New custom colors in drawings and printing line property improvements

Tekla Structures
2024
Tekla Structures

New custom colors in drawings and printing line property improvements

In Tekla Structures 2024, you can easily define an unlimited number of custom RGB colors for drawing objects and meet the related industry standards and regulatory requirements. Now you can color-code your objects in Tekla Structures drawings and then export or print the drawings WYSIWYG for stakeholders.

You can define custom RGB colors using the new color palette in editing mode.

You can use custom colors:

  • throughout the drawing, drawing view, and drawing object level properties
  • in the line properties in printing
  • in the Template Editor templates
  • for drawing objects in Tekla OpenAPI extension development

Custom RGB colors are also supported in the drawing export. The standard, hard-coded Tekla Structures colors are still available for use as well. The Special color option has been removed, as the functionality is now provided by custom colors. When loading old Tekla Structures drawings that use the Special color, Tekla Structures still shows that color in the drawings and outputs.

In the new color palette dialog box, you can select a standard or custom color to use and, in editing mode, also define and save a set of custom colors in a property file for easy reuse and sharing in a specific project, for example. Color property files can be placed in all the standard file locations such as project or firm folders. The saved custom color palettes will be available in all places where you might want to change the colors: for all drawing objects on all drawing property levels, for line properties in printing, and for template objects in Template Editor.

Example of the workflow you might want to use when applying the custom colors:

  1. First create and save the custom color palettes in color editing mode for the needed purposes, for example, for a specific project.
  2. Apply the defined custom colors to the drawing objects and to drawing templates.
  3. Finally, define the printing output colors using the new custom colors and saved color palettes.

How to access the new color palette

You can access the color palette in any of the following ways:

  • In drawing mode, go to the File menu and click Editors > Color palette editor. Here, you can edit or add custom colors.

    To switch between viewing modes, click the / button. In the list mode, you can also see the names of the new custom colors.

  • In the property pane for drawing objects, click a color setting box. Here, you can select colors from the available palettes. To access color editing mode, click the Edit colors button at the top.

  • In the drawing or view level dialog box for a drawing object, click the new selection button next to a color setting. Here, you can select colors from the available palettes. To access color editing mode, click the Edit colors button at the top.

  • In the contextual toolbar for a drawing object, click the color setting box. Here, you can select colors from available palettes. To access custom color editing mode, click the Edit colors button at the top.

  • In the Print Drawings dialog box, on the Line properties tab, click . The color palette is also displayed when you select Custom as the output color option. Here, you can select colors from the available palettes. To access custom color editing mode, click the Edit colors button at the top.

  • In the edge chamfer default line settings: Go to the File menu, click Settings > Options > Drawing objects, and click the new selection button next to the edge chamfer Line color setting. Here, you can select colors from the available palettes. To access custom color editing mode, click the Edit colors button at the top.
  • In a Template Editor template, double-click a shape object or a text object to display the object properties, and then click a color. Here, you can select and add colors.

Add new custom colors

Open the color palette editor:

  • In drawing mode, go to the File menu and click Editors > Color palette editor.

Add colors:

  • In editing mode, click the Add new custom color button. In the displayed Add color dialog box, use the color slider on the left to go to the desired color, then pick the desired shade in the color area with the color picker. Alternatively, enter the exact RGB or HEX values. You can also give the color a name, if desired. When you are done, click OK.

Tekla Structures adds the color in the Custom section of the color palette dialog box. The color name is displayed when you point the custom color in the palette. Add all the desired colors in the same way. When you are done, save the added colors to a palette to ensure that they are kept.

Note:

If you add new custom colors in the color palette dialog box but do not save the color palette, Tekla Structures remembers the added custom colors in the current session. This means that if you close the color palette and later on open it again, you can still see the added colors. The added colors are removed from the color palette dialog box when you select a saved color palette from the list or when you close Tekla Structures.

Save added custom colors to a palette

  • To save the custom colors that you have added in the Custom section in a palette, in editing mode, enter a name for the color palette file in the Custom box, and click Save.

The color palette files are saved as *.ColorPalette.xml files in the \attributes folder under the current model folder. You can save as many color palette files as you need and also place them in the firm and project folders for sharing.

The saved color palettes are available for all types of drawing objects on all drawing property levels, in printing, and for templates in Template Editor.

The custom colors that you use in the drawing objects are saved in the drawing database, whereas the custom colors that you use in the drawing, view or object level settings files are saved in the settings files. This means that removing a custom color that is currently used in a drawing object from the color palette does not affect any drawings or the saved color palette files.

Modify a saved color palette

You can edit a color, or remove an unnecessary color from a palette.

  • To remove a color, in color editing mode, open a color palette, click the color in the palette, and press Delete on the keyboard, or right-click the color and select Delete.
  • To edit a color, right-click the color in the palette and select Edit.

When a palette is being modified, the palette name gets an asterisk (*) and the name is displayed in italics, for example, My colors*. Click Save when you are done.

