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    By Martin Phelps

    In a previous blog I mentioned that from time to time the “Model” and “Paper” tabs at the bottom of the screen may disappear, to see the blog follow the link: https://www.cadlinecommunity.co.uk/hc/en-us/articles/360004150198-AutoCAD-Model-Paper-Space-Tabs-are-not-Displayed.

    However, there are additional items that can be used to control the appearance of the paper space environment.

    The paper space “Layout Elements” section is located at the lower left of the “Display” tab of the “Options” dialogue box, as shown in Figure 1.


    By default, the paper space environment is displayed as per Figure 2.


    The dashed rectangle within the white paper area defines the printable area, so anything to be printed must be inside this area. This does mean that addition textural and graphical data could be placed in the grey area outside the dashed rectangle and would not print.

    The printable area will change dependent on the current printer and the size of paper set to the “Page Setup”, which in turn is set to the “Layout”.

    The printable area can be increased if the paper size is changed from the standard ISO sizes to “Expanded” sizes, this moves the printable boundary closer to the edge of the paper, or if the requirement is to print as close as possible to the edge of the paper then use the “Full Bleed” sizes.

    The display of the dashed printable boundary can be switched off by removing the check in the box “Display Printable Area”, in the “Layout Elements” section of the “Display” tab, as shown in Figure 3.


    However, by turning off the “Printable Area” the user does not know the extents of the print.

    Another option in the same location is to control the display of the paper space background by removing the check in the box “Display Paper Background”, the grey background now becomes white, as shown in Figure 4.


    By removing this check, it also automatically greys out the “Paper Shadow”.

    If the “Printable Area” and the “Background Display” are both turned off, this may lead to problems when setting up the print.

    Setting the “Layout Elements” option I tend to have boxes 1,2,3, and 4 checked and boxes 5 and 6 unchecked, as per Figure 5.


    This shows the paper on the grey background and the dashed printable area, since AutoCAD now doesn’t automatically create a viewport the user can specify the viewport requirements.