Page setup in AutoCAD – Complete tutorial

Updated on June 10, 2024 | By Jaiprakash Pandey | Category AutoCAD | min reading time

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In AutoCAD, setting up your page in a layout or paper space is crucial for presenting your drawings professionally.

Here's a comprehensive article that will help you understand all about page setup in AutoCAD in a step by step way.

Here is a video version of this article for you, but if you prefer the article then read on.

Setting Plotter and Paper Size

You can use any AutoCAD drawing that you have to follow along this tutorial.

Assuming you already have your drawing open in AutoCAD, we will begin by selecting the appropriate plotter and paper size for the drawing.

To do that we will start in the layout or paper space.

At the bottom of your AutoCAD software, click on the Layout tab and you will see a model space with a paper background.

From the contextual ribbon, navigate to the Layout tab and click on Page Setup Manager to activate the command.

Once the command is active, the Page Setup Manager menu will pop up from where you can use it to specify your paper sizes and the plotter you prefer to use.

The options available within the page setup manager are like the Modify option which allows you to modify existing page setups.

It's essential because it enables you to adjust settings like plotter, paper size, plot area, and plot style tables without creating new setups from scratch.

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In this case, after you click on the Modify option, a popup warning will be given.

Click OK, and the Page setup window will pop up with several options as follows:

  1. Printer/ Plotter option, you can either decide to pick for the dropdown list a physical printer or virtual plotter, in this case, pick the DWG to PDF option.
  2. Paper size option, you can select the one that you prefer, in this case, pick the ANSI A (11.00 x 8.5 Inches) option.
  3. Plot Area option enables you to specify what exactly you will be plotting, in this case, pick the Layout option to print the entire layout.
  4. Plot scale option use a scale of 1:1, and ensure the unit of your drawing is selected.
  5. Plot style table helps you specify the pen assignments for your drawing, for example, if you specify the acad.ctb your drawing will be plotted in color, while the Grayscale and Monochrome will print in black and white, in this case, pick the acad.ctb option.
  6. Plotting options helps you specify some settings that you would prefer to be used while plotting your drawing, for example either to plot object line weights or not.
  7. Drawing orientation enables you specify if your design is in portrait of landscape mode, in this case, pick the landscape option and click on OK to close.

Adding Title Block

Adding a title block in your layout adds essential information about the drawing, such as the project name, date, scale, and author details.

To add a title block, you can either create one from scratch or use a pre-existing template.

In this case, you can use the file from the sample title block provided in the video shown above to insert it into your layout and adjust it's size and position as needed.

You can use the Insert Block command to bring it into your project, activate the command by typing "I" and hit enter to launch the block menu.

From the available tabs, select the Libraries tab, and add the block by clicking on the “library” icon to launch the file explorer.

Then navigate to the file destination where you have your title block drawing saved, then click on open to import it into your design as shown below:

You can also edit the title block to fit within your layout area’s margins using the Stretch command.

To edit it, first, explode the block by selecting it and typing to activate the explode command and hit enter.

Then activate the Stretch command, by either typing S, or by selecting the command from the Modify panel in the Home tab.

Once active, create your stretch window over the top lines, specify a base point, and edit accordingly as shown below.

If you find it a challenge to move your mouse smoothly because the cursor is snapping, simply resolve that by pressing on the F9 key to turn the snap-on setting off.

Adding Viewports and Placing Objects in It

Viewports allow you to display different views of your drawing within the layout.

To add a viewport, go to the Layout tab, under the Layout Viewports panel, choose the desired shape and size for your viewport, and place it on the layout.

In this case, choose the Rectangular option, then navigate to your paper layout and specify the first corner of your rectangle, and then the opposite corner.

Setting Scale in Viewports

Setting the scale in viewports is crucial for accurately representing the dimensions of your drawing.

To do this, double-click inside the viewport to activate it.

Then, go to the viewport scale dropdown menu and choose the appropriate scale for your drawing.

This ensures that the objects within the viewport are displayed at the correct size.

In this case, you can specify the 1:100 scale and pan your drawing to show the dimensions for the dining area.

Then double-click outside to exit from the options to edit the content within the viewport.

You can also opt to create other viewports within the same layout paper available to the best of your design judgment, plus the different viewports can have different scales and targets with the drawing.

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If you want to verify the AutoCAD specified scale to the dimensions within your drawing, you can use the distance tool.

You can activate it by using DI as a keyboard shortcut, and then turn off the snap cursor mode to get the correct reading with respect to the AutoCAD scale.

Adding Scale Field in the Viewport

Adding a scale field in the viewport provides a visual reference for the scale of the drawing.

To do this, you can opt to change the text style from the dropdown menu in the annotate panel in the home tab or go directly to the Insert tab, under the Data panel, click on Field command.

Once active, the Field window will pop up, under Field category pick objects under field names pick Object, under object type.

Click on the select Tool and pick the viewport, then under Property, pick custom scale and under format select Use scale name, then click on OK and place it where you would prefer.

You can then adjust the size and position of the scale field to fit your layout every time you adjust the scale of your drawing.

The scale field will update automatically, and the updates can be seen by running the Regenerate command by using the RE keyboard shortcut.

Locking the Title block view

If you want to prevent the changing of the scale for the viewport when working within it, then follow these steps.

Double click on the viewport to activate it, once active, you can either lock your view by using the lock command located within the Layout Viewports panel in the Layout tab, or from the bottom right-hand corner.

Plotting the Drawing from Layout

Once you've set up your layout with the desired plotter, paper size, title block, viewports, and scale, you're ready to plot the drawing.

Go to the Output tab and click on Plot, choose the appropriate plot settings, such as plot area, plot scale, plot style table, and plot destination.

Finally, click OK to plot your drawing.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some questions that we get quite often related to layouts and page setup.

Can I customize the title block?

Yes, you can customize the title block by adding or removing fields and adjusting its layout to suit your requirements.

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If you are absolute beginner of AutoCAD then you can get started right from scratch using this free course.

How do I ensure that my drawing fits within the viewport boundaries?

You can adjust the viewport boundaries by clicking and dragging the grips.

Additionally, you can use the Zoom and Pan commands to position the drawing within the viewport.

What should I do if the plotted drawing doesn't match my layout?

Double-check your plot settings, including plot area, scale, and plot style table.

Ensure that the correct plotter and paper size are selected, and verify that the viewport scale is set correctly.

You can also opt to use the Window plot area style, then you will specify the window boundaries.

If AutoCAD warns you that your drawing is not fitting within the paper, check on the Fit to paper and Center the plot option.


Mastering AutoCAD's page setup in layout or paper space is essential for creating professional-looking drawings.

By understanding how to set the plotter and paper size, add a title block, create viewports, set scale, and plot the drawing, you can efficiently present your designs with precision and clarity.

If you have questions related to this article let me know in the comments down below.

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About the Author

Jaiprakash Pandey is the published author of “Practical AutoCAD book” by Packt publication he is also an Autodesk AutoCAD certified professional and Autodesk expert elite community. He has been delivering CAD training to corporate clients for more than 8 years and his clients include Steel, Power, Automobile industries and also government organizations, fortune 500 companies and the military.

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