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Pens and Pen Sets
August 2, 2008
9:40 am
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The Master Template contains a number of sample pen sets. I wanted to point out one "Best Practice" aspect of the sample set from Link that all users should be aware of.

The ArchiCAD library uses pens 1 through 10 as well as pen 91 (white) and pen 19 (international white). Best Practice is that these pens should be identified as such (see Link's sample pen table) and the pen color and weight should only be modified after very serious consideration (e.g., new users should not change them on their first project.)

The library parts are/were designed to appear reasonably correct with the default Graphisoft weights of pens 1 through 10, so that users would not have to change every pen in every part before it is placed.

It is not wise to select pen 1 to be your wall contour, for example, just because it is black. If you do, and decide you want beefier wall lines, then every placed library part that used pen 1 will also become heavier. Best Practice is to be cautious about using pens 1 through 10 for anything other than library parts, or colors (e.g., text or fill color).

Some users make these first ten pens all black. The downside of doing that is that you will have no visual cue that you can change the appearance (weight) of the linework of certain elements of a library part. This is particularly helpful with the Detailer (DET) parts, where it isn't obvious which parts of the linework might have user control, but it is also helpful with windows and doors (e.g.) where the light blue pen is the default 'glass' pen, and all other parts.

Pen Sets give the ArchiCAD user the ability to see a view (or drawing) in several different ways by switching from one pen set to another. If you want to see the library parts as all black, then make pens 1 through 10 black in a pen set used for printing (or for a WYSIWYG - What You See Is What You Get - working view). But, keep a working pen set with the GS defaults so that you can see the user-customizable components of library parts.

Cheers,
Karl

August 5, 2008
11:13 am
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Thanks Karl for an excellent addition to the Best Practices section of our forum. For those of you who don't know Karl, (among other things) he is an ArchiCAD guru who is one of the most frequent contributors to the ArchiCAD-Talk discussion board.

Eric Bobrow, Principal, Bobrow Consulting Group – Creator of MasterTemplate – The Office Standard for ArchiCAD – http://www.bobrow.com http://www.actemplate.com

February 29, 2012
10:17 pm
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I am just starting with International MasterTemplate with the Australian AUS version of AC15. I have noticed that the pen sets selected in the View Map, such as 04 Building plans Master Template have a white pen 19 but a purple pen 91. It appears that the AUS Library (and possibly the various International Libraries) uses pen 91 for the Fill background for a range of objects. I see this in the Kitchen cabinets, door and windows that I have placed whilst building the Sample house in the Quick Start course. (I am getting back into ACad after a break of several versions and have found the QS course a great orientation.)

My research has turned up some Forum contributions mentioning pens 19 and 91 by both Eric and by Karl Ottenstein (including above in this thread), and the Archicad Wiki article on Pen Sets.
- Karl: http://www.actemplate.com/support/support-forum/Best-Practices/Pens-and-Pen-Sets/
- ArchiCad Wiki: http://www.archicadwiki.com/Pen%20Sets
- Eric in few places on this form such as: http://www.actemplate.com/support/support-forum/Questions-and-Answers/specifying-pens-when-using-composite-structures/
I have also imported the pen sets from the AUS Template into my Master Template file. Most of the Aus Pen Sets have both pens 91 and 19 as white pens.

MY QUESTION is, particlarly for those who have encountered this issue with Pen 91: What is the best method to rectify this issue so that pen 91 is white where it is commonly used in the AUS/INT library and tools?
a) Simply go through the pen sets in the MasterTemplate and change pen 91 to white in all of them?
b) Select one or more of the AUS pen sets in place of the IMT sets?
c) Some other solution?
I'd be happy with applying method (a). Are there any particular problems with it?

Thanks in advance
Graham

February 29, 2012
11:12 pm
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Graham -

I only recently became aware that the Pen Sets used in the Australian distribution of ArchiCAD are significantly different than the International English version of ArchiCAD. Up until December 2011, when Iain Dykes brought this to my attention, I had thought that the Australian ArchiCAD used the International conventions that Graphisoft established some years ago.

I have not had a chance to review the implications of this situation, much as I would like to address them. I would suggest trying option (a) above -- that you simply go through the pen sets in MasterTemplate and change pen 91 to white in all of them that are in use. Then take a look at the elements in the Interactive Legends and see if they look OK. These elements were placed into the Legends file with their default settings from the International Library, and this MAY work OK for the slightly modified pen sets. Next, if that's OK, then I would look at a handful of other standard library parts, and see how they look with these pen sets. If they all look OK, then you're good to go.

The worst case scenario is that the Australian Library elements look bad with the INT pen sets, and that they "need" the Australian pen sets to look correct; while it's easy to import the pen sets into the template, and fairly straightforward to update all the Views to use the desired pen set, doing this might require a large effort in terms of updating the several hundred elements in the Interactive Legends to work with the AUS pen sets.

Please post again after you've looked at these options, and I'll be happy to continue the discussion and work towards a good resolution.

Eric

Eric Bobrow, Principal, Bobrow Consulting Group – Creator of MasterTemplate – The Office Standard for ArchiCAD – http://www.bobrow.com http://www.actemplate.com

March 1, 2012
12:04 am
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Eric,
I have sent to you by email an AUS ACAD15 tpl file so that you can see the AUS pens sets.
I am inclinded to agree that just changing pen 91 to white in the AMT Pensets would be preferable.
Karl above wrote that "The ArchiCAD library uses pens 1 through 10 as well as pen 91 (white) and pen 19 (international white)." If this is the case with the Library in the AUS ACAD then the main pen weight impacts are likely to be limited to the thickness of pens 1 to 10.
As you may see in AUS tpl, most of the pensets are very similar to the old ACAD 9 set that is included in the AMT. The major variations have been the addition of a vertical column of white pens from 91 down. The other main differences seem to be confined to pens 1 to 10, particularly in the thicknesses.
You will notice that in several of the sets Black pens are used for all of pens 1 to 10. This follows the preferences on one of the AUS in-house gurus who as been resident there since maybe version 5. The limitations of adopting black for 1 to 10 have been noted elsewhere on this forum and others that I have referenced above.
However I doubt that anyone in the ACAD supply chain is sitting down with each new AUS ACAD Library version and changing all the pens in the objects, so my expectation is that the AUS ACAD libraries and tools would work just fine with the pens sets in the AMT.
I have not yet tested this with the IMT Legends and when I do it may be more by way of a spot check than systematic and comprehensive.
The matter about which I am more concerned in the Legends is all the odd dimensions which apparently arise from its conversion from feet and inches (e.g. 1214 mm where 1200 mm is expected) and those that don't match our construction dimensions (such as walls 2750 mm high instead of 2700, or 100 mm bricks.)

All the best.
Graham

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