MicroStation Tip: Standardize color and gray shade output

Do you have problems getting consistent colors on your plots?

  • Sometimes users change color tables that cause odd colors to be printed.
  • When submitting a grayscale print of color elements yellow elements print lighter than blue elements.
  • Other times users just have elements defined with the wrong color number.

These can be resolved by using Pen Tables.

In this example, we will be setting up a pen table to fill shapes with a standard light shade of gray (210,210,210).

  1. Define the Element Selection Criteria for selecting the shapes to be filled with our standard color.

  2. In the Element Output Actions, many users will select a color number from their standard color table. In theory that should work, but users have been known to change color tables in which case the color index will print a different color (see bullet point 1 above).
  3. Some users set the color options to Grayscale. The output will be in shades of gray, but different colors convert to different shades (see bullet point 2 above).
  4. The way to get standard color/gray shade output using a pen table is to explicitly define the desired RGB value using the By RGB settings.
  5. Selecting the Color… button will open the Color Picker dialog. Set the Red, Green, and Blue values as required.
  6. Click OK to save the color value.

See more Tips or dive deeper with Instructor-Led or Self-Paced Training.


Rod Wing

Rod Wing

Rod joined EnvisionCAD in March 2007 and has nearly three decades of experience working in the CADD industry. He led the IT evaluations of Bentley InRoads and AutoDesk Civil 3D at Wisconsin DOT in their overall CAiCE replacement evaluation. He also led the MicroStation V7 to V8 upgrade effort at Wisconsin DOT which included updating not only the CADD standards to accommodate the changes in the file format but also updating legacy MDL and macros to work in the new environment. Rod received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin in Cartography and a Master of Science in Geographic and Cartographic Sciences from George Mason University. Rod has extensive experience in CADD as well as the areas of GIS, cartography, plotting, scanning, raster editing/manipulation, publishing, and file/data translations. In all of these areas, he has produced custom tools and developed workflows to enhance productivity between diverse sets of applications. He instructs MicroStation classes ranging from fundamentals to advanced applications.

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