One persistent dilemma that has plagued AutoCAD users is how to exchange files between earlier versions of the program, In the past, if you upgraded your AutoCAD, you were locked out from exchanging your drawings with people using earlier versions. Release 12 alleviated this difficulty by making Release12 files compatible. with Rele-a,se 1.1 files.
Using AutoCAD Drawings in Desktop Publishing
Ap you probably know, AutoCAD is a natural for creating line art, and because of its popularity, most desktop-publishing programs are designed to import AutoCAD drawings in one form or another. Those of you who employ desktoppublishing software to generate user manuals or other technical documents will probably want to use AutoCAD drawings in your work. This section will examine ways to output AutoCAD drawings to formats that most desktop-publishing programs can accept.
There are two methods for exporting AutoCAD files to desktop-publishing formats: raster export and vector file export.
Exporting Raster Files
In some cases, you may only need a rough image of your AutoCAD drawing. You can export yourdrawing as a rast-er file that can be read in virtually any desktoppublishing and word-processing program. To do this, you must create a new plotter configuration that plots to an image file instead of an output device. The section called Adding all Output Device in Chapter 7 describes how to the Add-a-Plotter wizard to add a plotter configuration to AutoCAD. Here is some additional information on how to use that wizard to set up AutoCAD for raster file output.
1. On the Begin page of the Add-a-Plotter wizard, choose My Computer.
2. On the Plotter Model page of the Add-a-Plotter wizard, select Raster file formats from the Manufacturers list, then select the type of raster file you want to use from the Models list. For example, you can choose Truevision TGA Version 2 from the list. This is one of the more universal file types.
3. Skip over the Import PCP or PC2 page and the Ports page.
4. Enter a name for your raster output settings on the Plotter Name page.
5. On the Finish page, click the Enter Plotter Configuration button. The Plotter Configuration Editor dialog box appears.
6. Click the Source and Size listing that appears in the large list box in the top of the dialog box. A list of options appears in the Size list box in the 1owerright comer of the dialog box. Select an image size from the list or create a custom size by doing the following steps.
7. Click Custom Paper Sizes from the large list box at the top of the dialog box. The options change in the lower half of the dialog box.
8. Click the Add button. The Custom Paper Size wizard appears.
9. Select the Start from Scratch radio button, then click Next. The Media Bonds page ap~ears.
10. Enter a he ight and width in pixels for your image file, then click Next. The Paper Size Name page appears. Enter a name that best describes the size of the linage-file, then click Next. The File Name page appears.
11. Enter a name for the Plotter Model Parameters file. This is a file that ‘stores specific setting information about the plotter. Click Next when you are done.
12. On the Finish page, click Finish. The Plotter Configuration Editor dialog box reappears. Click OK, then click Finish in the Add-a-Plotter wizard. Once you’ve finished creating a plotter configuration, it appears as a file in the Plotte are subdirectory of the AutoCAD2000 directory. You can access this file through Wmdows Explorer, or from AutoCAD by clicking Files> Piotter Manager. To create a raster file version of your drawing, choose File> Plot, then in the Plot dialog box, choose the Plot Device tab and select your Raster File plotter configuration from the Name drop-down list of the Plotter Configuration group. You can then proceed to plot your drawing.but instead of paper output, you’ll get a raster file.
If you need to make changes to your Raster File configuration, choose File> Plotter Manager, then in the Plotter window, double-click your Raster File configuration file. You will see the same Plotter Configuration Editor you used to set up the raster plotter configuration.
You can set up a different plotter configuration for each type of raster file you use. You can also set up plotter configurations for different resolutions, if you choose. To learn more about plotting· in general, consult Chapter 7. Appendix A offers detailed information on the Plotter Configuration Editor.
Exporting Vector Files
U you need to preserve the accuracy of your drawing, or if you wish to take advantage ofTIUeType or PostScript fonts, you can use either the .dxf, .wmf, or PostScript vector formats. “
For vector format files, .dxf is the easiest to work with, and with TrueType support, dxf can preserve font information between AutoCAD and desktop publishing programs that support the .dxf format. The .wmf, Windows Meta- File, format, is also a commonly accepted file format for vector information, ane it preserves TrueType fonts and line weights that may be used in your drawings PostScript is a raster/vector hybrid file format that autoCAD supports; unfortunately,
AutoCAD has dropped direct PostScript font support since Release 14. However, you can still use substitute fonts to stand in for PostScript fonts. These substitute fonts are converted to true PostScript fonts when AutoCAD exports the drawing. You won’t actually see the true results of your PostScript output until you actually print your drawing out on a PostScript printer.The .dxf file export was covered all the Using the .dxf File Format section of this so this section will concentrate on the .wmf and, PostScript file formats.