AutoCAD 2010/2011/2012

AutoCAD 2010/2011/2012

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Registered: ‎06-27-2012
Post 1 of 4

Scale on a printed PDF file not matching the plotted scale

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06-27-2012 02:41 PM

Hello All,  


We have recently noticed that after printing a PDF of a drawing I plotted from AutoCAD we are coming up with differences when we double check the scale on the printed hardcopy using a carpenter ruler.  


For example, there is a dimension labeled on the drawing of 200 ft.  However, if I try to scale this out with a carpenter's ruler at the drawing was set to (say for instance it is 1 inch = 100 ft) I am coming up short of the  2 inches it should be (typically come up around an 1-15/16" or around 194 feet, approx 97% of the correct amount).


I have researched this problem and have tried several of the solutions mentioned with no avail.


Here is some background information and different things I have tried to resolve the issue:


In the Page Setup Manager in AutoCAD, I have the following options selected (see the print screen as well):


Printer/plotter selected: DWG to PDF.pc3

Paper Size:  ANSI full bleed B (11.00 x 17.00 Inches)

What to Plot:  Layout

I don't have a plot scale scale other than the default 1" = 1'

No plot style selected


Page Setup Manager.png


Then, on the print menu when I open the PDF that I have exported from AutoCAD, I have the following settings (see the print screens I have attached):


Printer:  The printer I use (Konica Minolta c650 Series PCL)

And I have selected the Options "Auto Rotate and Center" and "Choose paper source by PDF page size**"


Print Menu.png

** Note, that I have tried unselecting the "Choose paper source by PDF page size" option and accordingly changed the paper size in the "Page Setup..." button at the btoom to match the document size (i.e. 11.0 x 17.0in) and it gets the difference to be closer (i.e. I now get 198 ft but some of my border gets cut off).  See the print screen below for this a print screen of the print menu and sub-menu of Page Setup showing the paper size selected.  


Print Menu - Page Setup.png



I guess I am at a loss and really need some help.  I saw that some people in other forums state that there is no real solution when trying to scale off of PDF's and that there should be a disclaimer saying as much if you are to send the file out to a customer who may rely on doing some in the field scaling from the printed copy of the PDF file.  I find it hard to believe there is no solution as we have received some drawings from others whom the scaling works just fine. 


Thank you for your time!

*Expert Elite*
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Post 2 of 4

Re: Scale on a printed PDF file not matching the plotted scale

06-28-2012 02:16 AM in reply to: JerryBridges



can you upload this PDF (that you created with that settings you showed).


If you want to have it scaled correctly, then print directly from AutoCAD to your printer, don't use the PDF-round-trip.


If you want to create a PDF to mail it to someone else you should always be prepared that the output may not be correctly scaled as in most cases the PDF-viewers scale the PDF to the printable size (not the page format, just the printable area). So a mark similar to "not scaled correctly because PDF" :smileywink: may be always a solution as you don't know how your receptient of the PDF uses as print-settings.


It's also important what PDF-viewer you use to print the PDF.


- alfred -

Ingenieur Studio HOLLAUS ...
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Post 3 of 4

Re: Scale on a printed PDF file not matching the plotted scale

06-28-2012 10:54 AM in reply to: Alfred.NESWADBA



Thank you for the response.  


I have attached the file as you requested, but also think I somewhat had it figured out previously and just didn't know it.


I did as you said and plotted the file straight to the printer rather than printing it off a the PDF.  This does correct the scaling issue I was having, however, this does not allow me to be able to send an accurately scaled drawing out (unless they have AutoCAD and can plot it themselves), without putting the disclaimer that it won't scale properly (as you mentioned).  


After doing the above, I realized that the previous method of unselecting the "Choose paper source by PDF size" produced the same result as plotting it straight to the printer (I had just mistakenly thought it was not scaling properly as it appeared to be a fraction of an inch (i.e. less than 1/32" off).  


In other words, I think the answer is to just unselct the "Choose paper source by PDF size" option and select the size of paper in the Page Setup menu and it scales it appropriately even plotting it to PDF.  


Thanks again for your response and helping me with this.  

*Expert Elite*
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Registered: ‎11-06-2003
Post 4 of 4

Re: Scale on a printed PDF file not matching the plotted scale

06-29-2012 06:59 AM in reply to: JerryBridges

When printing with PDF in any PDF viewer/reader, the most ciritical setting is actually this one (see screenshot).

Having a printer capable of printing the size PDF is also critical, you posted a 12x18 sheet and that's something not a lot of 11x17 printers can handle for example (and will crop or scale down).


So you have multiple issues going on that can contribute to failure.

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