Are you feeling the itch to create your plot style in CAD? Scratch that itch now. Let me teach you how.

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. By the end of this post you should have learned how to create and import a plot style. Follow along.

Create a Plot Style

  1. Command “plot” or press CTRL+P in AutoCAD®
  2. Click the drop-down menu under the Plot style table (pen assignment) in the “Plot-Model” dialog, then choose “New…”

  3. Choose Start from scratch in the Add Color-Dependent Plot Style Table wizard, Begin page.
  4. In the File Name page, enter A1_MFS (you can specify a preferred name, but we’ll use A1_MFS for this tutorial). Click “Next.”

  5. On the Finish page, click the “Plot Style Table Editor..”

  6. In the Plot Style Table Editor – A1_MFS, Form View tab, select Color 1 (red) under Plot styles. In the Properties, choose Black from the drop-down menu of Color, and choose 0.1000 mm from the drop-down menu of Lineweigths.

  7. Repeating step 6, assign the lineweight on these colors (i) color 2 (yellow) – 0.2000 mm, (ii) color 3 (green) – 0.3000 mm, (iv) color 4 (cyan) – 0.4000 mm, (v) color 5 (blue) – 0.5000 mm, (vi) color 6 (magenta) – 0.6000 mm, (vii) color 7 (white) – 0.8000 mm, and (viii) color 8 (gray) – 0.1000 mm.
  8. We will choose “Use Object Color” and 0.1000 mm lineweight for the other colors. Again in the Form View tab, under Plot style, select Color 9. Scroll down until you reach Color 255. Press the SHIFT key, then click Color 255 to highlight the Color 9 up to Color 255. 
  9. In the Properties, choose “Use object color” from the drop-down menu of Color, then select 0.1000 mm from the drop-down menu of Lineweights.

  10. Click “Save & Close.”
  11. Click “Finish” on the Finish page of Add Color-Dependent Plot Style Table wizard.

    You should now see the A1_MFS in the Plot style table (pen assignment) drop-down menu under “Plot-Mode” dialog. Click “OK” or “Cancel” to close it.

Good job! You now know how to create a plot style that you can adapt to your CAD standards.


You may have noticed that I only used eight colors to create the plot style. I prefer to do it that way because it is easier to recall and manage.

Store the plot style in your CAD library

It is essential to have a copy of the plot style as a backup if you need to reinstall or reformat your computer or in cases when you need to share it with your colleague. In AutoCAD®, command “stylesmanager.” The Plot Style window will appear. Select the plot style you want to backup, then copy and paste it to your CAD library. If you have downloaded our FREE CAD library folder structure, you should paste the file at CAD Library/Plotters/Plot Styles.



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Import a Plot Style to your CAD program

If you are in a situation where you want to print a colleague’s drawing that has a different plot style than what you are currently using, ask for the plot style (.ctb) file, then follow these instructions:

  1. From your computer, locate the plot style of your colleague. Select it, then press CTRL+C to copy.
  2. In AutoCAD®, command “stylesmanager.” 
  3. In the Plot Style window, press CTRL+V to paste the plot style. Close the window.
  4. Command “plot” or CTRL+P in AutoCAD®. From the drop-down menu under the Plot style table (pen assignment), you should see the plot style that you’re colleague sent you. 
  5. Click “Cancel” to close the window.

There you have it! Glad to be of help, Architect.

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