Printing questions

Where Are My Plot Styles?

Applies to 

Caddie 10 and higher


Where are my plot styles?


Plot styles in a Caddie  DWG (or any Caddie drawing type) are stored as individual files (yourname.ctb) in a plotstyle folder. Also when in the Caddie plotstyle manager (MENU>FILE>CONFIGURE PLOTSYLES) copying, creating  or renaning plotstyles will use the desiganated folder.

The actual place where this is will depend the version of your Caddie or your operating system or your choosen location (see below).


Prior to Caddie 16

The default plotstyle folder is in the installed Caddie folder and is called “Ploltstyes”.


From Caddie 16

The folder structure changed and the new position for this folder moved and the location will depend on the operating system.


To make it easy to find the default  folders an option was added to the Caddie menu which will take you directly there.

To access this do the following:




This opens the common folder in a new Windows Explorer window. There you will see the plotstyle folder. Open this folder and drag and drop, paste a copied plotstyle file or note the folder path for the future.



You can also use the Windows search function to search for "plotstyles" or "*.plt"  (without quotes) on the C: drive etc. and that will find the correct folder.


Changing the Location of the Plotstyle Folder

If you want to change the folder to a different location, make sure the new location has the required privileges to read and write.


Expand the folder and double click the folder path

Select a new path and OK.


The new path has been selected.

The method mentioned above, used to find the default folder, will still show the Caddie default folder and not your custom folder.

To find where that is at any time, use the same method as when changing the folder. This will show the path which you can then use Windows Explorer to find.,


This method can also be used to find the current location of the plotstyle folder.


Further Reading

For further reading regarding plotstyles and pen settings see the following links.

Creating a Variable Custom Pen Thickness

Specifying Plot Line Widths

Specifying Plot Line Widths

How to Specify  a Line Plot Width

There are basically two ways to specify a Line width in a DWG drawing (Caddie).

  • Defining it in a Plotstyle
  • Using the Object Pen Width

Using a Plot Style

The first is to use a plotstyle and to specifically say, that at the time of printing what the thickness of the line should be. The pens used to draw (a line for instance) are chosen from the pen select dropdown (255 available pens plus ‘By Layer’ and ‘By Block’). For more detail on using ‘By Layer’ and ‘By Block’ (see the 'Creating Variable Pen Widths' FAQ for further information). The colour of the pen on the screen is use to represent the pen chosen. At the time of printing (plotting), a plot style file is used to translate the object pens (the screen pens) to a plot thickness and plot colour. These plot styles are saved in the Plotstyle folder.

You can find the current path to this folder by looking at


The path to your own plotstyle folder can also be set here.

The plotstyle that is used for a particular sheet is set by the sheet setup command (‘CADDIE | SHEETS | SHEET SET’). The plotstyle used by viewports defaults to the same as the sheet, but can be set to a different one by doing an ‘Object Properties’ on the viewport and slecting a different plotstyle.

Editing a Plotsyle

To edit a plotstyle use ‘MENU | FILE | CONFIGURE PLOTSTYLES’. The plotstyle that is set for the current sheet (or model) will be the one shown as loaded. If you require to edit another style select it from the ‘LOAD’ dropdown.

In the illustration below, pen one is directly assigned a custom thickness of 0.13. So regardless of any other settings, the line width will be 0.13mm.

Note: polylines also have a property called ‘constant width’. The default value of constant width is set to ‘0’ and therefore when plotted the line width will be that of the plotstyle. If the constant width is greater than ‘0’ the greater width will be the one plotted.

In theory every pen could have a ‘Custom’ width set in the plotstyle but usually only those required for a pre-set size will be assigned. All others are normally set as ‘Object’ Widths. Object widths are those set directly on the screen. See below and the FAQ

Editing Plotstyles Dialogue

The same dialogue also allows the setting of the colour of the plotted pen.

The choice is

Object Pen Colour Set the colour of the Plotted Pen the same as the current screen pen (Object Pen)
Custom Sets the pen from the drop down colour palette

Again only those required for a pre-set will be set to ‘Custom’ all others are normally set as ‘Object Colour’.

Setting Lines Widths to a Custom Width

The other way set the line widths is to indicate the lines on the screen by using the pen thickness dropdown.


For example, if a line is drawn using Pen 40, intstead of rellying on setting the thickness in the plot style, the thickness can be specified at the time of drawing. In the case 0.35mm is used. Another line could be drawn, also using pen 40, but the width is changed to – say – 2.5mm.


