Original Article Date: July 9, 2002
Tired of calculating plot factors when plotting metric files with printer.plt?
When using printer.plt MicroStation will use the installed device driver for generating plots. In turn, these device drivers are using the measurement system as defined by your operating system to calculate plot sizes. This is evident in the Plot Layout dialog as shown below.
Now, to overcome this, alot of users calculate plot factors to handle the conversion. For example: There are 2.54 cm/inch which is the same as 25.4mm/inch or 0.0254m/inch.Knowing that at a scale of 1:1 - 0.0254 meters in the file will equal one inch on the plotter, you simply multiply the output drawing scale by 0.0254m/inch in order to determine the plot factor:
Output Scale
Plot Factor
1 : 100
2.540 m / inch
1 : 50
1.270 m / inch
1 : 25
0.635 m / inch
The resulting plot factor would then be entered in the Scale to <__> MU:SU/IN field in the Plot Layout dialog.
An alternate method of getting your metric plots off (without having to do any math) is to adjust the measurement system on your computer. This setting is found in your Regional Settings dialog which you can access via the Control Panel. Please note that each Windows operating system has slightly different dialogs and the one shown below is from Windows XP-Pro.
In any event, once the change has been made it'll be evident in the Plot Layout dialog.
You can now easily calculate the number of master units (m) in the file to be plotted per mm paper as follows:1: 5,000 means that 1mm on the plot represents 5,000mm on the ground. Thus to calculate the plot factor use the following cartographic scale formula where:Scale Factor = Map Distance / Ground DistancePlot Scale = Scale Factor x (Master Unit / Plotter Units)For example: The plot factor for a 1:5000 is calculated by:5000 x (1m/1000mm)= 5You would then enter the value of 5 in the Scale to <__> MU:SU/IN field in the Plot Layout dialog.(Basically ya just lop off the last three zeros of your output plot scale...that's it!)AskInga Article #110