Have you experienced doing a project that requires you to submit the drawings printed on a paper that is not a standard size? I bet you do.

Regardless of the unit of measurement you use, we can do nothing but comply when the local government requires a different paper size for the drawings. The good thing is that we can easily create a custom paper size in CAD. By the end of this post, you will learn how to create a custom paper size to suit your needs. For this instance, we will make a 20″ x 30″ paper – a paper size still widely used here in the Philippines.

The software I used to derive the steps is Autodesk AutoCAD LT 2023. There might be variations in the user interface on earlier versions and other CAD software like ZWCAD®. Still, the steps are more or less the same. Follow along.

Modify a Plotter Configuration (.pc3) file (.pc5 in case you are using ZWCAD® or other CAD software)

  1. Open AutoCAD® on your computer, then command “plottermanager.”
  2. In the pop-up window “Plotter Manager,” select the plotter configuration file (.pc3) you want to modify. You may choose whichever you want, but for this tutorial, we will modify the DWG To PDF.pc3. Select DWG To PDF.pc3, then double click to Open.

  3. In the Plotter Configuration Editor – DWG To PDF.pc3 dialog, go over the Device and Document Settings tab.
  4. Select Custom Paper Sizes under User-defined Paper Sizes & Calibration.
  5. Under Custom Paper Sizes, click “Add..” We will create a 20″ X 30″ landscape paper using an existing paper size.
  6. In Custom Paper Size wizard, Begin page, click “Use existing.” From the drop-down menu, select ANSI A (11.00 x 8.50 Inches), then click Next.
  7. On the Media Bounds page, under Width, enter 30. Under Height, enter 20. Under units, select “Inches.” Click Next.

  8. On the Printable Area page, enter 0 on the Top, Bottom, Left, and Right margins. Click Next.

  9. On the Paper Size Name page, enter 20 x 30 Inches Landscape. Click Next.

  10. On the File name page, enter DWG To PDF Custom. Click Next.
  11. Click Finish. You should now see the 20 x 30 Inches Landscape under the Custom Paper Sizes.
  12. Click OK.


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Page setup

Next is to set up the custom paper size into the layout tab (paper space) so you can use it when plotting. 

  1. In AutoCAD®, click the Layout1 tab to activate the paper space. Point your cursor to the Layout1 tab, press right-click, and select Page Setup Manager.
  2. In the Page Setup Manager dialog under Page setups, select Layout1, then click “Modify..”
  3. In the Page Setup – Layout 1 wizard, select DWG To PDF under Printer/Plotter Name.
  4. Under the Paper size drop-down menu, scroll down until you see the 20 x 30 Inches Landscape that we created. Select it as the paper size (all custom paper sizes you made are at the bottom of the selection list).
  5. Under the Drawing orientation, choose Landscape.
  6. Modify all other settings (plot style table, plot area, plot offset, and plot scale), then click OK.

You should now see the paper size in the layout tab changed to the custom paper size we created. Similarly, every time you enter the command “plot” or “CTRL+P” on any drawing, you should see the custom paper in the Paper size selection list (you should select DWG TO PDF.pc3 first as the Printer/plotter Name). You can now proceed with loading your sheet file into the layout.

Our store has sheet template products complete with sheet files in the layout tab. We made the sheet files as an external reference to the template, so when changes occur in the sheet files, they will reflect automatically to the sheet template. The plotter configuration file (.pc3 or .pc5) comes with the product, so you don’t have to break a sweat creating the custom paper sizes for the template. Check them out here

If you want to learn how to automatically create a sheet in the layout tab using a drawing template, read the tutorial here.


Good job! You now know how to create a custom paper size. You may add as many as you like in the same manner. So the next time you encounter a rather weird paper size, you know what to do. 

Got a better idea or suggestions? Leave a comment below.

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