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howitzer

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

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Organic
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.

 

This is basically what we use with .ctb, and even in complicated drawings (> 200 layers) it works well in my opinion.

 

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.

 

We do the same with .ctb although simply used a colour plot style when we want to print pdfs in colour. I guess with .ctb you might require more plotstyles, but at the end of the day, most companies set their plotsyles up and then not touch them again for 5, 10 years etc.

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tzframpton

Like I mentioned before, to each his own. *shrugs*

 

I know a guy who still draws everything on the 0 Layer and doesn't use any lineweights. He produces a lot of engineered documents, too, all in Modelspace (old school way). His background is set to White, and all linework is set to Black. So obviously I wouldn't even mention STB's to him because I know he's not changing; nor does he need to.

 

Seems the only people who keep mentioning only having a handful of lineweights are Civil guys. Seems about right. :)

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rkent
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.

 

If you had a 50/50 split with half using ctb and half with stb then I would push for STB but in your situation I would require the one guy to not use STB. What a pain to have some files one way and some the other. The cad manager should stop that person from using STB, imho.

 

The difficulty in explaining moving to STB is that people have used CTB so long it makes sense to them. But it really makes no sense to use color for b/w lineweights and it makes no sense to have to remember a pen width to color matrix or have to refer to one just to get the lineweight you need. Knowing you need color_144 to plot a black line the a width of .015, or color_244 for a 50% screening is nonsensical no matter how you slice it. Instead you would have a plot style name of BW015 and a BW50%. Which one really makes the most sense? Which one will tell almost any CAD person what your plotting intentions were if they didn't have the ctb or stb file?

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howitzer
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.

 

:)

To be fair, just because you have 255 possibilities with a *.ctb means they are just that... possibilities. Nowhere does it say you have to actually use all of them. If you're comfortable with a dozen options, you can use only a dozen.

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tzframpton
Nowhere does it say you have to actually use all of them.
Actually, that is false. You do have to use them - period. If you use CTB you are permanently married to 255 colors. Now if what you mean is that you don't have to utilize 255 different possible plot color options, then that's another story.

 

Say you had a new higher who sat down at a CAD workstation. If he just started a job, never before seeing it and he looked over my STB file that I posted earlier, he would know exactly how to translate that without being briefed about the plot style standards. Now take the same situation but switch CTB instead. 255 possible combinations that the new higher would either have to (1) go color by color to figure out the possible combinations or (2) be taught from another employee what/why/where/how. Then, he'd probably have to keep referencing or print out the plot table. Yes I know your point about *only* using 7 colors but the point is, it's simply not the most logical or sensible, and surely not the most efficient way to leverage Plot Styles.

 

But rkent's post above yours said it best: why would you use a 255 color palette for black and screened lineweights? It just doesn't make sense. Or, if you'd rather me reword that phrase to say that STB's make more sense to make you happy, then that's fine. But this continuing argument to say that Color Plot Styles make sense is just absurd because they don't, unless the CTB file is set to ByObject and you don't utilize any predefined lineweights per color option. CTB plot styles make sense because you're used to it. Any newcomer to AutoCAD would understand the STB world much quicker and easier than the CTB world.

 

The only reason I'm being adamant is not to prove a point but so that newcomers to AutoCAD, if they come across this thread by chance, they have a fair chance to know the real truth. CTB's making sense... and in fact making *more* sense than STB's... is not open for debate in my book. Anybody using STB's will tell you that if they had to go back to CTB's, they'd just quit their job. Well, not really.... but you'd hear a whooooole-lotta complaining, and for good reason, ha.

 

8)

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howitzer
Actually, that is false. You do have to use them - period. If you use CTB you are permanently married to 255 colors. Now if what you mean is that you don't have to utilize 255 different possible plot color options, then that's another story.

