Creating and managing Plot Styles on Mac

January 5, 2011 in AutoCAD, AutoCAD for Mac, Plot Styles

Here I was, happily using AutoCAD for mac, and I seem to come across problem after problem. This one involving Plot Styles. Up until this moment I hadn’t needed to create or manage my existing plot styles, as I used my existing .ctb files for this (made in AutoCAD for windows). Much to my surprise, and annoyance for that matter, AutoCAD for Mac doesn’t include a Plot Style manager…. That just doesn’t make any sense to me, as that is a very essential tool to correctly plot your drawings.

After searching online for a solution, I found the following workaround, which did the job… although it is what it is: Just a workaround.. So still kind of annoying in my opinion, but the best I could find for now:

Another omission in AutoCAD for Mac is the ability to create and edit CTB files (plot style tables). AutoCAD for Mac still uses plot styles when you plot, but there is no Plot Style Manager with which to change them. One workaround, is to use the free DraftSight program from Dassault/SolidWorks, which does support CTB files.

AutoCAD stores its CTB files in a folder called Plot Styles. Use the Finder to search for this folder. Or start the Print command in AutoCAD (File menu). Select the Advanced button. In the Print-Advanced dialog box that appears, open the drop-down list for Plot Style Table Name and select Reveal in Finder.

If you want to edit an existing AutoCAD for Mac file, copy it to DraftSight’s Print Styles folder:

/Library/Preferences/DraftSight/1.2.119/Print Styles/

Alternatively, you could start with one of DraftSight’s CTB files, make your changes, then Save As to AutoCAD’s Plot Styles folder

Download DraftSight from and install it on your Mac. Select Print from the File menu. In the Print dialog box, select Print Style in the drop-down list beneath the Orientation section.

This worked for me, although I think leaving out such a significant feature was a poor decision. But what do I know…!

Note: I have not installed the first update (released December 17th, 2010), as it would cause AutoCAD to become very unstable, and crashed every couple of minutes. See previous posting. This shouldn’t make a difference though, as the update did not include a Plot Style manager. That feature will probably be added in the next major release…. At least I hope it is.

Update 1: In Autocad 2012 for Mac there should now be a plot style manager. I haven’t had a chance to try out myself, but that is what I heard. If anyone knows more about it, please share!

Update 2: AutoCAD 2012 for Mac now has a Plot Style Table Editor! See this post. No need for an annoying workaround (unless you are still using the 2011 version…)