Saving Paper in CAD Office

1. AutoCAD

Setting printing preferences for wide paper plotters is important. Check each plotter’s settings: right click on printer name in Printers and Faxes folder, Select Printing Preferences… and in Advanced tab check Autorotate.

If checked, the driver is authorized to rotate a portrait drawing by 90 degrees in order to save roll paper.

Now you shouldn’t have wrong orientation problem when printing large sheets (e.g. size D or E) from AutoCAD or Adobe Acrobat. In AutoCAD though you still may face the problem when landscape oriented sheets printed with portrait orientation and need manually cut out extra paper. How to solve this problem? If you are printing, for instance size D landscape drawing (36” wide x 24” high), better to have the same size and orientation paper available for current plotter (see Fig. 2).

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

If not available, you can define custom paper size


in Plotter Configuration Editor accessible from Plot dialog window – button Properties…

Then click on Custom Properties, enter 36 for Width, Height equal 24 and press OK.

Finally Save as… new plotter configuration.

What else you can do in AutoCAD? We are loosing a lot of paper due to wrong linetype scale setting (dashed lines printed as continuous). The following link describes how to resolve this issue and other aspects of linetype scale handling in AutoCAD:

2. MS Word

Multi-page Word documents can be printed with 50% saving of paper by using 2 pages option selected from Pages per sheet in Print dialog window.


Normally the 2 times smaller font text is quite readable. This method can be used for instance for check-prints or one-time reading documents.

Double-side printing is another way of saving paper in MS Word or other applications. Before you send the document to printer change the printing preferences as shown or similar to shown below:

 3. Acrobat Reader

In Acrobat Reader there is not well-known option in Print dialog window allowing to save paper - Print Current View (available for single page PDF). By choosing this option you can print for instance Letter size part of the drawing instead of printing whole 36x24 or 36x48 sheet.


Alex Borodulin 8/6/10