PCP Files

Plotter configuration settings in both AutoCAD and IntelliCAD control how the drawing will look when it is output to paper or film. It is possible to control pen assignments, plot area, scale, paper size and rotation of the drawing on paper. Although AutoCAD 'remembers' the previous settings when you go to plot, specifying configurations each time that you want to plot can be time consuming. Autodesk therefore introduced a facility for automating the setup of the drawing just prior to plotting - PCP files. These Plotter Configuration Files (PCP) can be used to simplify the plotting process.

As far as plotting goes, there are two cases to consider:

1. Where you have a single plotter, but you want to make that plotter perform differently for different jobs (plots)

2. Where you may have several plotters available and you want to send plots to different plotters which will have different requirements.

Re case 1. above, a single PCP file can contain information for a given plotter. Loading a PCP file changes the configuration but does not change the current device. It follows that it is a good idea to use a naming convention something like HPDesignJet.PCP or CAlComp.PCP.  

Re case 2. above. Use a PC2 file when you want to change devices. A PC2 file contains both device independent and device dependent settings. Loading a PC2 file changes the current device as well as its configuration.

AutoCAD 2000

With multiple paper space layouts, you can now set up and save several plot configurations for each drawing. Each layout is associated with an output device and page setup. The tasks performed by plot configuration files (PCP and PC2 files) have been split between plot configuration files (PC3 files) and plot style tables (CTB and STB files). Plot style tables control pen assignments, line weight, and other plotted properties of an object. Color-dependent plot style tables maintain the relationship between color and an object's plotted appearance. If you used pen assignments to control line weight in previous versions of AutoCAD LT, you can import those settings to create a color-dependent plot style table.

Named plot style tables remove the relationship between color and plotted line weight. You now can assign a plot style to an object to control the object's plotted line weight and color. Using named plot style tables, you can plot color-for-color.

With the new modularized plotting components, you can customize each part of the plotting process, import configurations used in previous versions, and share layouts and configurations with others to ensure consistent results when plotting.

AutoCAD LT 2000

AutoCAD LT stores information about the media and plotting device in a plotter configuration (PC3) file in the AutoCAD LT 2000\Plotters folder. Plot configurations are portable and can be shared in an office or on a project.

You can configure AutoCAD LT for many devices, and store multiple configurations for a single device. Each plotter configuration contains information such as the device driver and model, the output port to which the device is connected, and various device-specific settings. You can create several PC3 files with different output options for the same plotter. After you create a PC3 file, it's available in the list of plotter configurations on the Plot Device tab.