Colors and Line Weights in the San Francisco Main Library AutoCad Help

Technical drawings can have a beauty of their own, but they can also be deadly boring. What really sets a good technical drawing apart from a poor one is the control of line weights. Knowing how to vary and control line weight in both manual and CAD drawings can make a huge difference in the readability of the drawing.

In the San Francisco Main Library project, the designers at SMWM Associates were especially concerned with line weights in the reflected ceiling plan, Figure 7.11 shows.a portion of the reflected ceiling plan from the library drawings, As you can see, it contained a,good deal of graphical information, which, without careful line weight control, could become confusing, (While you can’t see it in the black-and-white print a multitude of colors were used to vary line weight.) When the electronic drawings were plotted, colors were converted into lines of varying thickness, Bolder lines were used to create emphasis in components such as walls and ceiling openings, while fine lines were uses to indicate ceiling tile patterns.



Other Options in the Plot Style Table Editor

You’ve seen a lot of the plot style options so far, but there are many others that you may want to use in the future. This section describes those options that were not covered in the previous exercises.

The General Tab

You didn’t really look at the General tab of the Plot Style Table Editor in the exercise presented earlier. Here is a view of the General tab and a description of the options offered there.


The General tab offers information regarding the plot style you are currently editing. You can enter a description of the style-in the large input box that dominates the tab. This can be useful if you plan to include the plot style with a drawing you are sending to someone else for plotting.

The.File Information group gives you the basic information on the file location and name, as well as the number of color styles included in the plot style table.

The Apply Global Scale Factor to Non-ISO Line types check box lets you determine whether ISO line-type scale factors are applied to all line types. When this item is checked, the Scale Factor input box becomes actin’, allowing you to enter a scale factor.

ISO Pen Widths

You may have noticed a setting called ISO PenWidth in the Line type Manager dialog box discussed in Chapter 4 (Format Iine type). This setting is in the form of a pull-down list. When you select a pen width from that list, the line-type scale is .updated to conform to the ISO standard for that width. However, this setting has ‘no effect on the actual plotter output. If you are using ISO standard widths, it is up to you to match the color of the lines to their corresponding widths in the Plot Style Table Editor.

The Form View Tab

The Form View tab contains the same settings as the Table View tab but in a different format, Instead of displaying each color as a column of properties, the properties are listed as options along the right side, ‘while the colors are listed in d list box.


To modify the properties of a color, you select the color from the list, then edit the values in the Properties button group in the right side of the dialog box. So to change the screen value of the Color_3 style, highlight Color Bin the Plot Styles list, then double-click the Screening input box and enter a new value.

You’ve already seen what the Screening, Color, Lineweight, and Line Join Style options do. Here’s a description of the other style properties.

Description Allows you to enter a description for each individual color.

Dither [Enable Dithering] Dithering is a method that enables your plotter to simulate colors beyond the basic 256 colors available in AutoCAD. While this option is desirable when you want to create a wider range of colors in your plots, it can also create some distortions in your plots, including broken, fine lines and false colors. For this reason, dithering is usually turned off. This option is not available in all plotters.

[Convert to] Grayscale Converts colors to grayscale.

[Use Assigned] Pen Number Lets you determine what pen number is assigned to each color in your drawing. This option only applies to pen plotters.

Virtual Pen [Number] Many inkjet and laser plotters offer “virtual pens” to simulate the processes of the old-style.pen plotters. Frequently, such plotters offer as many as 255 virtual pens. Plotters with virtual pens often let you assign AutoCAD colors to a virtual pen number. This is significant if the virtual pens of your plotter can be ~ed screening width, end style, and joint styles. You can then use the virtual pen settings instead of using the settings in the Plot Style Table Editor. This option is most beneficial for users who already have a library of drawings that are set up for plotters with virtual pen settings. ,

You can set up your inkjet printer for virtual pens under the Vector Graphics listing of the Device and Documents Setting tab of the Plotter Configuration Editor. See Appendix A for more on setting up your printer or plotter configuration.

Linetype If you prefer, you can use this setting to control line types in AutoCAD based on the color of the object. By default, this option is set to Use Object Linetype. This book recommends that you leave this option at its default.

Adaptive [Adjustment] Controls how non-continuous line types begin and end. This option is on by default, which forces line types to begin and end in a line segment. With the option turned off, the same line type is drawn without regard for its ending. In some cases, this may produce a line that appears incomplete. For more on adaptive adjustment, see The Line- Type Code in Chapter 20.

Line End Style Lets you determine the shape of the end of simple lines that have a line weight greater than zero.

Line Join Style Lets you determine the shape of the comers of polylines.


Fill Style Lets you set up a color to be drawn as a pattern when used in a solid filled.area. The patterns appear as follows:


Add Style Allows you to add more plot styles or colors.

Delete Style Deletes the selected style.

Save As Lets you save the current plot style table.

The Table View Tab

The Table View tab offers the same settings as the Form View tab only in a different format. Each plot style is shown as a column with the properties of each plot style listed along the left side of the tab. To change a property, click the property in the column.


To apply the same setting to all plot styles at once, right-click a setting you want to use from a single plot style, then select Copy from the popup menu. Right-click again on the setting, then select Paste to All Style.

Posted on November 7, 2015 in Printing and Plotting

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