Pen Sets

by AndrasFabian, Katalin Götz and GRAPHISOFT · updated: 09.03.2012

Note: the available Pen Sets and their parameters can be different in every language version. In this case, this PEN SET theory doesn’t apply to the U.S. version

The Pens and Colors Settings Dialog is available in Options > Element Attributes > Pens & Colors.

PenSet dialog.png The Pen Table is a system which allows the user to switch among various Pen Sets, in order to produce different representations – in terms of penweights and colors – of a single model view.
These differences are:

  • Different scale
  • Distinction of functions within a drawing (furnishing, HVAC, structural pens)
  • Color printing (conceptual plans, signs in consultant’s plans)
  • Monochrome printing (simulating lineweight with saturation)
  • Distinction of elements’ on-screen appearance (On-screen lineweight and color preferences differ from those of the published output in almost all cases)

The convertible pen set system enables the user to achieve all of the above representation purposes without having to re-configure model elements.

The default settings assign a pen index number to individual elements; each pen index number has a distinct function definition. Switching pen sets means that the index number assigned to each element remains the same, but – depending on the penset –different color / weight / description values are assigned, to achieve a functionally consistent output.


How are the Pens grouped in the Pen Table

Regardless of whether factory settings or customized Pen Sets are used, well-defined pen functions and their consistent application to the project make it easy to create different displays by switching Pen Sets, without having to reconfigure the elements. All Pen Sets have 255 pens which are arranged in 20 columns and 14 rows. The first 140 pens have defined values in all default pensets, while pens 140-256 are kept for further user functions.

Built-in Pen Sets

The following Pen Sets are shipped:

built-in_PenSets.png

01 Color Conceptual
Recommended for presentations and colored plotting.
Applied pen weights ( 0–0,13 –0,18 –0,20–0,25 –0,35) are calibrated to 1:100 scale. Colors are set mostly monochrome grayscale, but in case of certain elements (zones, terrain, cabinets, furniture) they imitate realistic display.

02 Site 500
Pen set recommended for site plans.
Applied pen weights ( 0–0,13–0,20) are calibrated to 1:500 scale.
Pens assigned to industrial specialist functions are grayed to enable visual separation in case of visible layers.

03 Architectural 100 (default)
General architectural pen set for approval plans and design.
Applied pen weights ( 0–0,13 –0,18 –0,20–0,25 –0,35) are calibrated to 1:100 display scale. Colors are set to ease visual separation on the screen.

04 Building plans 50
Pen set optimized for construction plans.
Applied pen weights ( 0–0,15 –0,18 –0,20–0,35 –0,5) are calibrated to 1:50 display scale. Colors are set to ease visual separation on the screen.

05 Detailing
Pen set recommended for construction plan detail drawings.
Applied pen weights ( 0–0,15 –0,18 –0,20–0,4 –0,6) are calibrated to 1:20 display scale. Colors are set to ease visual separation on the screen, and pens assigned to industrial specialist functions are grayed out.

06 Structural plans
Pen set recommended for structural plans and approval plans for structural engineers.
Applied pen weights ( 0–0,13 –0,18 –0,20–0,25 –0,35) are calibrated to 1:100 display scale. Colors are set to ease visual separation on the screen and enable visual separation in case of visible layers.

07 Mechanical
Pen set recommended for approval plans for mechanical engineers.
Applied pen weights ( 0–0,13 –0,18 –0,20–0,25 –0,35) are calibrated to 1:100 display scale. Structural element colors are black, mechanical element color codes are visually separated on the screen and in printing/plotting as well.

08 Electrical
Pen set recommended for approval plans for electrical engineers.
Applied pen weights ( 0–0,13 –0,18 –0,20–0,25 –0,35) are calibrated to 1:100 display scale. Structural element colors are black, mechanical element color codes are visually separated on the screen and in printing/plotting as well.

09 Color
Pen set recommended for coloring plans independently to scale and line weights. Pen colors are set to include all needed tones in the pen table.

10 Grayscale
Pen set recommended for grayscale-colored plans independently of scale and line weights. Pen colors are set to include all needed tones in the pen table.

11 Archicad 9
The old pen table.

Columns in the Pen Table

To make it easy to distinguish among pens and their functions, the pen table’s columns are divided by color group; each group is assigned a general element function; and within each group, each pen is assigned a more specific function.
For example, the third column of the „Architectural” penset is the „Openings” group, consisting of 6 pens, each a different shade of orange, and each assigned a specific function such as „Openings: Cut-Structural” or „Openings: Uncut-Overhead.”
Generally each function corresponds to an Archicad Tool, whose default settings are configured to use these assigned pens. However, some columns are dedicated to functions that cannot be assigned to a certain tool or element type.

