Way back when, it was common practice to place objects that weren’t supposed to print on the Defpoints layer. This layer is automatically created when you first add dimensions to a drawing. It holds the “definition points” (anchor or reference points) for your dimensions, hence the name. The Defpoints layer can’t be printed, but you can set it to be current and draw on it. It thus became a handy destination for anything else that wasn’t supposed to print.
Caption: Defpoints layer highlighted in the Layer Manager.
AutoCAD 2000 added the ability to create nonplotting layers as destinations for anything that you don’t want to plot. Create a new layer and label it in a way that indicates it doesn’t plot. In the Layer Manager, Set the layer to No Plot to keep it from plotting. Click on the printer icon in the Plot column to toggle between Plot and No Plot.
Caption: Nonplotting layer. Click the icon in the Plot column to set the plotting status.
If you run the Audit command and the Defpoints layer contains anything besides dimension definition points, AutoCAD creates a new layer called $AUDIT-BAD-LAYER and moves all the non-defpoint objects there.
If you use STB styles to plot, you can also set individual objects to be nonplotting. Open the Plot Styles Manager from the File menu and double-click on the plot style table you want to add the style to. Make sure it’s an STB file, not a CTB file.
Caption: Plot Styles Manager displays all your STB and CTB files.
The Plot Style Table Editor will open. Select the Form View tab and click on the Add Style button at bottom right.
Caption: Select Add Style in the Plot Style Table Editor.
Name your new style something distinctive so you’ll know its purpose. Set screening to 0. Select Save and Close.
Caption: Set screen to 0 (zero) to create a plot style that won’t print.
Once your style is created, you can select any object you don’t want to plot. In the Properties palette, click the arrow to expand the Plot style selections under General.
Caption: Plot style options in the Properties palette.
Select Other . . . at the bottom of the list. This displays the Select Plot Style dialog box, where you can select your nonplotting style.
Caption: Click on the nonplotting plot style to assign it to the selected object.