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naomi3

Printing Coloured Classes as Black & White

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Hi Everyone,

 

Is there a way to set class colours to print as greyscale / black and white, similar to how you can do so in AutoCAD? There must be a way. I know there is a setting to display the file objects to the layer colours to make it look black and white when needed but this is not a solution, more of an awkward work around in my opinion.

 

Many Thanks,

 

Naomi.

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Hi there.

 

Thanks but yes I've seen that & didn't find it very clear. I'm pretty new to VWs by the way.

 

1) I've heard of 'class overrides' to do this but found nothing to help me figure out how to set them.

 

2) I tried the 'Publish' option which worked, but this doesn't seem to allow me to use greyscales if I wanted to.

 

Thanks,

 

Naomi.

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Sorry, I cannot help you more, as personally I have never used "Publish". I have just wanted to be sure that you have not missed the other thread.

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In file>document settings you can set the file to display in b&w. 

Edited by Boh

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Hi there. Thanks, but I don't want the file to display as B/W. I want everything on screen to be in colour so I can clearly distinguish between classes, as I would have in AutoCAD. I just want to make sure they print in B/W or grey scale.

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Hi, viewports on sheet layers should have a button in the settings menu to turn the viewport into black and white. It also affects the transperancy of objects, so you have to be careful there.

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As mentioned above you can adjust the vp settings to b&w. I think this is in the oip advanced settings or perhaps the oip render settings.

 

if you want to try class overrides you need to have your object colour attributes set to by-class. Then in your vp class settings you can select the classes and override their attributes to black/grey. They will appear black/grey just in that vp.

 

Also I understand vw2019 has an image effects capability that allows image effect adjustment of objects, images, viewports etc incl converting them to black and white.

 

I'm wondering why you want to work with colour then publish to b&w? Are you coming from an autocad background? From my memory of using autocad colour is used to set line weights. This isn't necessary in VW as you can set line weights independently of colour. 

 

I use a lot of colour in my drawings and I always export my drawings to pdf in colour, however I also choose colours (and line weights) that print well in b&w as construction drawings are usually printed in b&w.

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Hi Boh,

 

Thanks - i will look into adjusting the viewport overrides.

 

Yes, I do come from an AutoCAD background. I know that originally the colours were meant to indicate specific line weights in ACAD. That may be a hang up from a bygone CAD age, but I personally do find it very useful. Visually its much easier to have different objects coloured differently (colour coded if you will) when looking at them in model space / design layers, when on screen, but I wouldn't necessarily want them to print that way. Our design drawings get printed & issued in Blk/Wt.

 

I also experimented with going to Document preferences > Black & White only. The result looked bad - quite frankly! Half my filled in polygons disappeared. I have attached screen shots so you can see the difference.

 

Thanks.

 

colour.jpg

BlkWt.jpg

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Yes I like to work with colour too for the same reason as you.

 

Overrides can work well but as mentioned do require object attributes to be set by class, which in turn means if you want a lot of different colours you'll need a lot of different classes. A good trick with vp overrides is to use the eye dropper tool to copy the overrides from one vp and apply them to another. This avoids manually having to readjust multiple class overrides for every vp.

 

I personally like working with lots of classes to categorise the many different types of objects I work with and it gives me a lot of control with visibilities as well as consistency throughout a file and between files.

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Vectorworks is a wysiwyg program. Nevertheless you sometimes would like to have your linestyles coded in colors when drawing. We also use colors for the different materials in our plans. When exporting, we set it to black&white. The problem is that this really means that black becomes all black and white all white. Grey lines become black, grey fillings white. If you now want a gray area (or a color which should become gray), you can use dot patterns. These dots can only be seen in Vectorworks. When exporting, the colored dots are scaled so small that you can only see the individual dots when zooming in. If you use completely black dots, a gray area (without small dots) will result from the PDF export. The whole thing is a bit strange, probably from the days of pen plotters. Another possibility to export colored areas in gray is to vary the opacity. Opaque surfaces are also exported grey in black and white mode. However, this has the disadvantage that the background shines through.

 

Here is a table of how the different fillings and lines behave.

 

Within Vectorworks:

650767846_colortable.thumb.jpg.9b6c18aa6c427e73d8117398ac3f814b.jpg

 

When printet/exported as PDF:

color table.pdf

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This has been driving me a little crazy too coming from an AutoCAD background and one of my least favorite aspects of VW.

