AutoCAD LT Missing Plot Styles

I dunno, perhaps AutoDesk are punishing you for buying the cheap version. Perhaps I am a bit too cynical about these things. That’s quite likely.

You’ve just installed AutoCAD LT, opened your first drawing in it and gone to print it.

AutoCAD plot style missing
screenshot from the full version - your mileage may differ

“Missing or incompatible plot style” WTH? I thought that was one of the ones you get when you buy AutoCAD (LT). Does it cost extra? Gaaahhh!

Here’s the issue – the “grown-ups” (full) version of AutoCAD, the one that makes Autodesk an obscene amount of money instead of just a lot, has a collection of plot styles whose names differ from the LT version that you have now just been punished for buying. For exampleinstance, the run-of-the-mill “Color-dependent Plot Style Table” in AutoCAD is called “acad.ctb” but the equivalent plot style in AutoCAD LT is called “acadlt.ctb”. Why? DO NOT ASK WHY !! There’s nothing to be gained from that.

Plot settings, including the assigned plot-style, are saved in the drawing. Thus begins an ongoing plot-style tug-of-war between the Full version crowd and the LT crowd. You just backed your Ford into their BMW. The irony here is that the real fault lies with whoever designed the carpark (to continue the analogy).

Solution: copy, and then rename the copies of all LT plot styles with “lt” at the end of their names.

How: The “stylesmanager” command which, rather unintuitively, opens the folder containing the plot styles. You’re on your own from there. Double-click them if you actually want to edit them. It’s also in the file menu (“menubar 1” to get your old friend back) and it’s probably buried in the ribbon somewhere too, right next to the “create new layer” button, no doubt. Don’t ask me where, that thing hurts my eyes. If you click on the AutoCAD logo at top-left it’s here …

Plot styles from the big A button at top-left
I much-prefer the Quick access toolbar to the ribbon.

You could say it looks like a bit of a shell game to separate the two versions but, IMHO,  it’s more likely due to Hanlon’s Razor. Either way, it’s a broken User Experience. You’re now pissed off for no good reason. Maybe the Full version and LT teams should do lunch or something, compare notes. We’re all on the same team, you know?

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