Here's an example - any version autodesk autocad come's w/ a 'batch plot' or 'publish' utility depending on what version you're in. DON'T BE AFRAID! Create multiple set ups - describe the printer, plot styles, color profiles, paper type & tray, size, layout, etc. Basically as if you were to send ONE print. But instead of printing, you save the page layouts - which can then be directly imported/linked throughout the job. Have your 'final print' setting, your 'half size' setting, your 'photo' setting. When you change the set up under, 'photo,' all subsequent files that use 'photo' also change. When we were talking about sending 300 prints out the other day - please tell me you weren't thinking I had my team sit there hitting, 'print, print, print..' No - it was publish 10-20 pages at a time - keep working! Often times, not always, print setups you use in one program become accessible in others. Maybe it takes you an hour to figure it out - maybe you spend a day setting up every print setup you'll ever need (don't do that!) the time it will save in the long run becomes invaluable. Especially as a designer - where your time designing is what you're selling.
This one's real quick - open up your CAD utility - this time find the 'page layout,' or 'templates.' These oft overlooked menu items let you set up PRE sets for all your new documents. Take Photoshop for example - when you start a new document you probably gloss over what's there in the preset & type away. YOU CAN SAVE THOSE! So important - I know certain web documents need to be X by X, w/ Y pixels - we're typing it in anyway - so just save it. Again - you know you're large scale prints are going to be 300 ppi - so make a setting for all your large scale prints. It takes initial time yes - but becomes an invaluable invstment later.
Well, if you made it this far - thanks. Apply these three tips to all your printing jobs and make your money AND your time stretch further. Do it right the first time - and don't worry about it again. Now if only my hairline would come back..
Frank M. Bua