Set Up Your Plotter for Lines Merge
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Set Up Your Plotter for Lines Merge

To plot your AutoCAD drawings correctly, it's crucial to have the Lines Merge setting enabled. Here's how (and why).

Why the Lines Merge Setting?

The Lines Merge setting ensures that half-toned lines areas, or colored areas, do not wipe out other lines or text on which they happen to fall.



Examples include the shadows for our tree symbols, half-toned site bases, or color areas used by our Zoning or Site Development tools. Lines Merge will allow the lines to merge while preventing one line from overwriting the other.



Unfortunately, AutoCAD defaults to Lines Overwrite, so we all need to get used to changing this setting.

Selecting a Plotter or Printer

A plotter to configure for Lines Merge can be a physical plotter or a PDF plotter.


From any AutoCAD drawing, open the Page Setup Manager:



Output ribbon, Page Setup Manager button


Output ribbon, Page Setup Manager option






Typing PageSetup in the Command line.


File pull-down menu, Page Setup Manager option




In the Page Setup Manager, click Modify.

Page Setup Manager, Modify button




Page Setup dialog box, Name menu

The Page Setup dialog box will open.



In the Name pull-down menu under Printer/plotter, highlight the name of the printer or plotter you want to set up.




Click the Properties button next to the plotter name.

Plotter Properties button




The Plotter Configuration Editor dialog box will open (see image below).

The Lines Merge Setting

In the Plotter Configuration Editor dialog box, select the Device and Document Settings tab. Find the Graphics entry in the menu.



Expanding the Graphics options




If you see a plus (+) sign next to the word Graphics, click it to expand the Graphics options.




Select the option for Merge Control under Graphics.



A pane titled Merge Control will display in the bottom portion of the dialog box.



Select the Lines Merge option.



Click Save As to save the configuration change.

Lines Merge option

Lines Merge and PDF Printing

The need to change the setting to Lines Merge is equally important for PDF plotters as it is for physical printers/plotters. The process remains the same for both printer types.


The PDF plot files have become the preferred format for service bureaus that plot, and it's a good idea to learn how to plot to a PDF file. A number of users have expressed concerns about th PDF plotter supplied by AutoCAD. In response, we suggest a few alternatives (and we are sure you can find others as well).


For our recommendations, see our Third-Party PDF Printers recommendations.

Note: We've found that not all PDF output drivers respect the Lines Merge setting.

Last modified on Tuesday, 29 March 2022 15:49
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