XPlot Logger Pro 3.0

31 Jan, 2000 By: Michael Lennox Cadalyst

XAct Software Solutions
Star rating: 5 stars out of 5

XPlot Logger Pro v3.8 ($74.99 per license) from XAct Software Solutions tracks plotting expenses from AutoCAD Releases 13–2000. Some of the advanced features work differently in earlier AutoCAD releases. Every time you plot, XPlot prompts you to enter cost information and adds an entry to its log file. XPlot tracks every plot, including those saved to a file for output by a service bureau.

You can configure XPlot’s data fields to log specific data. This customizability is straightforward and available directly from the main dialog box. You can set up your own list of names, projects, and cost information to select from the pull-down lists. Twelve user-definable fields are also available. XPlot’s Cruise Control feature remembers a drawing’s project and pricing structure, minimizing user interaction. In later AutoCAD versions, XPlot can also use ActiveX to automatically determine the paper size you used when plotting.

You can set several administrative options to force plot logging and prevent users from changing pricing information. All XPlot users can share one XPlot configuration over a network, which simplifies management and deployment. Likewise, you can place XPlot’s data and log files locally or on a network to track plotting throughout an organization.

XPlot’s log is a comma-delimited text file that you can open directly using Excel and other spreadsheet and database applications. From there, you can manipulate the data, produce reports, or export it for use with your accounting software for invoicing. You can also use the internal sorting feature. Another handy utility, XStamp, installs with XPlot. XStamp places a line of text that includes the date, time, and file information on the drawing and plot. You can stamp the drawing in model and paper space. You set the location and size of the stamp, as well as the amount and type of information on the drawing.

Using AutoCAD’s Appload command, installation takes only a few minutes. The initial configurations for both XPlot and XStamp are straightforward, with plenty of examples and a useful procedural help system.

Although XPlot has no built-in reporting capabilities, it is one of the least expensive utilities reviewed at $74.99 for the first license. Its front end makes it worth a look if you don’t mind making your own reports. For small, AutoCAD-only offices, XPlot is a flexible plot-logging tool. You can download a free 15-day working trial version from Highly Recommended.

About the Author: Michael Lennox

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