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HP Printers (HP-GL/2) - AutoCAD 12 Installation and Configuration in DOS and Windows

What is the Autocad Release 12 Driver for HP printers?
This driver is for AutoCAD Release 12, enabling users to produce successful plots from CAD drawings on the HP printers and printers listed below. References in this guide to "the printer" mean any device from this list, including the HP LaserJet III and IV printers.
  • This driver is an ADI (AutoDesk Device Interface) driver.
  • For use with protected-mode DOS 386 AutoCAD Release 12.
  • This driver uses the HP-GL/2 and HP RTL graphics languages.
The driver supports:
Inkjet printers
  • HP Designjet Series printers
  • HP Paintjet XL300 printers in HP-GL/2 mode
Pen printers
  • HP DraftMaster Series printers
  • HP DraftPro Plus printers
Laser printers
  • HP LaserJet III printers in HP-GL/2 mode
  • HP LaserJet IV printers in HP-GL/2 mode
Installing and configuring the driver
Installing the driver software
This has already been performed, as this file (HP_R12.DOC) is made available as part of the installation routine. However, when installing the software, the choice of not to allow the installation routine to automatically edit a number of files may have been made, which means the individual performs the process. Here are details of those files for editing. Use an ASCII editor (for example., EDIT in DOS 5.0) rather than a word processor.
Editing ACAD.ADS
The ADS application is required to support this driver. Editing ACAD.ADS tells AutoCAD to load it automatically. ACAD.ADS is usually in the \ACAD subdirectory. Add HPMPLOT.EXP to the list, with its full pathname. For example:
  • ACADAPP
  • C:\ACAD\DRV\HPGL2\HPMPLOT.EXP
If the installation has limited RAM, an alternative is to edit the file ACADR12.LSP. This is usually in the \ACAD\SUPPORT subdirectory. Add HPMPLOT, HPCONFIG and HPRENDER to the autoxload function. For example:
  • AUTOXLOAD "C:\ACAD\DRV\HP\HPMPLOT"
  • "HPMPLOT" "HPCONFIG" "HPRENDER"
Editing Environment Variables
Modify the SET ACADDRV and SET RHPADI statements which set these two environment variables.
  1. Find the SET ACADDRV statement. It will be either in the batch file that starts AutoCAD (default ACADR12.BAT) or in AUTOEXEC.BAT in the root directory of the boot drive. It must occur only once.
  2. Modify the SET ACADDRV statement to include the path containing the HP-GL/2 drivers just installed. Path names are separated by semi-colons. For example: SET ACADDRV=C:\ACAD\DRV;C:\ACAD\DRV\HPGL2
  3. If a SET RHPADI statement exists in the same file, edit it so that the argument is the RHPRTL.EXP filename and pathname. If not, add a new SET RHPADI statement. For example: SET RHPADI=C:\ACAD\DRV\HPGL2\RHPRTL.EXP
Editing ACAD.MNU (Optional)
The driver installation made available three new AutoCAD commands:
  • HPCONFIG
  • HPRENDER
  • HPMPLOT
Add these to the options available in AutoCAD's pull-down menus by editing the AutoCAD menu file (by default, ACAD.MNU). For details, see the AutoCAD Customization Manual for Release 12.
The following example adds all three new commands to the File pull-down menu in ACAD.MNU. (New lines are marked "Add.")
Menu Code
Existing/Add
***POP1
Existing
[File]
Existing
[New...]^C^C_new
Existing
[Open...]^C^C_open
Existing
[Save...]^C^C_qsave
Existing
[Save As...]^C^C_saveas
Existing
[Recover...]^C^C_recover
Existing
[--]
Existing
[Plot...]^C^C_plot
Existing
[Applications...]^c^cappload
Existing
[--]
Add
[Configure HP Printer]^c^chpconfig;
Add
[Render to Hardcopy]^c^chprender;
Add
[Merge Render with Plot]^c^chpmplot;
Add
[--]
Existing
[About AutoCAD...]^C^C
Existing
(balance of pull-down menu 1 not shown)
Modification of AutoCAD's PLOT command may be necessary to first run HPCONFIG in order to edit the comment field in the Annotations dialog box. For example:
[Plot...]^C^Chpconfig;_plot; Modify
Configuring the Software
  note:
The commands CONFIG and HPCONFIG, explained in this task, are not commands at the DOS prompt, but commands, or menu options, within AutoCAD.
