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Text Not Visible Within Callout Boxes, Callouts Have Background Color Fills or Masks (Valve Callouts & RefNote Callouts)


Your callouts are appearing with color background fills or masks, and they may be coming in as solid boxes that don't contain any text. They may be plotting in all black, including text, as in the image to the right.


You may be experiencing this issue with:

  • Valve callouts
  • Reference Note (RefNote) callouts

Are you having this issue when attempting to plot in monochrome? Try using one of our recommended third-party PDF printers.





We've added block masks to many of our callouts, with the intention of eventually updating all callout source blocks to include masks. Meanwhile, we've updated our default Preference Set to set Color 133 as the block mask color.


The masks allow for better contrast in Model Space in the event you need to place a callout within a hatched area, as in the image to the right. 


However, if you have your text color set at, or close to, color 133, you won't see a contrast between the text and the background mask.

We've seen some users change the individual source files for callout blocks to exclude a background mask. Although this technique can technically work for a single callout style, we don't recommend it. We will continue to add masks to our remaining callout styles, so you'll find yourself having to make the same edit for every callout style you use.




The quick fix

The quickest fix, at least for a temporary workaround for an impending deadline, is to freeze or turn off the callout mask layer. Just open the Layer Properties Manager, locate Color 133, and follow our steps to freeze or turn off that layer.


Long-term fixes

Simplest long-term fix: Use our default CTB

We've created our default CTB plotting style carefully to ensure that items such as callout text and background masks will contrast with each other sufficiently. Ready to use our CTB? Follow our steps to download our default CTB plotting style.



Not-as-simple long-term fix

If you already have your own CTB style you'd rather use, you have three options:


• Option 1:

Set color 133 to a screening of 0% in your CTB.



Color 133 will now plot as transparent, and you'll be able to see the text in your callouts.




• Option 2:

Is color 133 already used in your CTB to print at something other than 0%, and you're not able to change it?


In this case, you'll need to open the General Preferences and change the color that's currently assigned to the background mask layer, selecting a color other than 133.



Choose an existing color in your CTB that is already set to 0% screening.



• Option 3:

If you need color 133 to print at a screening other than 0%, and you don't already have a color set to 0% screening in your CTB, you'll need to:


1. Edit your CTB to select a suitable color for the background mask layer, making sure to set that color to 0% screening in your CTB.




2. Open the General Preferences and change the color assigned to the background mask layer, selecting the same color you just picked in your CTB.



Last modified on May 15, 2020


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