As long as the pen (in this case 40 or 63 hasn’t been pre-set in the plotstyle (it is set as Object Pen Width) you will get a plotted line with a thickness of the object thickness.

If it is required to display these widths on the screen the display widths need to be turned on from the status bar.

splw4a splw4b
Visibility ON Visibility OFF

Use the default object pen width of ‘DEFAULT’ when not specifying the widths on the screen.   This may be set directly or ‘BYLAYER’. 

(see the 'Creating Variable Pen Widths' FAQ for further information).

How can I stop Opaque borders printing?

By default borders of Opaques show on screen and print. This is a property of the drawing and can be controlled using the following command:

Settings->Drawing Settings->Opaques-> Show boundary->Set to No.

If you are using a template and you set this property to 'No' in the template, then all drawings created based on that template will inherit that setting.

Drawings with gradient hatches do not print properly to pdf printers


There is a well documented PDF problem that effects many Windows programs with regard to the way PDF’s  handle ‘Vertices’. You don’t need to know what the are except the gradient hatches, in Caddie, which are described by the OpenGL commands, can have a lot of vertices.

When creating PDF’s you may need to change the settings in you PDF writers preferences.

To do this open up the preference dialogue by right clicking your printer. All printers have different dialogues including PDF writers. You need to look for an ADVANCED button (as shown in a CUTEPDF preferences dialogue) and you will get a dialogue similar to the one shown below. In the POSTSCRIPT  OPTIONS section look for the Postscript Level and change it from 3 to 2. You only need to do this once. Setting it to PS Level 2 shouldn’t effect any other programmes use of this driver, but if it does then temporally set it back to L3.

If Level 2 doesn't work for you try Level 1

























How can I print a rendered Vio Image?

Use the File->Save-as to save as a jpg or other image format.

Creating a Variable Custom Pen Thickness

We are always being asked how to create a ‘Boundary’ or ‘Special’ pen.

One way would be to pre-assign a number of pens in the plot style file, specifically for this purpose.

It is quite common to have, say the first 8 or 9 pens, set to progressively thicker lines, with a custom pen colour of, say ‘Black’, There may also be a second set of pen (say 11 to 18) with the units are that same for each thickness as 1-9), but all with a colour of,say, ‘Mid Grey’. These can then be used for any secondary detail such as line hatches, or existing or other building detail.


First 5 Pens  



A Set of Grey Pens


If you want sets of extra colours such as red, green an blue, for boundary lines etc., you soon start to eat into the remaining 255 pens. This reduces the number of pens that can be set as ‘Object Colour’, which you may want to use for hatch etc. Not only that, you will have a lot more pen numbers to remember.

A way around this, for these ‘little used pens’, is to have three pens (80, 160 & 240 as an example) set in the plot style. These are set with a custom colour of GREEN, BLUE and RED respectfully and thickness set to ‘OBJECT’


Settings for a Green Custom Pen

Settings for a BlueCustom Pen

Settings for a Red Custom Pen

As a note, the maximum pen thickness that can be set is 2.11mm. There are a number of solutions to creating thicker lines.

  • The first is, simply, to draw parallel lines with an offset of just under the current thickness. This howe ver makes editing any changes more complicated but this can be done with lines, arcs and polylines etc.
  • A better solution is to draw with polylines. Polylines can have an additional properties, one of which is ‘Constant Width’. To change this width, select the polyline. Using ‘object properties’ change the width to the required thickness
  •  To change the width of an individual segments, start and end width, use the ‘CADDIE | MODIFY | MODPOL’ command. 


Selecting 'CHANGE' will change all segments to a constant, specified width, which is the same as using object properties. 
Another polyline property that can be set  in ‘Object Properties’ is ‘Thickness’ and this gives a thickness in the Z axis. This is not, normally, used for 2D drawing.

NOTE: When editing a polyline using the 'CADDIE | MODIFY | POLYLINE' commands, such as 'Insert Node', any existing thickness will revert to '0'

Its quite fantastic how Caddie changes your life.

Joe Snape discusses how Caddie gives him complete freedom to design, and how the one on one support provided by the Caddie team has enabled him to develop his CAD skills from simple 2D plans to fully rendered 3D architectural building models.

