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A. Hurtig

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Is there a way to make base Architectural layers (such as partitions or structure) gray on sheets used for MEP, Electrical or PFP without having to "manually" reset the layers for printing? My objective is to be able to show (print) non-Architectural sheets (MEP, Electrical, or other non-architectural information) as highlighted or in the foreground with the base, Architectural context in the background.

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This is sort of manual and probably exactly what you're referring to, but: You know about the "use layer colors" (document) preference?

That's a simple, single switch to do what you're talking about. It obviously has a global (within file) impact though.

A less fussy, somewhat dumber (dumb=good) option might be to simply cut/paste the required (plan) image as a group, assigning all of it the desired attributes (grey line color). Obviously it wouldn't update automatically, but for this use, that doesn't seem so bad.

It seems that what we might all like would be to layer-link a set of layers into a target layer, and, while maintaining class colors for display/printing, display the layer linked layers as grey.

I'm still baffled sometimes at the rules for displaying objects (what their attributes are) enclosed within other objects, as groups, symbols. Perhaps the above can already be done?

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you could also edit your save sheet views to give the classes that those elements reside in a grayed visibility (same for layers) that way every time you go to the sheet view in question, everything would be the way you want it.

hope that helps.


rich carrroll


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Hello -

In my opinion, rcarch's description above is most logical. However, there are problems with this approach. Depending on the plotter/printer you are using, the 'grayed' background layers may not print dark enough. I have requested from NNA (for a couple of years now) the ability to assign a 'degree of grayness' to grayed layers. Perhaps this could be done using percentages - for example; 10% gray vs. 40%. We NEED the ability to make grayed back-grounds that change as as the floor plans are changed. Copying and pasting defeats the purpose of CAD.


d. s h a f f e r

a r c h i t e c t

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

The following script was posted some time back on the VectorWorks mailing list and is intended to give the user some control over the degree of gray in grayed layers:

{************BEGIN VECTORSCRIPT***********}



This script will traverse the active document and when it finds a layer whose display

has been set to gray, it will set the layer color of that layer to a gray color

defined by kGrayIndex. Then it sets the preference "Use Layer Colors" to TRUE and

prints. Then it reverts to the original state of the document. CAUTION: This script

saves the document in its original state! Note also that unlike the "gray layers"

setting, this script will not automatically make the layer transparent, i.e., pattern

fills in gray layers are preserved.



kGrayIndex = 53; {this should be in the range of, say, 48 to 56}

kBlkIndex = 256;


gLayerH,gVisLayerH :HANDLE;




gLayerH := FLayer;


IF (GetLVis(gLayerH) = 2) THEN BEGIN



gVisLayerH := gLayerH;








gLayerH := nextlayer(gLayerH);



layer(getlname(gVisLayerH)); {This ensures that an invisible layer is not active}


DoMenuTextbyName('Revert to Saved',0);




{*************END VECTORSCRIPT************}

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  • 2 weeks later...

What if the Saved Sheets macros could actually have different class and layer colors set there also (not just visibility), so a MEP drawing would have all MEP classes as black (for example), and a drawing for another discipline would have all MEP classes as a grey (selected from the color picker).

I currently use layer colors for all of this, but it does mean changing layer colors every time a different setup is required.


Eric Chenault

Lighting Design


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