Xerox Printers AutoCAD Transparency Update

Recently we had Xerox printers installed and we could not get the transparancy to play nice with the printer, printing a small strip up the side of the page. We have now found a solution to the problem and after installing PS drivers and changing the settings on the driver page under the PC3 we use to the settings noted below all works fine. Thank you to placidrefining for their solution, which can be found on the following page. Whilst they note that this works with a 7970 printer, we have found that it works with our model as well.


I have posted the images below from that post here for reference.





Paperspace hidden by Modelspace Wipeout

One of my colleagues came to me today with this conundrum; the wipeout in modelspace was hiding paperspace objects. This was happening both on the screen and when plotting.

Wipeout Problem

Here you can see that the orange circle is hidden behind the blues lines. The blue lines are in model space and are the frames of the wipeout and the orange circle is in paper space.

When plotting the circle stays behind the blue lines.

The solution to plotting side of things is to ensure Paperspace is plotted last.

Wipeout Check Box

When plotting you can find this option on the right hand side. Check the plot paperspace last box.

Wipeout Solved

Now the plot will show the circle in paperspace above the wipeout in modelspace.

One one drawing I found that if you turn off wipeout frames and back on again the display is corrected, however on another this does not work. In order to turn off wipeout frames type WIPEOUT –> then F –> then OFF and then turn them back on again (WIPEOUT –> F –> ON).


Ultra Large PDF

One of my colleagues created a 7MB PDF from a CAD file today. This in itself is a sure sign that something was wrong with either the PDF or the generation of it. So after crashing Acrobat in an attempt to reduce the file size, I reviewed the PDF to see what might be the issue.

One part of the PDF took a while render in Acrobat which pointed out that the PDF contained something with dense information that was taking a while to load. Usually this is an image or some large single object like that.

Once I reviewed the source I discovered that there was no images attached to the file. So this was not the issue.

A quick Audit revealed 4 errors but this was not the issue either.

So, process of elimination. What is causing the issue. Delete various items from the sheet to see which item is cuasing the issue. I usually start with viewports.

This was done by deleting one at a time and creating a PDF each time. Each time I noted that the PDF was taking ages to generate, which also is a sign that something is not quite right.

Once I found the viewport I could look at that part of the model to see what the issue could be. From experience hatches can be problematic and it turned out that my colleague had created an ultra dense hatch that looked like a solid. Once changed to a solid hatch (which I don’t like, but that’s another story), the file printed file.

Interestingly AutoCAD sometimes pops up a box saying to convert these to solid or increase the scale but it did not do so on this drawing, so don’t rely on that to tell you if there is an issue with ultra-dense hatches.

They Keep Popping Up!

If you, like me have been using AutoCAD for too long, you will find warning messages annoying as you already know from experience something is wrong. For example when plotting a drawing from another company, you will know that the plotter will be set wrong as you don’t have the same plotter! But a nice friendly pop-up says, “this plotter cannot be found”.

So you want to turn them off? Here’s how!

There are three variables in AutoCAD (that I have found) that control pop-ups. First is EXPERT, second is PEDITACCEPT and the third is PLQUIET. I will go into depth on what they do below.


When looking up these variables in the help system, the answer is quite helpful! These are listed below (copyright AutoDesk).


0 Issues all prompts normally.
1 Suppresses “About to regen, proceed?” and “Really want to turn the current layer off?” (-LAYER)
2 Suppresses the preceding prompts and “Block already defined. Redefine it?” (-BLOCK) and “A drawing with this name already exists. Overwrite it?” (SAVE or WBLOCK).
3 Suppresses the preceding prompts and those issued by the LINETYPE Command prompt (-LINETYPE) if you try to load a linetype that’s already loaded or create a new linetype in a file that already defines that linetype.
4 Suppresses the preceding prompts and those issued by UCS Save and VPORTS Save if the name you supply already exists.
5 Suppresses the prompt, “That name is already in Use, redefine it?” issued by the -DIMSTYLE Save option when you supply the name of an existing dimension style. Suppresses the same prompt issued by the -SCALELISTEDIT Add option.

When a prompt is suppressed by EXPERT, the operation in question is performed as though you entered y at the prompt. Note: Setting EXPERT can affect scripts, menu macros, AutoLISP, and the command function.


0 Displays plot dialog boxes and nonfatal errors
1 Logs nonfatal errors and doesn’t display plot-related dialog boxes


0 Displays a prompt that gives you a choice of converting selected objects into polylines
1 Automatically converts selected objects into polylines without a prompt

Plotting in Style

Lineweights and plotting has always been a bit tricky with AutoCAD. Then they added named plot styles and confused it a little further. A while back they added lineweight by layer which really negated the need for plot styles altogether. I have never really understood the use for named plot styles (STB) as they just name a line thickness as “thick” or “road”. But this would be apparent from a decent layer naming system as you have a layer called “road” with the line thickness set in the layers dialogue.

But sometimes someone sends you a drawing using a named plot style without the plotstyle and as its vastly quicker to set up a CTB than a STB (for me anyway) I like to convert them. To do this type CONVERTPSTLYES and then accept the the changes. This is not really an undo-able thing so save before changing!