Overview
CONFIG AND HPCONFIG
The terminology in AutoCAD's CONFIG menus assumes the adding, configuring, or deleting of "printers." What is received from HP is a single driver which provides access to many printer models, as well as to the HP LaserJet III and 4 printers. For the purposes of the list of available "printers" in AutoCAD's CONFIG menu, HP calls this driver:
!! HP-GL/2 ADI 4.2 v 2.3 by Hewlett-Packard
For each supported printer model, the driver software contains a file with an extension .CFG, for example DPROPLUS.CFG for the HP DraftPro Plus printer. This contains the default configuration for sending plots from AutoCAD Release 12 to that printer.
Select these .CFG files in the first dialog box of the HPCONFIG command, which is available as a command in AutoCAD. A detailed explanation of all the dialog boxes in the HPCONFIG command is located in "HPCONFIG field-by-field" in section 5.
To plot a drawing using any of these configurations, select or create them in HPCONFIG and also add them in CONFIG. So CONFIG is used twice -- to add the driver in the first place, and then to add each printer configuration, although CONFIG calls them both "printers".
Step 1: Select a printer in HPCONFIG
If using several HP printer models, just select one of them at this stage.
  1. Start AutoCAD.
  2. At the command line, enter: HPCONFIG
  3. In the HP Printer Configuration dialog box which appears, scroll through the list of configuration files until finding the one for the printer model in use.
    For example, for the HP DraftPro Plus printer, select DPROPLUS.CFG.
    When selecting a .CFG file, that printer's full name appears in the Printer field at the top of the dialog box.
  4. At this stage, do not customize anything else in HPCONFIG (its features are explained in "HPCONFIG field-by-field" in section 5). Just select: OK
  5. In the "Save Attributes File Name" dialog box, select: OK
Step 2: Add the printer in CONFIG
  1. At the command line, enter: CONFIG
  2. From the Configuration Menu, select: 5. Configure printer
  3. From the Printer Configuration Menu, select: 1. Add a printer
  4. From the list of available "printers" (they are actually drivers), select : !! HP-GL/2 ADI 4.2 v2.3 by Hewlett-Packard
  5. At the question Is the printer connected to a serial or parallel port?, enter:
    S (for serial)
    Or
    P (for parallel)
    If in doubt, refer to the setup instructions in the printer documentation and to the PC manual.
    (For HP Designjet 200 and 220 printers only)
    At the prompt, Please specify if the Designjet200 is connected directly to the PC or to a network, or a similar message, enter:
    1 (for a direct connection)
    Or
    2 (for a network connection)
    If the HP Designjet 200 or 220 printer is connected directly, seeing the printer status information in HPCONFIG at plot time is possible. See under "HPCONFIG field-by-field" in section 5.
      note:
    Later on, if physically changing the connection type, run CONFIG again to update it.
  6. At the prompt, Enter the port name, enter:
    for example, COM1 for a serial port
    for example, LPT1 for a parallel port
    If in doubt, refer to the PC manual.
  7. AutoCAD then displays the default configuration for the driver. Customize this later, and so at the question, Do you want to change anything?, enter: N
  8. At the prompt, Enter a description for this printer, whatever entered will become available as a printer when subsequently using PLOT or CONFIG. So enter, for example:
    HP Designjet 220 on LPT2, or
    HP Designjet 650C on LPT1, or
    HP DraftPro Plus for mechanical drawing, or
    Printer in the drawing office
    Do not leave the description blank.