In AutoCAD, I can get incredible graphic output to PDF by mixing black/white, greyscale, color, and transparency across native files or refs.

In Vectorworks using reference files, it seems impossible to do the same.

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One thing I've done as a work around is to :   1) Save file as a copy  2) Open Organization & select all the Classes with colours & change the pen colour to Black       3) Publish   4) Close & Delete the copied file 

This allows one to keep greys in the output.

 

I don't use much colour in permit or construction sets, I rely on line weight & line style to tell the story & I frankly get dizzy opening an ACAD file. It's all in how one learns & works with the programme. 

Edited by Jim Smith

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15 minutes ago, Jim Smith said:

One thing I've done as a work around is to :   1) Save file as a copy  2) Open Organization & select all the Classes & change the pen colour to Black       3) Publish   4) Close & Delete the copied file 

Makes this more effective:

  1. Set all attributes by class.

  2. Draw a rectangle with every class u use. (There is a marionette around that does it for you).

  3. Put all the rectangles into a symbol.

  4. Copy it into an empty file

  5. Save as a separate file (make it accessible easily e.g. in your library)

  6. Save it as another file

  7. Change all the class settings to black/grey etc. as you like

Now you can import the symbol into your drawings to change the attributes of all the classes in your file with one click. Your workflow is very similar to the printing files in AutoCAD.

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Good Idea, one would still have to either make a copy of the file or remember to UNDO after printing.

 

As I say, I don't use a lot of Colours & so this doesn't come up very often.  Now that I think of this, with anything up to 11x17 we print directly & our printer only prints B&W so that's not an issue we get grey output. When we send files to the service bureau we print a PDF & request a B&W or Grey scale print & any colours are printed Grey. The only time we have to do this work around is for electronic submission as the cities here will only accept B&W PDFs. 

Edited by Jim Smith

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With the describet method you have two files with the symbol. One with black classes and one with colored. If you wish to print, just import the symbol from the black file. When you want to work on you import the symbol of the colored file. So you can easily change anytime without copying the file or undo after printing.

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1 hour ago, Jim Smith said:

I don't use much colour in permit or construction sets, I rely on line weight & line style to tell the story & I frankly get dizzy opening an ACAD file. It's all in how one learns & works with the programme. 

 

Yeah, back when I was working in the states, we had to submit color plans at multiple points during the city review process.  We produced the black and white plans from the same layout. That quick and easy flexibility was about the only thing I liked about AutoCAD.  It wish there was a way to control the appearance of referenced files in VW that could produce the same level of control.

 

 

 

commercial color plan copy.png

color plan.png

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On 9/19/2018 at 8:32 AM, naomi3 said:

Hi Everyone,

 

Is there a way to set class colours to print as greyscale / black and white, similar to how you can do so in AutoCAD? There must be a way. I know there is a setting to display the file objects to the layer colours to make it look black and white when needed but this is not a solution, more of an awkward work around in my opinion.

 

Many Thanks,

 

Naomi.

I generally draw in color. When I really need excellent greyscale output, first I publish/export to PDF, then I go to Adobe Acrobat's Print Production module, choosing 'Convert Colors' then in that dialogue window choose either of the two Grey Gamma choices in the 'Conversion Profile' field, et voila,  perfect greyscale version. Tedious if doing many sheets tho.

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I think this is the solution you are looking for.. You can quickly switch back and forth from color lines to black and white (for printing).

 

On the toolbar at the top there is an arrow that will expand a drop-down menu with various display options:

 

1564517238_ScreenShot2018-10-02at9_35_56AM.thumb.png.c17f45dee7d8e527f202621dde92f851.png

 

Add the one called "Black and White Only"

1241945430_ScreenShot2018-10-02at9_36_05AM.thumb.png.de3c092a0d14a3a6ad146942bb24a250.png

 

You can then click that button to toggle back and forth between color and B&W, and use cmd+P instead of publishing.

 

You can also toggle the background between black and white, toggle with "zoom line weights" and a bunch of other stuff.

 

Have fun!  I also switched from AutoCAD to VWX about 4 years ago. It was frustrating in the beginning because you are used to doing something in a specific way, but I now LOVE vectorworks. I feel like it is the best of 3d and 2d.