 

Say you had a new higher who sat down at a CAD workstation. If he just started a job, never before seeing it and he looked over my STB file that I posted earlier, he would know exactly how to translate that without being briefed about the plot style standards. Now take the same situation but switch CTB instead. 255 possible combinations that the new higher would either have to (1) go color by color to figure out the possible combinations or (2) be taught from another employee what/why/where/how. Then, he'd probably have to keep referencing or print out the plot table. Yes I know your point about *only* using 7 colors but the point is, it's simply not the most logical or sensible, and surely not the most efficient way to leverage Plot Styles.

 

But rkent's post above yours said it best: why would you use a 255 color palette for black and screened lineweights? It just doesn't make sense. Or, if you'd rather me reword that phrase to say that STB's make more sense to make you happy, then that's fine. But this continuing argument to say that Color Plot Styles make sense is just absurd because they don't, unless the CTB file is set to ByObject and you don't utilize any predefined lineweights per color option. CTB plot styles make sense because you're used to it. Any newcomer to AutoCAD would understand the STB world much quicker and easier than the CTB world.

 

The only reason I'm being adamant is not to prove a point but so that newcomers to AutoCAD, if they come across this thread by chance, they have a fair chance to know the real truth. CTB's making sense... and in fact making *more* sense than STB's... is not open for debate in my book. Anybody using STB's will tell you that if they had to go back to CTB's, they'd just quit their job. Well, not really.... but you'd hear a whooooole-lotta complaining, and for good reason, ha.

 

8)

Wow. That's a very wordy attempt at arguing the semantic differences between "use" and "utilize. :lol:

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tzframpton

Wow. A grammar Nazi on a CAD forum. Yay! :lol:

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EMS_0525

Looking at my screen i can tell how a drawing is going to print by the colors. I worked at a different company than i do now and they had many different line thicknesses assigned to almost every color. Thats absurd. I use many of the colors on my screen but most of them all print out the same. I use different colors to differentiate a concrete wall from a pipe from a tree. But i know if i have something red it will be very dark, and cyan just a little bold. So using STB's looking at the screen how do you know how something is going to print? Is there an association? Turning on the lineweights isn't an option for me, lol. I HATE that. And did i read that STBs make the file significantly larger? I have worked at 4 different drafting jobs and they all use CTBs. Like i said, STBs are newer so im guessing they are "better", so i want to give it a shot. I dont think i can though.

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EMS_0525
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.

 

I have downloaded that and looked it over.

 

So you have 12 lineweights and 4 screenings. The CTB im using has 7 lineweights and 6 screenings. So you set a LW to a layer and i set a Color. Appears to be the exact same thing... I could see if there were different lineweights assigned to all 255 colors... but we are essentially doing the same thing. Actually I have even less "settings" than you do.

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JD Mather
So using STB's looking at the screen how do you know how something is going to print? Turning on the lineweights isn't an option for me, lol. I HATE that.

 

I know how it's going to print because I created correctly. I don't have to visualize anything. Set it and forget it. Everything is in my template. I am using colors for visual reference too. Colors, linetypes and lineweights set by-layer. I never display lineweights on the screen since AutoCAD isn't WYSIWYG.

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EMS_0525
I know how it's going to print because I created correctly. I don't have to visualize anything. Set it and forget it. Everything is in my template. I am using colors for visual reference too. Colors, linetypes and lineweights set by-layer. I never display lineweights on the screen since AutoCAD isn't WYSIWYG.

 

If colors dont correspond to lineweights how do you know how its going to print by looking at it? So the colors you are using for reference mean nothing when it comes to lineweights, you have to remember the color references and on top of that the lineweights of said objects?

 

I can see you can have 20 layers set to red and they can all print out to different lineweights...

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tzframpton

I've lost my patience in this thread. Certain people still have this thought of "it's the same thing" and I just cannot understand where the disconnect is in their logic. The original poster was inquiring about STB's, gave what seemed to be some good thought as if it was something he/she was interested in and then later defends that STB's are not as good as CTB's?!?

 

*sigh*. Some people just never want to get past their comfort zone. "But what about the colors!" is ancient CAD techniques. Thank Heaven I'm primarily in Revit nowadays.

