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howitzer

*.ctb vs *.stb: Which do you prefer, and why?

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howitzer

I have always used *.ctb files, and have always plotted by color. It just makes infinite sense to me.

 

However, a recent client of mine used *.stb files, so I had to use them for the first time. I was pretty impressed with them, I'm surprised to say.

 

You don't plot by color, unless I'm missing something, but for the most part you don't have to. The only instance where I still wanted the plot-by-color option was in having a background solid hatch pattern. I ended up going two layers for that hatch area, one with the pattern, the other with a background solid that I could independently control.

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rkent

stb makes a lot of sense BUT if collaborating with others they have to agree or be required to also use it, otherwise it is much better to stay with ctb. I only use stb but I don't collaborate.

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tzframpton
I have always used *.ctb files, and have always plotted by color. It just makes infinite sense to me.

 

However, a recent client of mine used *.stb files, so I had to use them for the first time. I was pretty impressed with them, I'm surprised to say.

 

You don't plot by color, unless I'm missing something, but for the most part you don't have to. The only instance where I still wanted the plot-by-color option was in having a background solid hatch pattern. I ended up going two layers for that hatch area, one with the pattern, the other with a background solid that I could independently control.

I wish Autodesk would just take away CTB's and only allow STB's in AutoCAD 2014+. STB's make so much sense it's ridiculous. Lots of people are scared of them though simply because they don't understand them.

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howitzer
I wish Autodesk would just take away CTB's and only allow STB's in AutoCAD 2014+. STB's make so much sense it's ridiculous. Lots of people are scared of them though simply because they don't understand them.

I would tend to agree. I looked at them a couple times over the years, and moved on. Wasn't really interested because I didn't see the need.

 

Now that I needed to use one, it only took a few minutes to understand it. It's really not that bad.

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tzframpton

If you're interested, here's what I consider my "base" STB file to go off of:

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/4989089/Images/cadtutor/F%26A%20-%20Standard%20Black%20STB.stb

 

This is my own personal STB file that I use for my sidework uses. Notice the "Mask" plot style. Play with this one and see how you like it.... with Hatches, thickened Polylines, etc.

 

But you can really get creative with STB's with a little imagination. For instance, have a style called "Revisions". Say you have 200+ sheets in a plan set and you wanted all the rev clouds to plot as Red instead of Black like everything else. Well, simply change the Revisions Plot Style to Red. No need to open 200+ sheets, or create a batch LISP routine. Plus it creates better standards. As CAD Coordinator I'd rather say all mechanical ductwork needs to be LW256 instead of Color 1. It puts focus on what they're designing and not just the color.

 

And I'd rather have 15-20 plot style options rather than 255. Ever went through an entire CTB file looking at Lineweights just to figure out what was what? Ugh.

 

Simple planning like this can have tremendous results with STB. :)

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EMS_0525

I have used CTBs since ive been on cad. Im trying to understand and see the benefit of STBs but i still havent. Our company uses colors 1-7,1 being the darkest (most thick) and 7 being the thinnest. Everyone here knows when we see red for text it will print bold and so on. All the rest of the colors just have the same thickness, they are all set to object lineweight. So i use some of the other colors but i know it wont be bold. Our 250 colors are our shading colors. 250 is closest to black and 255 is so light its hard to see. Our typical shading color is 253, right in the middle. To make things more interesting in our office we have one guy that uses STB's and the rest use CTBs so when we have to work on each others drawings its a huge PITA.

 

So can someone help me understand STBs more? I dont understand "plot style option"

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JD Mather

Funny thing is (or maybe not) I don't even know which system I use, I just know I use the right one. :lol:

 

Used to plot by color (I guess that is *.ctb?) back in the last century when we used pen plotters, but ever since we converted to ink jet or laser I've used the newer system (I guess from this discussion it is *.stb). My lineweight is controlled by layer. Never looked back.

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EMS_0525
My lineweight is controlled by layer. Never looked back.

See... i use CTBs and my lineweight is controlled by layer also, because we only assign colors by layer never by object. So that isnt even a valid reason to use one over the other for me. Same result, just different circumstances.

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tzframpton

If you were to use a well set up STB file, you'd never go back.

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EMS_0525
If you were to use a well set up STB file, you'd never go back.

Why? I have never seen a comparison or how one is better than the other. I have the feeling its more of an opinion thing, like MTEXT and DTEXT.

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tzframpton
Why?
Start using STB's and you'll find out. :)

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rkent

LINKs:

A good article discussing the differences between STB and CTB.