  9. To exit CONFIG, saving the changes:
    At the Printer Configuration Menu, press ENTER At the Configuration Menu, press ENTER
    At the prompt, Keep configuration changes?, press ENTER
Step 3: Test the printer configuration in Plot
  1. Make sure that media is loaded in the printer.
  2. Open a simple drawing in AutoCAD. There are many .DWG files to choose from in /SAMPLE.
  3. At the command line, enter: PLOT
  4. In the Plot Configuration dialog box, select Device and Default Selection.
  5. In the dialog box which appears, select the printer just added in CONFIG.
  6. Select: OK
  7. In the Plot Configuration dialog box, check that:
    • the "Paper Size" matches the loaded media, and
    • the scale (under "Rotation and Origin") is what is wanted.
  8. Select: OK
    Plot the drawing on the printer using the default .CFG file selected in HPCONFIG.
    If no Plot Appears at all, then there is a problem with the interface between printer and PC -- either the cable connection itself or the interface settings. To check either, refer to the setup instructions in the printer's documentation. Was the correct interface port selected in CONFIG (in Step 2 above)?
    If the content, scale, or position of the plot is not as expected, then customize the configuration -- see Step 4 next.
Step 4 (Optional): Customize the configuration in HPCONFIG
Procedures performed in Steps 1 through 3 made available to AutoCAD the default configuration for the HP printer model selected. For example:
  • CFG for an HP DraftPro Plus printer
  • CFG for an HP Designjet600 printer
Creating and testing a customized configuration
  1. At the command line, enter: HPCONFIG
  2. In the HP Printer Configuration dialog box, the name of current default configuration is displayed at the top. To base a customized configuration on a different one, scroll through the list of configuration files, select the appropriate one.
  3. Access to all the configuration features of HPCONFIG are made from this same dialog box. They are all explained in detail in "HPCONFIG field-by-field" in section 5. Change whatever is appropriate.
    For example, to change the pen settings and fill attributes so that they are suitable for plans of building exteriors, select PENS and make the necessary changes. Notice that a Help button is available in each dialog box.
  4. When finished the changes, select: OK
  5. The next dialog box asks to name the .CFG file for the new configuration: for example, EXTERIOR (maximum eight characters)(don't include the .CFG extension)
  6. Now add this printer configuration in CONFIG, as explained in Step 2 above. Notice that the default .CFG file is the one just created. At the prompt Enter a description for this printer, enter something suitable for the customized configuration (e.g., Configuration for exteriors).
  7. To exit CONFIG, saving the changes:
    • At the Printer Configuration Menu, press ENTER
    • At the Configuration Menu, press ENTER
    • At the prompt Keep configuration changes?, press ENTER
  8. Test the new configuration by plotting a drawing, as explained in Step 3 above. In the Device and Default Selection dialog box, select the configuration just added in CONFIG.
Creating different configurations for the same printer
Using the procedure explained above, creating any number of different configurations for the same printer is possible. For example, one for exteriors, one for interiors; one for drafts, one for final copies; one for landscape plots, one for portrait plots, and etc.
Remember:
  • Always save the configuration with a unique .CFG filename when exiting HPCONFIG.
  • Always add the new configuration in CONFIG, as though it were a different printer.
  • Always choose a suitable description in CONFIG so to enable the selection of a configuration at plot time:
Creating different configurations for different printers
The principle is the same as creating different configurations for the same printer. In this case, though, ensure starting from the correct default HPCONFIG (.CFG) file for each printer:
  • DJET220.CFG for an HP Designjet 220 printer
  • DNJ650C.CFG for an HP Designjet 650C printer
  • DPROPLUS.CFG for an HP DraftPro Plus printer
Restoring the previous configuration
The previous version of a .CFG file is always available as a .BAK file. So, if overwriting an HPCONFIG configuration by mistake, just rename the .BAK file to a .CFG file in DOS, and it becomes available in HPCONFIG.