'I find Caddie such a fantastic program to work with as it enables me to create everything I need, no matter what type of drawing or modelling I need to do, with the only limit to what I can design and produce is my own creativity.  The Caddie support team are superb too, with Andrew and Sam from ACS Ltd. going well above and beyond to help me whenever I’ve needed assistance.
Before I switched to Caddie, I would struggle to produce even basic CAD plans, but now, thanks to the help and advice I’ve had from the support guys over the last 3 years I’m creating full 3D building models complete with life-like material textures too.  The building models I create enable me to produce all of my 2D plans, sections and elevation drawings, plus the 3D views rendered views that enable my clients to get a great understanding of how the finished building will fit into its surroundings.  I don’t believe that I could have made such huge strides with any other system and cannot praise Caddie and Caddie support enough for helping me to achieve this, they have been excellent, A* Service.’

Joe Snape


Really useful tips in bite-sized chunks

'The Tea Break Tutorials are brilliant because they provide really useful tips in small bite-sized chunks that you can start using immediately, making them easy to remember!'

Stephanie Willcox - Architect

“What we needed was stability and ‘DWG’ compatibility. Caddie has provided both”

After doing the three day Quick Start Course I drew quicker on Caddie than on my old system

Having been a KUHLMANN drawing board user in the 80’s I felt safe in the sense that I wouldn't have to adjust to the new technology “Computers”. Then I was introduced to the DOS version of CADDIE. We upgraded to CADDIE 5 Professional and used the programme until the hard drive of the computer gave up and I was forced to upgrade. We installed CADDIE 9, 12 &15. I was familiar with the CADDIE 9 and did not want to adjust to use the “NEW CADDIE”.


How wrong can one be?  Ever since I started experiencing the latest version of CADDIE it is an absolute pleasure. If I get stuck, help is just a phone call away.


Thank You CADDIE for an excellent drawing programme.


N J van Rensburg

Colin Logan of 9yards Property Ltd. reflects on how much faster he can draw his architectural plans now using Caddie's smart AEC Build tools...

'I now use Caddie’s AEC Build tools for all my architectural plans, drawing complete and fully hatched walls at a stroke, and adding doors and windows just as easily.

Amazing to think that I used to draw all my walls manually, creating lines and offsets then hatching them all in individually - What a chore that was!'

The key to successful implementation is effective training

Even working on archived drawings is quicker with Caddie

'I now find it quicker and far less painful to export drawings from my old CAD system so that I can load and work on them in Caddie, even if it’s only a 10 minute job!'

Anthony Staig IBC Architects

With Caddie, changing drawings is now a small rather than a major part of my life

I really don't know what I would do without Caddie now

Updating to the latest Caddie is simple, with inbuilt auto-configuration and migration tools; but with Caddie Remote Assistance you can have the latest updates installed and configured for you, like Martin McGahon of Town & Country Planning Ltd.

'The ACS Support guys were fantastic!

They installed the latest Caddie software update for me, even migrating all my settings, completing the process in a matter of minutes and making the whole upgrade process seamless'.

James Morford comments on why choosing Caddie CAD software has proved to be a great decision for his practice, providing a simple, easy to use way of creating .DWG architectural drawings backed by outstanding support.

'I have been using Caddie for 18 years now and seen how the software’s ability has progressed with time to meet clients expectations. I personally don’t use the 3D capabilities but the software’s ease of use and simplicity have been instrumental in my drawing efficiency and quality. I would highly recommend Caddie to any Architectural company. The technical support is outstanding and easily understood. All of my drawings are in .dwg format so I work seamlessly with engineers etc….'

James Morford
Architectural Services

Caddie is incredibly quick to use, and also most importantly it’s very easy to learn, irrespective of your previous CAD experience

I have just had my most productive year ever - and that is largely due to using your Caddie software.

Steve Harrop discusses the importance of good customer when choosing a CAD system.

'When I was deciding which CAD system to buy I tried ringing their support numbers at 16:45 on a Friday.

Company one, NO ANSWER.
Caddie support answered, 'Afternoon Steve, how can we help you today'?
Help when you need it makes a big difference. (Especially in my case!)'

Steve Harrop


Caddie  - the 'Complete Package'

'We are very impressed and excited about Caddie. It is inspiring to see everything that Caddie can do and it is a major advantage that you have someone you can talk to about needs and implementations to increase productivity.

Finally there is a "complete package" and we can proudly say that we are part of the Caddie family.'


Architects Ink.


Enhance your workflow…

Comments posted after watching the latest Caddie Killer Tips videos;

Make sure you’re not missing, watch the videos HERE


Andrew Dukesell

Good tips as ever, really like the polygon selection, I wasn't aware of that.

Very useful.


Philip James

Some really useful tips.

Amazing that I couldn't draw a line a few weeks ago.  Picking it up very quickly.  Many thanks to Tony for his unbelievable patience!! Wish I did this years ago.