Assign custom colors to drawing objects

  • To assign a custom color to a drawing object, click a color setting in a drawing object property pane or the selection button in a drawing object properties dialog box, select a saved color palette from the Custom list, and then click a custom color in the palette. Finally, click Modify in the properties to apply the changes.

  • If you want to use the same custom color for multiple objects, ensure that the property pane is open and select the objects in the drawing. Varies is shown in the color box if the colors differ and the colors for the objects are listed. Select the desired color from the palette, and click Modify.

  • If you added names for the custom colors, they are shown in list mode:

Custom colors and other line property improvements in printing

In Tekla Structures 2024, you have new options available for creating exactly the output that you need. On the Line properties tab, you can now:

  • Select the desired output color option from the new Color on output list:

    By object - use the drawing object colors in output as they are

    Custom - map object colors to custom colors

    Grayscale - print in grayscale

    No output - skip printing of objects that have a certain color

  • Show the selected output color and line thickness in the output preview.
  • Select multiple rows by using Ctrl or Shift and then select a command from the context menu:

  • Show changes immediately in the drawing preview. You can use the mouse wheel to zoom in the preview. You can also zoom into areas of interest. The preview also supports panning.
  • Add new line properties and remove existing line properties.
  • Use the colors defined for the objects in the current drawing as output colors.
  • Define a default color and line thickness for those object colors used in the drawing for which you haven't defined an output color in line properties.
  • Save the line property changes in the printing settings so that you can load those later on.

Other changes in line properties:

  • The Reset colors button has been removed as it is no longer needed.
  • If you have selected Tekla Grayscale or Black and white as the print color on the Options tab, the line property Color on output settings are disabled.

  • Tekla Grayscale replaces the old Grayscale on the Options tab in printing and in the drawing color mode selection in File > Settings. In Tekla Grayscale mode, certain standard colors are shown as black, whereas the new Grayscale option converts all colors, standard and custom, to different shades of gray using an algorithm. In line properties, gray is shown in either grayscale mode as a percentage, for example, "Tekla Grayscale - Gray 50 %" or "Grayscale - Gray 29 %".
  • If you have loaded printing settings and make some changes in the settings, the name of the settings file will be displayed in italics and will get an asterisk at the end (MySettings*), and the Save button will be enabled.

Use colors in current drawing as output colors

You can use object colors in the currently previewed drawing as output colors. This is a very easy way to define the output colors if you have predefined custom color palettes, and you have used the palette colors in your drawing objects.

  • Ensure that the preview of the drawing is shown. If it is not shown, click Click here to load a preview in the preview area, which activates the button on the Line properties tab. Click the button. This adds all object colors that exist in the drawing preview as new line properties to the Line properties tab. If a color already exists, it will not be added again. Ensure that the Color on output is set to By object for each row. The line thickness from the Default row is used for all rows, but you can adjust the line thickness.

Map an object color to a custom color

In the line properties, you can assign a custom color to an object color as the output color.

  • Click a color row and select Custom from the Color on output list. In the displayed color palette dialog box, select a saved palette from the Custom list, click a custom color in the palette, and then click OK. You can also select several rows using Ctrl or Shift, right-click and then select Output > Custom.

    The selected color is added as the output color for the row. The line thickness is taken from the Default row, but you can adjust that. The preview shows the new color and line thickness.

Add a new line property

You can add a new line property in the list of line properties and specify the desired output for it.

  • On the Line properties tab, click the button. Select a saved palette from the Custom list, click a custom color in the palette, and click OK.

    A new line property row with the selected color is added on the Line properties tab. The line thickness is taken from the Default row, but you can adjust that. If the color already exists, it will not be added.

Define the line thickness

Do one of the following:

  • Enter the line thickness for each color in the Thickness box.
  • Define the line thickness for several color rows:
    1. Use Ctrl or Shift to select multiple rows.
    2. Right-click and select Line thickness.
    3. Enter the line thickness for the selected rows.

Use default color and line thickness in printing

  • The Default color and line thickness are used for those colors in the drawing that have no definition on the Line properties tab.
  • The Default line property row has the same options available for output as the other line property rows.

  • To use only one color and line thickness in the printout, define the desired color and line thickness for the new Default row and delete all line property rows.

Print objects in grayscale

  • To define that a certain object color is always printed in grayscale, on the Line properties tab, click a color row and select Grayscale from the Color on output list.

    The preview shows the drawing object in grayscale.

You can also select several rows using Ctrl or Shift, right-click and select Output > Grayscale.

Skip objects in printing

  • If you do not want to print some objects, on the Line properties tab, click a color row and select No output from the Color on output list. The drawing objects that use the object color specified on the particular line property row are not shown in the preview and not printed.

    You can also select several rows using Ctrl or Shift, right-click and select Output > No output.

In the first example, all colors are printed:

In the second example, the drawing objects that have green or black color are not printed.

Remove a line property

  • On the Line properties tab, select one or more rows. You can use Ctrl or Shift to select multiple rows. To delete the selected rows, click Delete in the dialog box, or right-click and select Delete.

Custom colors in Template Editor

Template Editor templates now support custom colors, and Template Editor is able to use the same custom color palette files that you use for drawing objects and printing.

