Automating Plot with Macros

I'm attempting to take a load of work off of my back by creating an
automated print macro for our drafting department. Our current
workflow requires that we produce a PDF copy of every drawing we
generate - as well as a hardcopy. We are using AutoCAD 2008 along with
Adobe Acrobat 3D Version 8. Thus far, it has been the job of a single
person (me) to convert every drawing to PDF; I would like to simplify
the process. I currently have custom page setups for each of the sizes
we use; which I import for every drawing (very time consuming). I can
not save my custom page setups to the individual DWG files as they are
write protected. My idea is to create a custom toolbar with "A", "B",
"C", "D" buttons on it, linked to these buttons would be a macro that
loads the plot settings for that size drawing and then executes the
plot to PDF. Ideally the plot would be seamless (no dialog boxes). As
an added twist I would also like (if possible) to send the plot to a
laser printer at the same time. In a perfect world I would be able to
print a hardcopy from the newly created PDF, this is because prints
from PDF look much better than DWG's when they are reduced in size (we
print B, C & D sizes all on B size paper). I realize that generating a
hardcopy from a PDF is more of an Acrobat issue that an AutoCAD issue.
I can live with having to generate hard copies separately; the
automation process is the most important goal for now. Does anyone
know if this is possible? Would it be best handled with LISP or VBA? I
have no knowledge of LISP and have only used VBA in Office with the
aid of a Macro recorder. Furthermore, Joe Sutphin was kind enough to
send me a copy of his VBA macro recorder to experiment with; results
to follow. Any advice you can provide will be appreciated. Paul
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Do you use the layout tabs (paper space)? That is where you are supposed to plot from in AutoCAD. If you are using the layout tabs and the version of Acrobat loaded a Windows PDF printer then you can configure a template with all the appropriate paper size layouts and those layouts can have page setups to print right to a PDF file. A custom tool button can be made to run a script or lisp that will print to a specific page setup. I don't know much VBA, but I'm sure someone out there or consultant on the internet could write you a routine to plot the current drawing or drawings using the print tools you set up. If you are not using layouts or paper space then you need to get up to speed with those concepts to be able to utilize all the plotting tools in AutoCAD. Most of them are geared to drawings set up that way.
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Thanks Daryl, but I'm more than familiar with Paper Space, however my company does not, and will not use it. Everything is done from Model Space. They are creating manufacturing drawings for products that are smaller than the border size. I tried to institute the Paper Space concept when 2000i was released and I was shot down. Also, I do not set the CAD standards for the drafting dept., rather I work in support of various departments. Paul
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