Black Background

I'm just curious, but why do most cad people still use a black background?
I know that in the early days of cad the monitors had low refresh rates
which caused the screens to flicker, and black bothered the eyes less,
but current monitors don't have that issue, and I would have thought
that having a screen that looks like the eventual page to be plotted
would make more sense.
That's what we do here, especially since we plot in color with layers
set to colors that are relatively consistent so that checking of the
drawings is easier.
It reminds me of the use of different pen settings for each color when
there are no pens on modern plotters. There we use layer lineweights,
and use plines or edit the per line lineweight when something in the
layer needs to be emphasized over other items in the same layer.
Similarly architects use tickmarks instead of arrows because it was
faster to dimension that way when drawing by hand, but now it doesn't
save time, and if one dimension snaps over another, it can cause
problems (example 2' dimension and 8" snaps on top of it so that it
looks like 2' + 8"). At least with arrows you can see that one arrowhead
is missing, and then you know that there is a problem with the string.
These are just some of my pet peeves, but I will listen to valid
explanations other than "I'm just used to it that way" or "Architects
need to have more style than engineers and ticks are more stylish"
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I actually prefer "tick" marks for dimensions.
Reply to
Bob Morrison
personally I've always prefered using the ticks for dimensioning, I think they look better.
As for using the black screen, my eyes cant take a white screen, simple as. Monitor technology has nothing to do with it, a big white screen will always take its toll on the users eyes, when I used to use autocad LT quite a few yrs ago, I experimented with different colours, I found the lightest my eyes can take is a beige colour, but I will always prefer black, plus all my drawings are plotted in black an white anyway so the coloured lines are purely for my benefit :)
Reply to
Remo Shiva
but why? I do structural design work and the number of bad drawings due to dimensions snapping on top of each other is frustrating, especially since my design work is third party and some of the architects think that that is a license to rip me off by charging for cad files where I could at least verify if they did have that error. If you use an open arrow it would look like a left tick and a right tick overlapping at the extension line. Your response really fits into the category of "ticks are more stylish" since you don't state a reason for your preference.
Bob Morris>> These are just some of my pet peeves, but I will listen to valid
Reply to
I have been doing cad since 1985 beginning with VersaCAD. The black background made it easier to see the drawing. When I switched to AutoCAD about 1994, I found the screen could be any color I wanted. I found white to be "glary" and more difficult to distinguish the drawing and dimensions. I always use the black background now and it is just easier. When I receive a file to modify from a customer, most of them have the white background and for some unknown reason, those cad operators just love to use yellow and cyan. I think most of it comes from inexperienced cad operators hired just out of school and cheaply. Printing in yellow and cyan is useless. It is pitiful to read and I change everying immediately. The finished file goes to a new customer. I believe in working smart not hard.
Have a great day!!!!! Shirley Plano, TX
Reply to
S. Smith
I agree about the yellow and cyan. They seem to think that the colors of legal pads are magically right for every use. Paper is not a monitor and I realize that that same statement can be applied to white backgrounds. However I wonder if you ever tried using white with the brightness turned down. Many beginners set the brightness at max, which on many CRT monitors caused "blooming" which blurred the lines. I use white but I have turned brightness way down to about 60% of max. Sharpness is not an issue since the LCD has a native resolution, and that is the resolution I use
S. Smith wrote:
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Bad drawing is bad drawing no matter what dimension style you use. The quality of cad drawings I receive from most architects is pitiful: lines that don't meet properly at corners; dimensions that have been overwritten to be correct, but the line work they are associated with isn't drawn correctly; and my biggest complaint is a lack of properly layer standards and adherence to those standards.
I mean what's up with naming a layer "Heavy" in a multi-story building?
With today's cad programs there is no excuse (other than laziness) for not using lots of layers with only a single color on each layer and layer names that are descriptive of their content.
Reply to
Bob Morrison
It all really comes down to preference, but as far as the colors are concerned, most CAD people I know prefer black background. I personally prefer this as well, because almost all colors show up well with a black background. If your only dealing in black and white, apparently white is better, according to the study linked below.
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As you can see, though, it is different for every person. "I'm just used to it that way" is apparently a very valid explanation when you're dealing with the human eye. A couple more relevent links:
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You'll probably find much more info if you Google it.
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I agree with you as far as a WYSIWYG (white) screen for drawing. In all of the years I've been associated with computing, I've never heard a complaint from anyone about "eystrain" from Word, WordPerfect, Excel, Access, CorelDraw, PhotoPaint, PhotoShop, or any other WYSIWYG application, other than AutoCAD. Why are drafters more prone to "eyestrain" than secretaries, authors, spreadsheeters, illustrators and other computer users? Perhaps they haven't heard of the "brightness" or "contrast" controls, or perhaps they still work in darkened rooms where screen glare is much more obvious than in a well-lighted workplace. In any case, we've *always* used a white or light gray background, and in the past 20+ years, no one here has ever complained about "eyestrain" except when trying to see those yellow or cyan lines on drawings from a "black screen shop."
