Adding OLE Objects and Make Them Print

OLE is “Object Linking & Embedding” and it is pretty powerful. If you have an excel spread sheet or an image that resides outside of AutoCAD and you need these files inside of AutoCAD, adding these objects as an OLE object lets you insert them in your drawing and they can retain a link to the original file so that any updates that are done to the original file will also be shown in the AutoCAD file. For today’s tip, we will insert an excel spread sheet as an OLE object and also make an adjustment so that it will print/plot. The silly thing is that by default the settings for OLE objects are such that they might not plot.

Here’s how:

  • Have an excel spread sheet saved somewhere that AutoCAd can find it either on your hard drive or on a network location
  • Click the “OLE Object” button that is in the “Date Link” panel on the “Insert” tab.
  • Then select the “Create from file”
  • Then browse to find the file
  • Then, if you want the OLE object to reatin a link to the original file so that updates to the O.G. file (Original Gansta”;) are also shown in the AutoCAD file; click the check box next to “Link”

After the OLE object is in your drawing you will most likely want to move it into position. If you are not able to select the OLE object check the system variable OLEFRAME (shown below). The description of the system variable might be confusing – When it says that it is “shown,” that means that it is selectable…

Now that you have the OLE object positioned and you are ready to plot, change the setting of the “Plot Quality”

To do this:

  • Select the OLE object
  • Right click & select Properties to open the properties palette

Under the “Misc” Section in the properties palette, Click the ‘Plot Quality” section and select either “Low Graphics” or “Monochrome” from the list.

Shown below is the PDF that was created by using the Monochrome setting for the OLE object.


About AutoCAD Tips

This blog serves as a knowledge base for myself (and anyone else) so that I can reference tips & tricks that I have learned and also refer others to it as well. I hope that this blog helps you learn at least one tip to make your drafting/design experience better.
This entry was posted in Customization, Manage, OLE Objects, TIPS. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Adding OLE Objects and Make Them Print

  1. Sergio Pacheco says:


  2. Olga says:

    I tried both options (Monochrome & Low graphics) from Plot quality, neither of them works. Image shown on print preview but it doesn’t print. Maybe it is not applicable for jpg file?

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      I have 2 questions:
      1) If you type in XR in the command line and the XREF Manager shows that the jpeg is in the list as an XREF – It isn’t an OLE object.
      2) If that is the case, how are you printing this drawing? Are you printing to PDF use Adobe? or printing straight to the printer?

      If you are using adobe, there is a “properties” option within the plot dialog that lets you adjust how images are printed. I don’t have adobe to check but I think that the choices are either -Color – Greyscale – Black & White.

  3. Joe ferreri says:

    Nice tip i will definitely treasure it

  4. jijith says:

    Hi dear all copay excel file to layout space , then try to print hope this will woks for printing excel sheet.

  5. blanco nuclear says:

    Many thanks It worked for me.

  6. Klaas Joon says:


    I am trying to embed a picture but have no succes untill. This article raised hope for me it still does not work. The filesize of the jpeg is 7 mb. Is there a filesize limit on OLE objects?

  7. nikcegerme says:

    is it possible to convert autocad text or mtext objects to OLE object ?

  8. designas says:

    I am putting an OLE of an image into paperspace (new logo for a pre-existing titleblock) and for some reason if the logo is placed anywhere near the edge of the page, it seems to get distorted and shrinks when printed. If I test it in the center of the page, no distortion. Is there a setting/property I am missing?

  9. Pingback: Autocad Graphics Not Generated Error

  10. Farah K says:

    I tried using this method for jpeg but it didn’t work even though I tried changing the plot quality to monochrome/low/high. But i don’t want to xref the jpeg in. I just want to save the file as 1.

    I tried another method,open the jpeg in paint>select all>copy>paste in autocad. And this too doesn’t work, I can view and save it normally but when I go and open back the cad file,the jpeg turn into an empty white box(OLE Object).

    Is there another method to save jpeg in the layout tab?

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