Pen Mappings

This Tech Tip explains how to use pen mappings

Using Pen Mappings
Pen mappings are available when printing a drawing.

File Menu › Print


Once the printer has been selected, click on the print button to continue.


This function allows you to use a printer such as an inkjet or laser printer as though it was a pen plotter. It does this by letting you to map each colour on the screen to a different line width on the printer. For example you could make red lines print at 0.3 mm, green lines print at 0.7 mm etc.

The Pen Width Mappings dialog box will be displayed.


The pens are listed on the left hand side of the box and are numbered from 0 to 15. 1 is the top colour in the Colour Toolbar at the right of the screen and 15 is the bottom colour. Click on a pen you want to assign a width to. The pen's number appears in the Edit part of the dialog box. Type a width into the white part of the dialog box. Widths are measured in mm.


Then click on another pen you want to assign a width to. The width associated with the first pen you edited appears next to that pen's number in the dialog box, and the second pen's number appears in the Edit area. Assign a width to the second pen and repeat until you have assigned a width to each pen. Then click on OK.


Pen mappings only affect lines without a specified line width. For example, say you map the red pen to print at 0.3 mm. If there is a red line on the drawing that you have given a width of 0.7 mm using the Line Defaults dialog box, then that red line will print at 0.7 mm even though you have mapped the red pen to print at 0.3 mm.

This function is very useful for thickening dimension witness lines which often print very faintly on modern high resolution inkjet printers. To thicken witness lines, set aside one colour and draw all your witness lines in that colour. Then map that colour to the desired thickness.

Printer Profile
You can save the settings in the Printer Defaults dialog box under a user-defined name. These saved settings are called Printer Profiles and allow you to quickly change settings for outputting different drawings or outputting to different printers.

To choose a saved Printer Profile, select the profile you want to use from the Printer Profile selection box.

To save a Printer Profile, click on the New button. The Printer Profile selection box changes to NewProfile. Overtype the word NewProfile with a name for the profile you want to save. Set X and Y Offset, Maximum and Minimum Pen, Use Plotter Arcs / Make Arcs from Lines, Scale Hatch, Scale Fat Lines, All Colours to Black and Pen Mappings as desired. Then click on the Save button.

To delete a saved Printer Profile, select the profile you want to delete from the Printer Profile selection box and click on the Delete button.

Printer Profiles are stored in the CAD.INI file in your User Home directory.


The various printer profiles are listed in the drop down.




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