As for tick marks, it's simply a matter of style. We use them because they're the accepted mode in the architectural fields. They're available, so why not? I *do* however, take exception to those who insist on applying "squiggle" or some other phony technique to make CAD drawings look "hand-drawn." In my book this would be like Random House publishing books in a longhand font to make them look "hand-written." ___
Reply to
Paul Turvill
I convinced one local architect to switch to arrows after I caught 3 separate occurrences of dimension strings snapping onto other strings in one drawing. And it was tougher for him to switch because he uses a different cad program specifically oriented to architects that didn't have arrows built in as an option. But because he is a big promoter of that product he got the software company to patch the software for him in relatively short order.
Paul Turvill wrote:
Reply to
As for tick marks, I personally don't care. My former workplace used arrows, my current one uses tickmarks, and I've had no difficulty with either. You just have to have a competent person doing the dimensioning. Either one has issues if the person doesn't pay attention to snap points and legibility of the final drawing.
That being said, there *is* value in consistency of standards. I always try to make every drawing that I do for any particular employer consistent. No matter who is doing the drawings, they should all look like the same person did them. Once the company has set the standards, there should be a really good reason to change them.
Reply to
Amen, brother, you're singing my song. I'm not really trying to Architect-bash here, but I have found that as long as it prints correctly, most are not careful with what items go on what layers.
Also folks, why choose 9 or 10 colors for the .ctb when you have in theory 256? (I say, in theory because I cannot differentiate most of the colors ending in a "6, 7, 8, or 9".)
Ah, just my 2.5 cents (inflation, you know)
Bob Morris>
Reply to
Janice G
Exactly! Poor quality workmanship leads to errors no matter how good the program or standards. It is possible to turn a high quality product AND be fast if you know what you are doing.
Reply to
Bob Morrison
colors are more distinct on a black background, and a black background causes less eye strain.
arrowheads are not "architectural". Archtecture is an art, and the finished product must be as artistic architecturally and it is technical. The artistic goal of a set of plans is to have it look as close to hand drawn as possible, not look like a technical drawing.
you'll listen to valid explanations only if they agree with what you said apparently.
Reply to
I have been using autocad for the past 20 years, I use a black background and prefer solid arrow heads over either tick marks or dots... but thats only because I have used them for the majority of those 20 years.
But as some other posters have noted, it doesn't really matter which one you use... what *does* matter is that the drawing being produced is easy for your clients (or other disciplines) to follow when printed. That is the point of creating the drawing in the first place.
*BUT*, working with someone else's drawing in autocad has always been interesting to say the least. It's kinda like listening to a foreigner to your country that is unfamiliar with your language describe something to you, you can only make out some of the words and have to piece together meaning by interpolation :)
As far as the background thing... I have never put *much* thought into changing my background from the default. The one time I did think about it, I tinkered with the background color a bit, but then felt that I was 'playing around' on company time and dropped it.
Reply to
Greg Young
"Paul Turvill" wrote in news:e1m0n2$rfo$
Simple really, those users aren't focusing in on the intersection of the two strokes that make up a tee or other character ... When I'm in other software, even sketchup, I'm not concentrating on small areas to the same detail as I am in cad, zooming factor making little diffence... Ron
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JG wrote in news:0oydnUTvHKBg5qPZnZ2dnUVZ
Don't know whether its 'most' any more, but black = all screen guns are off
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been cadding for about 20 years. I have tried a white or grey background half a dozen times. color schemes that look better on a black screen don't have the same appeal on a grey background. I could not come up with a color scheme that satisfied others when I worked in an office. so I followed the herd.
now that I could do whatever I want, I like the black background, but I admit it may just be constant use has rewired my preferences.......
and make as many layers as you like, but I like to keep the number of colors down to about 10 on the screen. it's the way my mind looks at the data on the screen. has got to be a learned thing at this point.
fun topic.
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That's one take on it, I guess. But, interesting is hardly the word I'd use. How about maddening! I used to have to change many CAD dwgs for design revisions and some of the methods used by originators were so bizarre, I'd have to redo the drawing from scratch. The worst were 3D drawings turned so they only appeared to be orthographic. None of the points were on the viewed plane and dimensions floated in space. We had one fellow who refused to stop this silliness and since his drawings wouldn't pass quality inspection, he quit rather than conform. All his work had to be redone.
Oh yeah ....I use a black background.
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