Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Fix for non-plotting OLE Objects

OLE, Object Linking and Embedding. I use this occasionally for linking an Excel spreadsheet into an AutoCAD drawing. It’s a simple process to copy a portion or all of a spreadsheet to the Windows clipboard, switch to AutoCAD and use Paste Special found in the Edit menu to paste it as an OLE object. As the name suggests these objects can be embedded (like being inserted) or Embedded (like being referenced).

Either way you may find you have a problem some day when you go to plot your drawing. OLE objects will sometimes not plot even though you see then in the plot preview. As far as I can tell it has something to do with when you use a PC3 file and specify a rotation of the plot, landscape or portrait.

I have been able to work around this problem by browsing my plotter out by its network path instead of using the PC3 file. This works with True View as well as AutoCAD.
I should mention that if you are just having a hard time with OLE objects, another option when you paste special is “AutoCAD Entities”. This option converts the spreadsheet to lines and text. Sometimes the fonts don’t turn out the way you like and it is a static connection, meaning when you update the spreadsheet your AutoCAD drawing does not change, but the AutoCAD entities produced plot just the way you expect them to.

As an update to this article, also verify that you are running the current driver for your plotter. Very important if you have just upgraded to a new version of AutoCAD.
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