver to allow
you the largest plotting area available for the plotter
selected. You can decrease the plotting area by increasing
the margins if desired. You can not decrease the margins
as the plotter driver has set them to the minimum for your
are 3 ways to tell the plotter to scale the drawing.
FIT: This will automatically scale the drawing so the
entire plot will fit on the paper size and orientation shown.
The drawing will be scaled but we will not know what the
scale was set to. This is an easy way to simply make it
fit to the paper chosen as long as you don't care what the
actual scale is.
SCALED: We are being specific about how the plot will be
scaled. To the right of the Scaled button you see two white
boxes. If you are working in Imperial then you set the scale
by typing 1 in the first box and the desired scale in the
second box. The example above will plot at 1"=20'.
The second number would be 50 if you required 1"=50'
at the scale. If you were working in metric then this is
slightly different. The first box is still set to 1 but
the second box is set to 1 if the scale was 1:1000. If you
required a scale of 1:250 then the second box would be set
to 0.25. There is a factor of 1000 build in due to the fact
that we used meters as our base units, and the program used
with mm. This does not hurt anything and is done behind
POSTER: Poster can be used when the potted drawing is too
large for one piece of paper and you wish to have it plot
to several pieces so you can match them and tape them together.
The scale is still set in the same method as in SCALED above.
you do a change to the scale, hit the little check mark
to the right to update the size and location of the red
box in the Preview window.
Rotation and Offset button allows you to rotate the plot
on the paper to best fit the orientation. In Poster Mode
only the X and Y shift can also be done to move the postered
drawing to best fit the number of sheets required to plot
of the more important options you have is found under the
Color, Width portion of the dialogue box. You can configure
the pen settings for each plotter/printer you have available
by picking on one of the configurations, as shown in the
second window below, and then picking on the Configure button
as shown in the first window below.
will take you to the Configuration Color, Width dialogue
box shown below
Fill Polygons option will color in a polyline if it has
a width assigned to it. If not checked on then it will simply
draw the outline of the polyline.
in the top right - the configuration name of this plotter
can be set so that you can save it and have the ability
to recall it when required. You can have up to 8 different
plotters. Once set and the save button is checked, when
you go to choose the configuration (as was done in the second
dialogue in this section above), you will see the options
as shown below.
the top left of the Configurations dialogue above, the Circle
Segments can be set from 8 to 1024. The higher the number
then smoother the curves with be drawn. Pen plotters may
require a lower number so the pen does not draw an excess
of vectors and place too much ink on the paper. All others
should be set to 1024. Below this, be sure to check on
the Line Width Settings if you require your drawing to be
plotted using different widths of pens. Turn the color option
on if you wish to have a color plot on paper or if you are
using a pen plotter that requires the colors to be passed
through to it's windows drive to set the pen widths internally.
If you are using an inkjet plotter that can plot to color
then turn this option on, leave it off if you want black
and white plots.
the bottom left corner there are 3 columns of information.
In the example above it shows RED RED 0.010 in the first
line. The first RED is the color use din the drawing, the
second RED is the color it will plot with if you are plotting
in color, and the 0.010 is the width of the pen used to
draw the lines. If you are plotting in black and white then
the second RED can be ignored. Set each color used in the
drawing to plot with the width of pen desired (for pen plotters
this is done in the plotter driver and not here).
change the width of pen, pick on the color to change, then
to the right under Linewidth, set the width to plot on paper
and pick Change. The table to the left will update accordingly.
Do this for each color that needs a width assigned. The
same thing can be done for colors if you wish to plot in
color. Any color in the first column can be set to actually
plot in another color of your choice by setting the Printed
you have set every color used in the drawing to the appropriate
line width and/or color, these settings will be saved in
the configuration set above for future use.
on OK to return.
last thing to check is your preview to ensure the plot will
fit on the paper size chosen, that the line widths are correct
and colors are set correctly if plotting in color. The preview
button will show a quick view of the drawing in the small
window as shown below. The RED rectangle is the size of
the drawing at the scale and settings chosen. The black
lines around the 4 edges show the margins where the drawing
will be placed within. The white represents the paper size
which will be larger than the plotting area allowed by the
margins. The drawing will be shown within the red rectangle.
If the drawing does not completely fit inside the red rectangle
then you may have to change one or more of the following:
Paper size, Scale, Orientation, or Rotation.
Fullpage button will draw the preview on the full screen
making it easier to look at and determine if it is correct
for what you desire. If you do change the Scale option then
keep in mind that the drawing scale you started the drawing
with may not match the plotting scale and some things like
text and symbols may not be the correct size. The drawing
scale and plotting scale should be the same if possible.
that you have confirmed and set everything, ensure the Save
Settings check is on in the bottom left of the Print dialogue
box. This will save all the setting so the next time you
come in the settings will default as they are now allowing
you to quickly do minor changes and then continue.
step - hit the PRINT button in the bottom center and
sit back and watch the plot come out on your printer/plotter.
W. Cameron, C.E.T.