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AutoCAD Tutorial

AutoCAD 2004 Design Publisher

By Alireza Parsai, March 31, 2003

AutoCAD 2004 presents many new features. One of them is Design Publisher. With design publisher you can pack a series of different drawing files and layouts in a single multi-sheet DWF file. You can also print the sheets sequentially. The latter action is similar to Batch Plotter but conducted inside AutoCAD.

Note: If you are not familiar with DWF files, read the following article first: AutoCAD 2002 Web-Publishing Feature.

To enable Design Publisher you should invoke PUBLISH command through one of the following methods:

Standard Toolbar:

File menu: Publish…

Command line: publish

If the current file is not saved you will view a warning message [Figure 1], otherwise the Publish Drawing Sheets dialog box appears [Figure 2].

Figure 1

Figure 2 - Click on image to enlarge

Click Add Sheets to add sheets from different drawing files [Figure 3].

Figure 3 - Click on image to enlarge

The list consists of the Model and Layouts of the selected files. You can use the Remove button to remove unwanted layouts. If you select a layout in the list, the Move Up and Move Down buttons can be used to change the order of the selected item in the list. Right-click on the layout name and select Rename Sheet from the shortcut menu to rename it [Figure 4].

Figure 4

The next step is to define the output destination. You can either specify name and location for a multi-sheet DWF file or plot the layouts as they are [Figure 5]. The DWF file can be protected with a password.

Figure 5

By specifying the location of the DWF file you can save the list for later use. Click Save List to create a DSD file that keeps the list information. Later you can use the Load List to build the list based on the DSD file [Figure 6].

Figure 6 - Click on image to enlarge

Click the Publish button to build the multi-sheet DWF file or plot the sheets. This may take a few minutes based on the number of sheets and the complexity of the drawings. At the end of plot session you can save the log file, view the DWF file, or close the dialog box [Figure 7].

Figure 7

Autodesk Express Viewer is capable to view such DWF files. This application is automatically installed along with AutoCAD 2004. You can also download it for free from the Autodesk website at: <http://www.autodesk.co.ae/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=555657&id=2445291>.


Let's build a multi-sheet DWF file.

1. Download the following drawing files and save them in an easy-to-access location. The files are in AutoCAD 2004 and cannot be opened with other releases.

2. Start AutoCAD 2004.

3. Invoke PUBLISH command.

4. Click Add Sheets.

5. Locate and select all the downloaded files. The list is built [Figure 8].

Figure 8

6. Remove all sheets that are based on the Model Space. The names of all such sheets are ended to Model. Finalize the list as shown in Figure 9.

Figure 9

7. Specify the name and location of the DWF file.

8. Save the list for later use.

9. Close the dialog box.

10. Invoke the PUBLISH command again.

11. Load the list.

12. Click Publish.

13. View the file in Autodesk Express Viewer. Figure 10 shows a sample sheet.

14. Back to AutoCAD close both dialog boxes.

Figure 10 - Click on image to enlarge

About the Author

Alireza Parsai is the founder of cadpanel.com. He is a mechanical engineer with more than 12 years experience with AutoCAD. Alireza is an Autodesk Authorized Author, the AutoCAD consultant for Al Khawarizmi Institute, a contributing editor for Augiworld magazine, a writer for CAD Digest, an instructor for AUGI Training Program, and an elected speaker for Autodesk University 2002. He has written 7 books in Farsi, 3 booklets in English, and more than 30 articles for different magazines and newsletters. You can reach him at alireza.parsai@cadpanel.com or visit his website www.cadpanel.com

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