For example, imagine creating a customized configuration and called it TEST.CFG, and then changed something and saved the change by mistake. To recover the old version:
  1. Exit from AutoCAD to DOS.
  2. Enter: CD\ACADR12\DRV\HPGL2
    REN TEST.BAK TEST1.CFG
  3. Restart AutoCAD.
  4. Enter HPCONFIG.
  5. Among the configuration files would be:
    • CFG (the changed configuration)
    • CFG (the original configuration)
Configuring the Printer
General points
  • As a general rule, any feature switched ON the printer overrides any equivalent setting in AutoCAD. For example, in Inkjet printers, if Merge (or Merge Control) is set to ON, then this overrides whatever is set in AutoCAD via HPCONFIG's Pens dialog box.
  • The plotting area available (media size minus margins) varies with the printer because the margins vary. For a specification of margins and plotting areas, see each printer's User's Guide, or the notes below.
  • The information given here is a reminder of some important items specific to some printer models and relevant to users of AutoCAD Release 12.
HP Designjet, Designjet 600, and 650C printers
  • For best performance, choose a parallel interface. Serial is also available.
  • To check or reconfigure any of the following, use the Pen Settings menu on the printer's front panel:
    [Rotate & Mirror is located under the Page Format menu. Find Merge & Pen settings under Pen Settings... cr]
    • Rotate
    • Mirror
    • Merge
    • Pen settings: width, density (shade)
      note:
    To use AutoCAD's pen settings, make certain the printer’s Pen Settings / Palette menu are on "software;" otherwise, the settings on the printer's front panel will be used.
  • With the Model B of the HP Designjet 650C (product numbers C2858B or C2859B), experiment with the appearance of color vector plots by switching between the two "halftoning" options. For details, see under "HPCONFIG Field-by-Field" in Section 5.
  • Produce long-axis plots with an HP Designjet, Designjet 600 or 650C printer.
  • The HP Designjet, Designjet 600 and 650C printers have an optional expanded mode (Expanded in Page Format / Margins). Use this only for roll media.
  • Recommended plotting areas. The table below lists the correct plotting areas you should set in AutoCAD Release 12 for standard media sizes. Set these as USER sizes in the "Size..." dialog box, accessible from the "Plot Configuration" dialog box. Using these sizes ensures optimal media savings when using the printer's nesting feature. If standard sizes are not required, set Page Format / Size to Inked Area for best results.
  • The printer's front panel menu tells the maximum x and y values for the sheet that is currently loaded in the printer. This information is recorded in the Utilities / Statistics menu of the printer's front panel.
HP Designjet 200 and 220 printers
  • For best performance, choose a parallel interface. Serial is also available.
  • To check or reconfigure any of the following, use the printer's setup sheet:
    • Serial interface settings: baud rate, parity
    • Graphics language (default "HP-GL (7586B), HP-GL/2" is OK)
    • Rotate
    • Mirror
    • Merge
    • Pen settings: width, density
      note:
    If wanting to use AutoCAD's pen settings, make certain the setting on the printer's setup sheet is on "from software;" otherwise, the settings on the setup sheet will be used.
  • Recommended plotting areas. The table below lists the correct plotting areas that should set in AutoCAD Release 12 for standard media sizes. Set these as USER sizes in the Size... dialog box, accessible from the Plot Configuration dialog box.
