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Create Mass Output with the PUBLISH Command

By Ellen Finkelstein, May 15, 2013
Originally published on EllenFinkelstein.com. Republished here by permission.

The PUBLISH command creates the multi-page DWF, DWFx, or PDF files. You can also use the command to batch plot to a plotter. This command gives you a lot of flexibility to choose which drawings to output.

Be sure to save your drawing before using the PUBLISH command.

Choose Output tab > Plot panel> Batch Plot to open the Publish dialog box. The dialog box displays the model and layout tabs of the current drawing or all open drawings. To list only the tabs of the current drawing, uncheck the Automatically Load All Open Drawings check box in the Publish dialog box. (This is controlled by the PUBLISHALLSHEETS system variable.) If you see the Status message, “Layout not initialized,” cancel and display the layout tab; then start the PUBLISH command again.

To add other drawings and layouts that you want to include in the drawing list, do any of the following:

The PUBLISH command uses the page setup information for each layout. This lets you easily publish many drawings without deciding how to plot each drawing separately.

Note: By default, the model tab and layout tabs for each drawing are all included in the drawing list. If you don’t want to see the model tab for drawings, right-click over the drawing list in the Publish dialog box and choose Include Model When Adding Sheets if it has a checkmark. Likewise, you can right-click the drawing list and choose Include Layouts When Adding Sheets. After you change this setting, new drawings that you add to the drawing set will not include the tab that you unchecked. Recently, a subscriber asked me how to avoid including the model tab - this is how you do it.

If you want, you can change the sheet name. The PUBLISH command automatically generates sheet names from the drawing and layout names, but you might want to use a different name. Click the drawing’s row and then click the sheet name one time. Enter a new name.

If you’ve specified a page setup, you can assign it to any drawing - model page setups to model listings and layout page setups to layout listings. Click the drawing’s page setup and then click the down arrow that appears. From the drop-down list, choose a page or choose Import.

The sheet order defines how the sheets in the DWF file will be listed in the viewer. To change the order, choose a sheet and use the Move Sheet Up and Move Sheet Down buttons, or drag the sheet up or down in the list.

To remove one or more sheets from the list, select them and click the Remove Sheets button.

From the Publish To drop-down list of the Publish dialog box, you can choose the type of output you want.

Note: Plotting, or your last setting, is the default option. Be careful, or you may end up plotting when you want to publish.

Click the Publish Options button to open the Publish Options dialog box, where you can specify how the DWF or DWFx file will be published.

At the bottom right, you can specify how many copies you want, use a precision preset, or include a plot stamp.

Click the Publish button. If you chose an electronic form of output, you’ll be prompted for a file name and location. You may see a message asking whether you want to save the list of sheets. Choose Yes if you think you may publish these drawings again.

Tip: The +PUBLISH command lets you start with a saved DSD file instead of with the current, or all open, drawings. The Select List of Sheets dialog box opens. Choose a DSD file and click Select. You can use the -PUBLISH command with a saved DSD file to publish DWF files from a script file. You then get a prompt for the DSD file.

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About the Author

Ellen Finkelstein Ellen Finkelstein is a recognized expert, speaker, trainer, and best-selling author on AutoCAD, PowerPoint and presentation skills. Her articles have appeared in numerous magazines, newsletters, and blogs. She is the author of the AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD LT 2013 Bible. More…

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