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EMS_0525

If you are referring to me, i dont have a "comfort zone". I came out of technical school only knowing straight cad. Taught myself land desktop, and now civil 3d. Went from toolbars to the ribbon. Every new thing there were big reasons/facts as to why to switch to whats newer. Land desktop to C3D everything is dynamic saves time..... bla bla... Thats why i am trying to understand STBs. No one can say that they are better because ______. Just like Mtext and Dtext. There is no use for Dtext anymore, opinion. I only use Mtext. I just dont see any benefit to switch to STBs, being that they are newer makes me want to, but i just dont see why its "better". Not trying to make anyone mad or cause trouble. Just really wanted to see why Colors are ancient techniques....

 

Im done.

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rkent

This impasse is always reached when talking about ctb and stb. The advantages of stb's have been presented to you but you are convinced ctb is better for you so obviously you should stay with those.

 

As said many times in here, you have to try it out and then you will experience the difference. Reading the words here has rarely convinced anyone to switch.

 

Final word from me: When using STB you look at your drawing and see systems not colors and because you have assigned the plotstyles you want to those systems you know the new pipe will plot with a wider line that existing concrete, text will plot darker than other existing work, etc. Rather than rely on color rely on what is on the drawing. A final check can be done through the plot preview or plotting to a pdf if absolutely necessary.

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JD Mather
... you have to remember the color references ... ...

 

You totaly don't get my workflow.

Everthing is set in the template. Everything! Colors DO coorespond to my lineweights as does everything else in the layer settings for the template.

I simply draw (or move) geometry, notes, dimensions, whatever..... to the correct layer and plot. Done! Nothing to remember or "visualize".

 

I realize I never answered the original question, "why" I use the newer system. Changed back around the turn of the century after several years of using the older method. Long forgotten why I made the change.

Edited by JD Mather

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howitzer
I've lost my patience in this thread. Certain people still have this thought of "it's the same thing" and I just cannot understand where the disconnect is in their logic. The original poster was inquiring about STB's, gave what seemed to be some good thought as if it was something he/she was interested in and then later defends that STB's are not as good as CTB's?!?

Apparently, because I did not fawn all over *.stbs, and equate them as the successor to the next big thing after sliced bread, that somehow equates to them being deemed inferior.

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RobDraw

Wow, another heated discussion about STB's vs CTB's. I don't have an opinion either way. I have never used STB's but I know I could comfortably. If I were to use an STB, I would still utilize colors for different types of objects or systems or whatever I was drawing because I find it extremely helpful when I am drawing complicated drawings.

 

Styk, I saw mention in another thread about Revit that you don't use colors in Revit. I didn't understand why someone wouldn't use colors but did not want to discuss it at the time. After seeing such strong and repetitive comments by you from your soap box in this thread, I have come to the realization that you live in a black and white world or you may be color blind. No offense intended but I do think you might have been a little over the top with some of things you said.

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JD Mather

Styk, I saw mention in another thread about Revit that you don't use colors in Revit. I didn't understand why someone wouldn't use colors ....

 

Autodesk Inventor doesn't generally use colors either.

Drawings are created from 3D model - layers, linetypes, lineweights are all in the styles/standards.

There isn't a need for colors unless a color print is desired.

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Organic

I don't use .stb files, so perhaps I am wrong, although my understanding was that to use them you had to do it from the start of a file and couldn't easily switch to it after starting it with a .ctb. So if we as a firm have used .ctbs for 30 years, why would we create additional problems by trying to switch to .stbs? It seems a bit backwards given you would still have to maintain and use the .ctbs for the many .ctb initiated drawings that are still in use (some of the projects I work on have/are spanned over 20 years in stages etc).

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RobDraw
Autodesk Inventor doesn't generally use colors either.

Drawings are created from 3D model - layers, linetypes, lineweights are all in the styles/standards.

There isn't a need for colors unless a color print is desired.

 

It has been made quite "clear" that there is no need for colors outside of a CTB, no need to restate it again. I'm just saying that I would still use them as a guide. I couldn't tell you how many times I've taken drawings on paper and highlighted the sytem types in different colors to make it easier to read while I am drawing them in CAD.

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