Plotting areas for HP Designjet series printers
Media Size and Orientation of Media
Plotting Area and Orientation of Drawing For landscape drawings:
width x height
For portrait drawings:
height x width
* = not HP Designjet 200/220 printers
Inches
Millimeters
ANSI
A. portrait
9.7 x 8.1
245 x 205
landscape
7.2 x 10.6
182 x 269
B. portrait
15.7 x 10.6
397 x 269
landscape
9.7 x 16.6
245 x 421
C. portrait
20.7 x 16.6
524 x 421
landscape
15.7 x 20.6
398 x 549
D. portrait
32.7 x 21.6
829 x 548
landscape
20.7 x 33.6
525 x 854
roll(*)
64.0 x 23.6
1625 x 599
E. portrait
42.7 x 33.6
1084 x 854
roll(*)
64.0 x 35.6
1625 x 904
Architectural
Inches
Millimeters
A. portrait
10.7 x 8.6
271 x 219
landscape
7.7 x 11.6
195 x 295
B. portrait
16.7 x 11.6
423 x 295
landscape
10.7 x 17.6
271 x 447
C. portrait
22.7 x 17.6
576 x 447
landscape
16.7 x 23.6
423 x 600
D. portrait
34.7 x 23.6
880 x 600
landscape
22.7 x 35.6
576 x 904
E1. portrait
40.7 x 29.6
1033 x 752
E. portrait
46.7 x 35.6
1185 x 904
Inches
Millimeters
ISO
A4 portrait
10.3 x 7.9
263 x 200
landscape
6.9 x 11.3
176 x 287
A3 portrait
15.2 x 11.3
386 x 287
landscape
10.3 x 16.1
263 x 410
A2 portrait
22.0 x 16.1
560 x 410
landscape
15.2 x 23.0
386 x 584
A1 portrait
31.8 x 23.0
807 x 584
landscape
22.0 x 32.7
560 x 831
A0 portrait
45.5 x 32.7
1155 x 831
Sub-Menu
DraftPro Plus Notes
[bp169014,s]
DraftMaster Notes
[bp169015,s]
ElectroStatic 7600 Series Notes
[bp169016,s]
LaserJet III, IV Notes
[bp169017,s]
Paintjet XL 300 Notes
[bp169018,s]
HP DraftPro Plus Printers
  • For best performance, choose a parallel interface. Serial is also available.
  • The HP DraftPro Plus printer has an optional expanded mode (Page Format / Expand) which allows plotting in the pinch wheel area, and therefore increases the plotting area. Lines drawn in this area are subject to smearing when the wheels pass over wet ink.
  • Rendering drawings on the HP DraftPro Plus printer is not possible.
HP Draftmaster Series Printers
  • For interface options (serial and HP-IB parallel are both available), see the printer's Setup Guide.
  • The HP DraftMaster printers have an optional expanded mode (Page Format / Expand). This mode allows plotting in the pinch wheel area, and therefore increases the plotting area. Lines drawn in this area are subject to smearing when the wheels pass over wet ink.
  • Producing long-axis plots with an HP DraftMaster printer is possible. The printer's User's Guide explains how to ensure that the registration marks for frame-to-frame alignment are detected.
  • Rendering drawings is not possible on the HP DraftMaster series printers.
HP 7600 Electrostatic Printers
  • A plot on a smaller sheet than the default size for the HP 7600 Electrostatic printer will be centered in the middle of the page. For example, an A-size plot on an HP 7600 240E will be centered about 17 inches from the edge of the paper. If you need to force an A-, B- or C-size drawing to the edge of the page, simply make use of a user page size that is set to the full height of the paper. For example, if wanting an A-size plot along the X-axis, at the prompt "Enter the Size or Width, Height (in Inches):", enter the paper size as 10.5,35.18 for an E-size printer, not the 10.5,8.0 as given for the A-size sheet.
  • The HP 7600 Series Models 250, 255, and 355 provide a front-panel control to nest smaller-size plots to save paper. Refer to the HP 7600 Series User's Guide for details on this paper-saving and time-saving feature.
HP LaserJet III and IV printers in HP-GL/2 Mode
Serial Interface
For serial interfaces on the HP LaserJet III printer, only 9600 baud / no parity, or 19200 baud / no parity, are available.
Memory
HP LaserJet III printers must have a minimum of 2 MB of total memory to work with this driver.
