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Since AutoCAD 2000 we've been able to print our drawings using two different systems. There's a color-based system where the Pen Table is assigned to an object's color. There's also a named- based system where the Pen Table is assigned to an object's layer. Whatever system you choose that system is assigned to all of your drawings. This means that if you're a color- based office you're to have difficulty printing drawings that come from a named-based office. In this lesson we'll learn how to make printing easier by converting a drawing from a named-based to a color-based system.
Let me start by saying that most offices use a color-based system. Now that's not because it's any better. It's only because that's the traditional system AutoCAD has used since the first release. When you print a color-based drawing, you'll use a Pen Table that has a CTB extension. Let's assumed that I plot all of my drawings using the stock AutoCAD Pen Table called grayscale.ctb. On my screen, I have a drawing that was sent to me by a client. Let's say I'd like to create a quick plot of this drawing. I'll launch the Plot command and then I'll open up the Plot style table menu, and notice that the Grayscale Pen Table doesn't show up in this list.
That's because my client created this drawing using a named-based system. So AutoCAD will only allow me to print this using a Pen Table with an STB extension. Let's cancel this. To convert this drawing from named- based to color-based I'm going to type convertpstyles, and I'll press Enter and then I'll click OK. Now this is considered a color-based drawing. So if I attempt to print this AutoCAD allows me to select a CTB Pen Table and I'm able to use the Grayscale Pens.
So in the event you're trying to print a drawing and AutoCAD won't allow you to select your standard Pen Table, chances are you may be working in a named-based drawing. Using the convertpstyles command you can easily convert that drawing and plot it using your standard pens.
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