Customize for Office Color Standards
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Customize for Office Color Standards

Friday, 13 May 2016
Video Length:  1:02:17
Presented By:  Jake Lott

When it comes to your office standards in CAD, layers and color combinations are everything. We make it just as easy to build a whole new standard as it is to conform to an existing one, or even jump right into a client's specific design requirements. This webinar covers the necessary tools and techniques for a black belt in the art of office standards – from CTB plotting files to valuable Land F/X tools that enable instant layer color conversions and office color setup.

Webinar Contents:

Note: The following catalog of content covered in this webinar is time stamped to allow you to follow along or skip to sections of the video that are relevant to your questions. You can also search for content on this page using the FIND command in your browser (CTRL + F in Windows, Command + F in Mac OS.)


  • Intro/TOC
  • CTB (Color Based) vs. STB (Name Based) Plotting Styles
  • What is a Standard?
    • Blocks
    • Colors vs. No Colors: Which is Better?
  • How to Translate Your Standard to Another
    • Assigning a Plot Style
    • Preference Sets
    • BatchMan
    • Converting Your Layer Colors
    • Editing a Plot Style
    • Backing Up Your Standards in a CAD Standards Folder and Binder
  • Converting Between CTB and STB Plot Styles

0:00 – 6:00: Intro/TOC

6:01 – 10:34: CTB (Color Based) vs. STB (Name Based) Plotting Styles

We recommend using CTB styles for several reasons, one of which is that they allow you to base your plotting style on the line colors you use in your drawings.


CTB styles allow you to look at you plan to see how it will plot, which is a much better and easier way than looking at a list of lineweight names (as with STB) to determine how the plan will plot.


Moreover, CTB is much more commonly used in the landscape architecture field than STB.


You might not have an overly long list of lineweights to manage if you choose to use STB styles, but remember that you’ll have to apply that list throughout your entire drawing.


Plus, the plot style names can change and become more plentiful over time, creating confusion.


Also, line colors provide a quick visual confirmation of how your drawings will plot.

10:35 – 18:54: What is a Standard?

Ask yourself: Why does my office do specific things in our standards? (Example: using green for planting and blue for irrigation). If you can’t answer this question about certain “standards” in your office, it may be time to start looking at changing those standards.


It’s important to be flexible when looking at your standards.


Blocks (15:15)

Question: Why does Land F/X have so many layers in our blocks?

Answer: Having those layers gives us the flexibility to show and add as much detail as we want, while still being completely organized and automated.


Also, the layers are less of a concern to us because the hard work is done for us.


Show Those Layers Who’s Boss

Things have come a long way since the days when you just had to rely on the Layer Properties Manager to manage your blocks and layers. You now have access to commands and tools such as:

  • Xlist
  • Highlight
  • Verify


BatchMan: Still a great tool to adjust and adapt our blocks to your layer standards.


Colors vs. No Colors: Which is Better?(17:45)


We highly recommend using colors in your drawings – it just gives you a better preview of your drawings and makes them easier to read. Plus they’ll still plot in black and white.

18:55 – 56:09: How to Translate Your Standard to Another

*Always work in your standard until you need to provide the final product to the other client (or other agency or firm) in their requested standard.


Know what it is that you actually need to provide:

  • Is this something you can use your own preferences on (text styles, CTB styles, labels, etc.)?
  • Will you need to create a unique Preference Set specifically to accommodate their text styles, labels, etc.?
  • Is this a reoccurring client/firm you are working with? Or just a one-time deal?



Assigning a Plot Style (20:50)


Downloading the Land F/X CTB files


Locating the plot styles files using the Styles Manager command (22:10)


Note that our CTB files download automatically into the Plot Styles folder when a Land F/X user opens CAD. (22:50)



Preference Sets (24:40)

Editing your layers settings (names, colors, linetypes, etc.) in the General Preferences (25:10)


Changing your line colors using the Block Layer Colors tool (25:45)


Checking the Land F/X Line Colors Worksheet and determining which colors you need to change to meet your standards (26:50)


Note that when you change your block colors, they’ll be applied on demand each time you place them in a new drawing. (30:10)


Opening the XML file for a block. This file contains all necessary information that affects the appearance of that block as placed in your drawing. (33:00)



BatchMan (35:05)

Using our BatchMan batch-processing tool to change your standards (example: layer names and colors) in your drawing files (35:05)


Selecting a new color for each existing layer color while using BatchMan (38:30)


Switching the colors back (again using BatchMan) (40:25)



Converting Layer Colors (43:50)


Using our Layer Colors tool to convert your layers to match Land F/X, a client’s standards, etc. (43:50)



Editing a Plot Style (47:35)


Backing Up Your Standards in a CAD Standards Folder and Binder (50:00)



Question: Is there a way to have lines plot at the same thickness regardless of the scale or sheet size? (52:10)

Answer: That’s exactly what a CTB file offers.

56:10 – end: Converting Between CTB and STB Plot Styles

Using the ConvertPStyles command to convert plot styles (57:30)



Using the ConvertCTB command to convert a CTB to an STB style (58:50)

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