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I cannot reproduce what you are seeing in MMSIM 11.1 and IC 6.1.5 latest ISR.
If I only save one net. (save=selected) and
1. Select Results->Direct Plot->Transient Signal and click on an unsaved net, I get a message in the CIW:
*Warning* no "VT" data for node "/net8"
2. If I do not have any signal in the outputs pane selected for plotting, then I cannot use Results->Plot Outputs->Transient.
If I only have one signal selected in the Outputs pane, then I can only plot that signal.
3. Selct Results->Direct Plot->Main Form, I get an error in the Direct Plot form that says:
ERROR: /net8 is not a kept output
Staff Support AE, Global Customer Support
Cadence Design Systems, Inc.