Page Protection
The factory default setting for Page Protection is OFF. For some plots, this may cause only a portion of the drawing to be plotted and the error message "Printer Overrun" to be displayed. To avoid this problem, set Page Protection to "Letter/A4." Before doing so, consult with an HP LaserJet Printer User's Guide for advice on memory upgrades.
Legal Paper Size
If wanting to plot a drawing longer than the 10.5 inches of letter-size paper, install the legal-size paper tray and set Page Protection to "LEGAL". If not using a legal-size tray, manually feed the legal-size sheets into the printer. Set the printer for manual feed before sending the plot. A good time to do this is when AutoCAD prompts to "Position paper in printer." If using manual feed, the HP LaserJet III printer will display what size paper to feed it. See the HP LaserJet III Printer User's Guide for details of how to set up the printer for manual feed. Obtaining full-size plots on legal-size paper will also require more memory.
HP Paintjet XL300 printers in HP-GL/2 Mode
  • Allow the HP Paintjet XL300 printer to finish a plot before starting another plot with a parallel cable. If attempting to plot a second drawing before the printer finishes a plot, the HP Paintjet XL300 printer will reset itself, clear its memory, and terminate the original plot.
  • To configure the HP Paintjet XL300 printer as a serial device, set all switches to the DOWN position.
Getting Solid Black Output on HP DesignjetFamily Printers
When plotting from AutoCAD, each pen is assigned an RGB (Red Green and Blue) value that monochrome HP Designjet printers convert to a gray shade when plotting. The shade of black used is a grayscale representation of the color used. (Color capable printers in color mode will plot out color.)
There are two recommended methods to obtain solid black output on a HP Designjet printer when using AutoCAD 12 For Windows.
  1. In AutoCAD’s PLOT function, click Pen Assignments... button. For each color used in the drawing, change the corresponding pen number to pen number 7. For further information on configuration of AutoCAD’s PLOT function, refer to the AutoCAD reference material or an authorized AutoCAD Dealer.
  2. Install and use AutoDesk’s HP-GL/2 driver as detailed in this document ( " Selecting the chosen driver in AutoCAD " ) and choose the 7600 (monochrome) from the list of printers. Be sure to select this driver from the list of installed printers in AutoCAD’s PLOT function by choosing " Device and Default...".
Getting Shaded / Screened Output on HP Designjet Printers
When plotting from AutoCAD, each color on the screen is assigned to a specific pen number that is in turn assigned an RGB value that HP Designjet printers use to determine what color will be used when plotting.
AutoCAD has 8 pen numbers that are percentages of black. To give a specific shade to a given color, change the pen number assignment under AutoCAD’s PLOT function as follows.
In AutoCAD’s PLOT function, choose Pen Assignments... button. For each color used in the drawing, change the pen number to a percent of black according to the following table.
Pen Number
Approximate % of Black
8
70%
9
40%
250
50%
251
40%
252
30%
253
20%
254
10%
255
5%
Example:
Assign pen number 255 to colors 1, 2, and 3. Assign pen number 9 to colors 4, 5, and 6.
When plotting, colors 1, 2, and 3 will be a 5% shade of black. Colors 4, 5, and 6 will be a 40% shade of black.
  note:
Line weight will not be affected by the assignment of a different pen number. Line weight and other attributes of color are independent of the pen number.
For further information on configuration of AutoCAD’s PLOT function, refer to the AutoCAD reference material or an authorized AutoCAD Dealer.
Other Issues
ISSUE: Rendering plots in AutoCAD for Windows.
SOLUTION: Use AutoDesk's System Printer Driver. Refer to the AutoCAD for Windows user documentation.
  note:
The dialog boxes used for rendering are quite different than those used for rendering in AutoCAD for DOS, using Hewlett-Packard's HPRENDER command.
ISSUE: Producing plots using the Shade feature in AutoCAD for Windows.
SOLUTION: Shade is an on-screen feature in AutoCAD (not just AutoCAD for Windows). Although the shaded image is displayed on screen, it cannot be plotted.

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