 

Let me know if you have any other CAD --> VWX questions

 

Cheers,

Jena

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Hi Jena,

 

Thanks, but toggling the screen between colour & b/w isn't an option. I tried this before and the results looked horrid (see attached). I've also tried publishing to B/W PDFs which were ok but not ideal. Thanks anyway.

 

Basically I'm thinking there must be a way to do whatever you've done in AutoCAD in VWs too. Sure enough, I went to the VWs 'Design Day' (here in the UK) yesterday and managed to ask someone about this. Apparently there is a setting to look out for regarding class visabilities, when setting up a view port. It can filter the appearance of classes through the VP/for printing, like in AutoCAD. Once I figure it out I will update the forum.

 

Naomi. 🙂

colour.jpg

BlkWt.jpg

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4 hours ago, naomi3 said:

Apparently there is a setting to look out for regarding class visabilities, when setting up a view port.

I'm pretty sure they spoke of the class overrides in viewports. With the magic wand tool you can easily transfer the settings, which have to be made quite laboriously, to other viewports. This option comes closest to Archicad's workflow. The only difference: In VW you override the classes, not the colors. I wouldn't be afraid to control all line types and fills consistently via classes. This is the best way to do it in Vectorworks. Several hundred classes are also quite normal if an entire project is in a Vectorworks file.

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I think class overrides in viewports should be the exception, not the rule.

 

You should start by giving all of your classes a corresponding lineweight.  In AutoCAD you give each color a lineweight for plotting, but in VWX you give each class (layer equivalent in CAD) a specific lineweight. Then, each object you create should be assigned to a specific class and then it will take on the properties of that class.  If the lineweight you've applied to an object doesn't look right in one viewport, you can override the class settings in that viewport. If it doesn't look right in any viewport, then you can just change the settings of the class, and every object that has the properties of that class will adapt accordingly. 

 

See image below for a snapshot of our class settings:

372887292_ScreenShot2018-10-03at9_14_09AM.thumb.png.32e2806615aa8b0c13af343c53662316.png

 

If you've set up the classes the correct way, then when you toggle black and white and print, it will print with the corresponding lineweights.

 

We've developed these class settings over years in our office, and they are just default in our files now.  I'm pretty sure you could find a sample set of class settings somewhere... I'll look as well.  

 

Are we getting closer to answering your question or have you already set up your class settings?

 

JH

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, JHAM said:

In AutoCAD you give each color a lineweight for plotting, but in VWX you give each class (layer equivalent in CAD) a specific lineweight. Then, each object you create should be assigned to a specific class and then it will take on the properties of that class.  If the lineweight you've applied to an object doesn't look right in one viewport, you can override the class settings in that viewport. If it doesn't look right in any viewport, then you can just change the settings of the class, and every object that has the properties of that class will adapt accordingly. 

 

In AutoCAD, you can give each layer LINEWEIGHT and PLOTSTYLE to control the output.  Assigning colors to get line weight is an antiquated methodology.  Assigning color for print output or screen organization is a nice feature.  The attached PDF is an AutoCAD example of using plot styles, lineweights, and viewport specific settings in a single paper space tab.  Modelspace of the same file is attached as a screenshot.  This is accomplished in what sounds like VW viewport overrides, which sounds very promising!

 

Autocad Layout - 4 viewports looking into model space, each with it's own PLOTSTYLE settings for the viewport

plotstyle example2.pdf260738726_ScreenShot2018-10-03at7_21_44PM.thumb.png.a02c52ad48ccec68a76320c176ae5a54.png

 

AutoCAD Modespace view - displaying layers as their native colors for visual organization, not plotting

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 6.25.56 PM.png

Edited by jeff prince
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 @JHAM

Thanks for the motivation.  Attached is a test of the same files originally made in AutoCAD and imported into VW.  It took me a bit of doing, but using class overrides on the viewports yielded a similar result.  I think the AutoCAD plot style workflow is faster/stronger/more logical, but this will at least work as intended. 

Vectorworks Sheet layer displaying 4 viewports each looking at the same Design Layer objects, each viewport having unique overrides.

plotstyle test4.pdf 

Screen Shot 2018-10-03 at 7.14.51 PM.png

 

View inside Vectorworks design layer using the "black background" preference setting.  Too bad it effects both design and sheet layers, it would be nice to have the sheet layers white and the model space black (or a color of choice).

506142488_ScreenShot2018-10-03at7_17_06PM.thumb.png.24de8e23f40212734d1e6d932b11a088.png

Edited by jeff prince
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