Cadalyst.com

http://management.cadalyst.com/cadma....jsp?id=102922>

The above link doesn't seem to work, try

http://www.cadalyst.com/management/plotting-style-the-face-between-named-and-color-dependent-plot-styles-4897

 

A good article on one firm's adoption of STB's. This is just one way of

many ways to set up STB standards so don't read this as the only way to use

STB's.

AUGI.com

May/June 2005 issue, page 24

Edited by rkent

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tzframpton

Revit even further simplified it and I absolutely love it. You have Lineweights in Revit, but they are labeled as 1-16. 1 is thin. 16 is as thick as it gets. Easy peasy, done and done. STB's can be set up the same way. I'd rather manage 16 possibilities rather than 255 possibilities.

 

:)

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SLW210

What is the difference if all your plots are B&W?

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tzframpton
Here's another good article, with illustrations, that does a pretty good job.

http://www.ejsurveying.com/Articles/NamedPlotStyles.aspx

Awesome article. Seems the very last sentence, the author agrees with me. And I quote:
"But more than likely, once you grow accustomed to using Named Plot Styles and STB files, and begin to appreciate the cleaner and clearer nature of Named Plot Styles, you will never want to go back!"

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EMS_0525

Read two of those articles..... still dont see how stbs are superior...

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tzframpton
superior...
This isn't the term to be using. It's not that they are superior, it's that they make more sense. And they are much easier to create, manage, and put to use for design production.

 

Either way you choose at the end of the day if you feel CTB's are where it's at then so be it. It's a preference is all.

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EMS_0525
This isn't the term to be using. It's not that they are superior, it's that they make more sense. And they are much easier to create, manage, and put to use for design production.

 

Either way you choose at the end of the day if you feel CTB's are where it's at then so be it. It's a preference is all.

 

Im not trying to be arguing here... so i hope im not coming across that way. But i want to want to use STBs. I just still dont see that big of an advantage over CTBs for me to completey change how everyone in our company thinks. Like i said the one guy uses them, and if it was that advantageous i would switch. Im just not seeing it. I just see it as the end result is the same, just a different means of getting there. Just like everything else in autocad. There is 10 ways to do the same thing.

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tzframpton
Im not trying to be arguing here... so i hope im not coming across that way. But i want to want to use STBs. I just still dont see that big of an advantage over CTBs for me to completey change how everyone in our company thinks. Like i said the one guy uses them, and if it was that advantageous i would switch. Im just not seeing it. I just see it as the end result is the same, just a different means of getting there. Just like everything else in autocad. There is 10 ways to do the same thing.
You're not seeing it because you haven't actually used them yet. It's one of those things where until you use them for... say 30 days straight... then go back to CTB you finally see it. You'll stop and say,"CTB's suck. I want STB's again."

 

I linked my standard STB in an earlier post on this thread. If you open it up you'll understand my setup. But it also depends on what type of design production you do. I do all sorts of production work. I'd rather manage 15+/- named plot styles then have to manage 255 whether I like it or not. I don't want to by tied to colors at all. Colors don't matter, nor should it. If I want something to plot 0080" LW thickness then I simply put the object or layer on the "LW 0080" Named Plot Style. Done. Doesn't matter if it's red, white, Color 190, or True Color.

 

When sharing STB's, people don't have to scour through all 255 colors to get an idea of how the plot style is set up. Anybody opens up my STB file they know exactly what's going on. Oh and lets not forget my Screening and Mask Plot Styles. The Mask Plot Style is just phenomenal and in this case, it truly is superior to CTB's when comparing the procedures to make this happen. But it sounds like you don't leverage Masking. Probably still use Wipeouts I assume? Most do.

 

I mean, from your earlier post it sounds like all you use is 7 lineweights (eg: colors), then a few more for screening. So your need for a plot style use is probably the simplest I've ever heard of. At my company, we can't utilize that few colors. Our designs just can't take it. We might as well use all one color if all we have is 7 to choose from.

 

And lets talk XREF's for a moment. I can XREF an architectural background, put it on the layer via our company standards, and set the layer to a Named Plot Style to screen it. Doesn't matter what colors are there.... I don't have to go and change any layers to a screened color (Color 253, for example) in the original file. Also, in the same file, I can have multiple Viewports and by a simple VP Override, I can put it to another Named Plot Style if I need the linework to be black instead of screened.

 

Also, we utilize color in our PDF plots. We have Red for clouds in our internal QA/QC. Then orange, blue and green. So we have a Named Plot Style for this because each color represents a phase in our QA/QC. For this to happen using CTB that is not ByObject, you'd have to kill a few Colors, or you'd have to use True Color to override the CTB. Good luck with standards with that method.

 

So for you, I'm guessing that it boils down to the fact that your design production is far to simple for it to even matter which is why you have a disconnect with STB's.

 

My $0.02 :)

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