In Template Editor, you can:

  • Change the color of a text object. To do this, double-click a text object in the template, and in the object properties, click the button next to the font setting. Then click the color box and select a custom color.

  • Change the color of a shape object. To do this, double-click a shape object, such as a line, and in the object properties, click the color box and select a custom color.

  • Add new colors (Add) and save new custom color palettes (New).

Custom colors in drawing hatches

Custom colors in automatic hatches

You can now define custom colors for automatic drawing hatches defined in .htc schema files. The hatches defined in the .htc schema files are used when you set Type to Automatic in the Fill section in the part or shape properties.

To specify a custom color, enter the HEX value of the color in the schema file. For example, for a specific shade of green, enter 0x00DC32: CONCRETE,,hardware_SOLID,,0x00DC32

Hatch background color None

The None option is now available for selecting in the color palette as the hatch background color. None works in the same way as before: when you select it, the drawing background color is used as the hatch background color.

Changes in advanced options related to colors

XS_​SHORTENING_​SYMBOL_​COLOR_RGB

Use this new model-specific advanced option, XS_​SHORTENING_​SYMBOL_​COLOR_RGB, to define the color of the view shortening symbol in a drawing. Leave the value empty to automatically use the same color as the part color. In addition to single color index values, you can now enter the RGB value of a specific custom RGB color. For an RGB color, enter three numeric values separated by spaces (each value in the range 0 to 255). For example, for a specific shade of green, enter 0 220 50.

This advanced option is located in the Drawing properties category of the Advanced options dialog box and it replaces the advanced option XS_​SHORTENING_​SYMBOL_​COLOR.

XS_SECTION_LINE_COLOR_RGB

Use this new model-specific advanced option, XS_SECTION_LINE_COLOR_RGB, to add extra lines in different colors around automatic hatching in section views. In addition to single color index values, you can now enter the RGB value of a specific custom RGB color. For an RGB color, enter three numeric values separated by spaces (each value in the range 0 to 255). For example, for a specific shade of green, enter 0 220 50.

This advanced option is located in the Hatching category of the Advanced options dialog box and it replaces the advanced option XS_SECTION_LINE_COLOR.

XS_​POP_​MARK_​COLOR_RGB

Use this new advanced option, XS_​POP_​MARK_​COLOR_RGB, to define the color of a customized pop-mark symbol that is displayed in a drawing. The default value is 1 (white). In addition to single color index values, you can now enter the RGB value of a specific custom RGB color. For an RGB color, enter three numeric values separated by spaces (each value in the range 0 to 255). For example, for a specific shade of green, enter 0 220 50.

This advanced option is located in the Drawing properties category of the Advanced options dialog box and it replaces the advanced option XS_​POP_​MARK_​COLOR.

XS_​DRAWING_​CHANGE_​HIGHLIGHT_​COLOR

You can use the advanced option XS_​DRAWING_​CHANGE_​HIGHLIGHT_​COLOR to change the highlight color of the automatic change symbols. In addition to single color index values, you can now enter the RGB value of a specific custom RGB color. For an RGB color, enter three numeric values separated by spaces (each value in the range 0 to 255). For example, for a specific shade of green, enter 0 220 50.

Advanced options defining Special hatch color removed

The following advanced options that were used for defining the Special hatch color for printing and export have been removed from Tekla Structures 2024:

XS_​HATCH_​SPECIAL_​COLOR_​ACI

XS_​HATCH_​SPECIAL_​COLOR_​R

XS_​HATCH_​SPECIAL_​COLOR_​G

XS_​HATCH_​SPECIAL_​COLOR_​B

You can now define custom RGB colors and use those in hatches instead. Models created with Tekla Structures versions older than 2024 containing values for the removed advanced options are still supported.

Other changes in colors

The name of the standard yellow color has been changed to Yellow/Olive to better explain that yellow is shown differently based on the drawing background color (black or white). Also the icons representing the Yellow/Olive color in drawings and printing have been changed accordingly.

Limitations in drawing colors

Limitations in using custom colors

There are some limitations in the usage of custom colors. The custom colors are not supported:

Tip:

You can use standard colors for the unsupported objects, and then select the desired custom colors for the output in printing.

Pre-existing drawing color related limitations

There are also some pre-existing drawing color related limitations. There are some color and line properties in parts and neighbor parts that you cannot control in the part or neighbor part properties:

  • You cannot control the part and neighbor part section line color. You can only control the section line color at the model level for all drawings using XS_SECTION_LINE_COLOR_RGB.
  • You cannot control the line color and type for hidden lines, own hidden lines, center lines, or hidden lines. You can only control the center lines line type at the model level for all drawings using XS_CENTER_LINE_TYPE.
  • You cannot control the shortening symbol line color and line type. You can only control these properties at the model level for all drawings using XS_​SHORTENING_​SYMBOL_​COLOR_RGB and XS_SHORTENING_SYMBOL_WITH_ZIGZAG.
  • You cannot specify transparency levels for lines or fills. All objects are opaque.
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