Allister Godfrey

Andrew thanks again for a very instructive video, I had forgotten about the poly select ... that's gonna be another of those tools I can't live without!


Allister Godfrey

OMG... I use copy and increment on text A LOT, but I have never paid any attention to copy multiple in the list ... genius!


Andrew, thank-you once again for a VERY informative video!

Melvyn Shackleton commented on the value of the support provided for Caddie by ACS Ltd.

'If you want your drawing problems sorted rapidly, go to the experts, call Caddie support!'

Philip James of Philip James Architecture reflecting upon his recent move to using Caddie;

'I should have done this years ago...when you first came to see me, in fact!'

Caddie user Mark Brown of  WW Brown & Sons commented on the value of the support he gets through the Caddie Maintenance programme;

'We would have no hesitation in recommending Caddie.  We have found Caddie support to be extremely responsive, assisting with any of our queries promptly over the phone and providing invaluable follow-up information'.


"The new PDF underlay feature is going to save so much time. The ability to snap to precise points on a PDF drawing is really quite amazing; no more guessing and freehand approximation."


Dan Kantorowich


Caddie Tea Break Tutorials

 'Thank you - incredibly helpful!'


Caddie saves me the equivalent of two staff

Peter Fishenden discovers how easy Caddie 20’s ‘AEC Build’ tools are to use...

'What can I say, WOW!

I was amazed by just how easy Caddie 20’s ‘AEC Build’ tools are to use, and genuinely gobsmacked at the results I was able to produce in such a short space of time.  In just over 20 minutes I managed to produce a complete model of my building, even including the roof, which I could view in the form of plans, elevations, or full-on 3D model – and this I’m especially pleased about since it now allows me to show exactly what is going to be built in a form that everyone can understand, not just for those who can read plans and elevations.'

‘Caddie Time-tracker takes the embarrassment out of billing!’

‘Caddie’s Time-tracker enabled me to produce a full listing for all the time I had spent working on my client's drawings at the push of a button.’

‘the Time-tracker printout, detailing ‘Work Time’, Open Time’ and Saved Time, along with the actual time and dates of the drawing sessions made the job of agreeing on the bill easy’

Stewart L Thorley, Building Plans & Design

Read full article…

“Thank you very much for your commitment to us - the Caddie Users"

In-place Block Editing with greying out of remaining drawings Objects

'Just a quick one to thank you so much for the excellent feature regarding the block edit where everything else is greyed out.  It really is little tweaks like this that makes Caddie so good.  It is fantastic and not only tells you that the block is being edited, it makes it much easier to see and edit.'

Matthew Goddard BSc(Hons) MRICS
For and on behalf of Asset Construction Consultants.

'Loving the scroll through the paper sheets ideal for larger projects when we have loads of paper spaces.'

Andrew Dukesell, principal of DBD Architectural Consultancy Ltd., commenting on some of the new functionality available in Caddie 23


Personal support is essential for creating a successful company

'I would like to say how much we have appreciated CADDIE support over the years (26 years so far!). You have always been very prompt in dealing with any problems we have encountered, a service essential for the smooth running of the practice, so many thanks indeed.  The fact that the relationship is personal and not via some anonymous help-desk is very important to us as our practice has been built upon personal relationships with clients and providers alike. We hope that relationship will sustain far into the future.'

Philip Tilbury
Herbert J. Stribling & Partners


'Thank you for the latest You Tube link. Very helpful - have been doing this stuff manually; it is great to see that it can be done automatically.
Look forward to the next YouTube training tip.'


The Price Whitehead Chartered Surveyors


 YouTube   Check out the latest Caddie time saving videos on YouTube videos...


Paul Adams switches to Caddie and prefers it to AutoCAD for drawing his architectural plans, sections and elevations

‘I had been an AutoCAD user since 1996, but  found switching to Caddie really straightforward, and I now use it for all my drawing work.  My work consists mainly of drawing up existing surveys along with plans, sections and elevations and overall I find Caddie better for drawing.'

The Tea Break Tutorials are a revelation!

'For anyone who doesn’t benefit from  an office full of CAD savvy colleagues, or enjoy the luxury of a dedicated  iT department, the Caddie Tea Break Tutorials are a brilliant, short, fast, and easy way of picking up those tips and techniques that can really speed up everyday working.'