PensColumn.png

Pen table Column Functions from 01-20:

01 General: Elements that cannot be categorized by function, or whose function cannot be determined when configured (e.g. complex profiles or composites that can be used for multiple element types)

02 2D elements: Lines, polylines, splines, etc…

03 Openings: Doors, windows, skylights

04 Furnishing and objects: Furnishings, and every element placed as an object

05 Graphic annotations: Graphics of Dimension lines, labels, titles, frames, zone stamps, S/E markers, detail markers

06 Text annotations: Text elements of the above

07 Walls: Elements with wall functions placed by the Wall tool or any other tool

08 Columns: Elements with column functions placed by the Column tool or any other tool

09 Slabs: Elements with slab functions placed by the Slab tool or any other tool

10 Beams: Elements with beam functions placed by the Beam tool or any other tool

11 Stairs: Elements with stair functions placed by the Stair tool or any other tool

12 Roof structures: Elements with roof functions placed by the Roof tool or any other tool

13 Mesh and terrain: Elements with mesh or terrain functions placed by the Mesh tool or any other tool

14 Interior: Zones, fittings

15 HVAC: Structures, symbols and annotations displayed on architectural plans prepared for HVAC consultants

16 Structural plans: Structures, symbols and annotations displayed on architectural and structural plans prepared for structural engineer consultants

17 Electrical: Structures, objects, symbols and annotations displayed on architectural and electrical plans prepared for electrical engineer consultants

18 Graphic Fills: Fills or patterns that cannot be categorized by element type

19 Graphic Background Colors: Backgrounds of fills or patterns that can not be categorized by element type

20 Graphic symbols and screen only colors: Hotspots, markup colors, selection highlight, and guidelines

Rows in the Pen Table

While the pen’s column determines the element’s function (e.g. pens in Column 3 are applied to elements that function as an „Opening”), the pen’s row determines its attribute (e.g. pens in Row 6 are used for „Symbol and Separator” elements).
Pens that generally have thicker lineweight are set to brighter (higher saturated) colors. In any given column, pens are listed in descending order of their saturation value and line weight. The first row is an exception: each pen is assigned the most frequently used lineweight using an easily distinguishable color. To remain compatible with patterns of use from older ArchiCAD versions (up to ArchiCAD 9), the first row’s pen weights and colors are set to allow full functionality even if using only the first 7 pens.

PensRow.png

Index numbers from 1 to 140:

01 –20 General pens, library part pens

21– 40 structural elements cut lines, and
25 markers; 26 text titles; 35 hot water; 37 power grid; 38- additional colors, graphic symbols

41–60 non-structural elements cut lines, and
45 arrowheads; 46 bold text; 55 cold water; 57 switchboards; 58– additional colors, graphic symbols

61-80 symbols and separator lines, and
65 frames; 66 text body; 75 ducting; 76 structural plan annotations; 77 lighting; 78– additional colors, graphic symbols

81-100 uncut lines, contour lines, construction lines, cover fills, and
85 dimension lines; 86 annotation texts; 96 gas-mains; 97 IT networks; 98- additional colors, graphic symbols

101–120 cut fills, and
105 secondary annotations; 106 annotation text: proof; 115 mechanical equipment; 117 electrical equipment; 118- additional colors, graphic symbols

121–140 fill background colors

The default pen settings for Archicad construction elements and library parts are configured to use the relevant pens according to the logic presented here. However, please note that the pen sorting method summarized here is only a suggestion, and the user can reconfigure the pen table based on a different preferred logic or office standards.

The „Description” field of the pen table contains descriptive information about the pen usage, which is fully editable by the user. This description, in turn, is visible in the Settings dialogs where the user assigns pens to elements, making it easier to select the right pen. Since the pens are arranged within the pen set according to function/thickness, the user can easily navigate within the pen table and select the pen or pen set corresponding to his/her current needs.


How ArchiCAD Stores Color Values of Pens

When one wants to set and store colors in pen sets by using CMYK values then at a next checking of the pens these values sometimes look as if they changed in comparison to the entered values. The cause of this is:

ArchiCAD ( and almost all other programs) converts the CMYK to RGB before storing it. If you edit a CMYK color, this will be translated automatically to RGB, and the next time you open it, it will be reconverted from RGB to CYMK. That is caused by the different concept of the color spaces defined by the two color models. This only means that for the same RGB values there are more valid CMYK values.

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