When you specify a scale to output your drawing, you can choose from a list of real-world scales, enter your own scale, or select Fit to Paper to scale the drawing to fit onto the selected paper size.
Usually, you draw objects at their actual size. That is, you decide how to interpret the size of a unit (an inch, a millimeter, a meter) and draw on a 1:1 scale. For example, if your unit of measurement is millimeters, then every unit in your drawing represents a millimeter. When you plot the drawing, you either specify a precise scale or fit the image to the paper.
Most final drawings are plotted at a precise scale. The method used to set the plot scale depends on whether you plot the Model tab or a layout:
When you plot, the paper size you select determines the unit type, inches or millimeters. For example, if the paper size is in mm, entering 1 under mm and 10 under Units produces a plotted drawing in which each plotted millimeter represents 10 actual millimeters.
The illustrations show a light bulb plotted at three different scales.
When you review drafts, a precise scale is not always important. You can use the Fit to Paper option to plot the view at the largest possible size that fits the paper. The height or width of the drawing is fit to the corresponding height or width of the paper.
When you plot a perspective view from model space, the view is scaled to fit the paper even when you enter a scale.
When you select the Fit to Paper option, the text boxes change to reflect the ratio of plotted units to drawing units. This scale is updated whenever you change the paper size, plotter, plot origin, orientation, or size of the plotted area in the Plot dialog box.