Although imperial measurements remain the prevalent standard in the U.S., a growing number of projects are indeed utilizing metric measurements. This combination of both imperial and metric measurements creates a unique challenge for many architects and engineers. After all we’re taught paper space (layouts) should always be 1:1, yet using a standard imperial paper size like Arch D (24 in x 36 in) will yield a layout of about 0.94 x 1.41 units – not the intended result.

So the question remains, how do you plot a metric drawing using a standard imperial paper size such as Arch D (24 in x 36 in)?

  1. Open the Page Setup Manager; right-click on layout tab, Application Menu > Print > Page Setup.
  2. Create a new named page setup by clicking New.
  3. Give your page setup a name and click OK. In this example I’ll use Arch D Metric
    NewPageSetup NewPageSetup thumb
  4. Configure the Page Setup dialog just as you would for a “normal” imperial plot.
    Select plotter, paper size, etc.
    SelectPlotterPaper SelectPlotterPaper thumb
  5. Within the Plot Scale portion of the Page Setup dialog, click the drop-down list that currently reads inches, and click mm.
    ChooseUnits ChooseUnits thumb
  6. Verify the Plot Scale is 1:1, and the preview updates to display the dimensions of the selected paper size in millimeters not inches (914 mm x 610 mm in the example of an Arch D 36 in x 24 in drawing sheet). Click OK to save the page setup.
    FinalPageSetup FinalPageSetup thumb

The most important part to the above process is changing from inches to mm within the Plot Scale portion of the dialog. Doing this will make it so you can plot to a 24 in x 36 in piece of paper, but more importantly – select actual Metric scales for your viewports.