Ian Collier Chartered Architect

I first came across Caddie several years ago (I think it was version 8!) and with every new release it just gets better and better. I believe that it is unique in giving every user direct input into the way the software is developed and the fact that the relationship is personal and not via some anonymous help-desk is very important to us. It’s always possible to get a query answered quickly and efficiently which is essential for the smooth running of our practice.

Sebastian Walsh - Hibbs and Walsh Associates Ltd

Your Caddie software has revolutionised the way we work - we produce far better drawings much more quickly – should have changed years ago.

As an Architect, Caddie draws the way I think.

You wouldn't recognize the office now, there is no drawing board, just my Caddie workstation

After doing the three day Quick Start Course I drew quicker on Caddie than on my old system

Ross James of James Steel gets some help from the Caddie Support Team in streamlining his workflow;

'Thank you for your help on Wednesday you were very fast to give me a fantastic solution which will save me a lot of time and effort in the future fantastic service as usual.'

Kind Regards
Ross James

The migration between Caddie 12 and Caddie 14 is seamless. You can’t see a difference until you start to experiment with all the new functions. The backup support form Caddie is still a constant and always satisfactory.

My skills have developed rapidly with Caddie and I believe it allows me to produce excellent drawings far quicker than any program I have ever used

“I’m not used to support like this – if more people realised how good it was they would also be using Caddie.”

'I have found Caddie to be user-friendly and simply wonderful to do architectural drawings with'
'I had no full time training from Caddie. This was my own decision, but Caddie''s consultants were very helpful and understanding by helping me whenever I require help.'
Henry Losper

‘The Caddie YouTube videos are the best thing you've done, and absolutely essential when one lives and works in north of Scotland as I do; whilst I don’t take in this kind of information too well over the phone I can watch the videos in any spare moment I get, even late at night, and this makes them ideal for keeping me up to date.’

Hugh Mackay, Drafting Services

"Caddie is still the best CAD system on market, - I can vouch for that"

Richard Likupe

Palmleaf Architects

Architect, Richard Likupe on the UK Launch of Caddie 25, and the benefit of upgrading

''The new functionality on display at the UK launch of Caddie 25 more than met my expectations, and I congratulate the whole team for their hard work in improving an already great program. This will make it easy to demonstrate to new people what CAD can do. 
Using the new software is a revelation too, from the first moment I opened Caddie 25, I found it so much faster than my previous versions; and with thousands of new Catalogue items to choose from it’s easy to create high-quality drawings and models quickly.
In short, I’m a very happy Caddie customer.'

Richard Likupe  BA (Hons), Dip., Arch., MA,  RIBA., MIA

"These training videos are awesome - there is so much more to Caddie and its  great way to discover its full potential."

Graham Rocher 

‘Caddie Tea Break Tutorials’

Just a quick email to let you know that we were very pleased to be part of the tutorial yesterday. It was a great way to see what the function does, and so much better than reading about it! 

I look forward to trying it out, once I have got the latest version of 19 downloaded.


Bruce Whitehead

Price Whitehead 

Chartered Surveyors & Rural Consultants

A longstanding Caddie user's comments on the value of the support he gets through the Caddie Maintenance programme;

'Before calling Caddie support I had spent about an hour attempting to work out why I could no longer enter figures into my Construction Line offset command, but when I called the Caddie support guys, they quickly identified my problem and helped me fix it.  It turns out I had caught the 'NumLock' key by accident changing the function of the number pad keys on my keyboard!

I find the support I get through Caddie Maintenance invaluable, and paying for my maintenance by Standing Order means that I can pick up the phone and ask for help any time I have a problem.'

I have already won a job directly as a result of using Caddie’s 3D.  After seeing the model the client immediately gave me the project

Caddie user John Fenton on finding immediate benefit from updating to Caddie 25.

'I had thought that I would need to spend money upgrading my Graphics Card ,but switching to Caddie 25 solved my 'Long Pointer' screen drag problems at a stroke. Brilliant!.'

'I used Caddie 9 but Caddie 14 makes things much much simpler', Johannes Mnyandu, Department of Public Works

Unique access to Caddie's development

‘Almost immediately after switching from AutoCAD to Caddie I realised that Caddie had some big advantages and just how unique Caddie is in giving every user such direct input into the way the software is developed, even for small practices like mine.  Whether it’s the fact that it’s a lot more ‘English’ in the way it works or the invaluable and extensive support, be it tweaking an existing command or adding new functionality to solve some new problem; it’s always possible to speak directly with the Caddie guys and get our ideas built directly into the software; incredibly useful, and very refreshing.’

Matthew Goddard BSc(Hons) MRICS
Asset Construction Consultants