How to create a plot file (*.plt)?


How to create a plot file (*.plt)?


I cannot create a plot file.


To create a plot file, you need to set the Ports setting of the printer to Plot to File.

In the Printer/Plotter Configuration list on the Page Setup and Print dialogs you can choose between the various printer drivers that are installed on your computer. In addition to these Windows printer definitions, you can setup different configurations for each of these printers. Such configurations are saved in a PC3 file. PC3 files are saved in the folder specified by the PlotCfgPath user preference.

To create a PC3 plotter configuration file:

  1. On the BricsCAD Print or Page Setup dialog, select the printer/plotter in the Printer/Plotter Configuration list.
  2. Click the Edit Plotter Configuration button (next to the list button).
  3. On the Properties dialog of the selected printer, adjust the settings needed (if any), then click the OK button. The Properties dialog closes and the Plotter Configuration dialog opens.
  4. On the Plotter Configuration Editor dialog, select the Ports tab.
  5. Choose the Plot to File option and click the OK button.
    You are prompted to save the changes to a PC3 file.

When you select such a PC3 in the BricsCAD Print procedure, a plot file will be created. You will be prompted to enter a name for the output file. The plot file is saved in the folder specified by the PlotOutputPath user preference.


A Windows printer definition of which the Port is set 'Print to File' creates a plot file in the BricsCAD Program folder.

In Windows the file extension indicates the file type. Different file extensions indicate different file types, and are processed differently.

Unfortunately, there are many exceptions and print/plot files are one of them.

Traditionally, if you create a plot file with AutoCAD, it was created with the AutoCAD printer driver and output was called a PLT file.

But if you created the same output with another application, then the windows printer driver was used, and Windows called it a PRN file.

If you make a plot file for a specific printer, the output is the same whether you are using a driver that proposes PLT extension or PRN extension, and you are free to change the extension afterward.

At the same time, the extension PLT can be used for very different file types that share but one feature: they were created by a plot output process. The same applies for PRN files. What counts is to select the right printer driver.

To make the confusion even worse most PLT files used to be HP/GL or HP/GL-2 format. As a result, most people identify the HP/GL-2 file type with the PLT extension.