NPS AutoCAD Pen/Color Reference Chart

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How to use this chart:

For a given pen width, there are several AutoCAD® colors which can be used. For example, for a rapidograph #1 (0.021" wide) black, you can use colors 1, 33, 65, 97, 129, 161, 193 or 225. All of these colors will plot the same; 0.021 wide black.

Pen weights available are rapidograph 000 through 6, each in 100% black, 50% grayscale and 30% grayscale. Due to difficulity with photo-copying light shades of gray, we recommend only using the 30% pens for poche or hatched areas - not for general line work.

What is low priority, high priority, and 'masking'?

The masking colors, 136 & 137, plot like an eraser; they are "white" in color, and can overwrite or mask other pens. So, if you used the SOLID command to create a solid using color 136, that solid could mask objects "underneath" (in the context of the DRAWORDER command). Objects "above" the solid would print. For example, using this technique, you can hide a portion of a contour line which would otherwise run through text. We prefer using this method rather than AutoCAD's wipeout command, since wipeout it has several known bugs.

When using AutoCAD to print, there is no difference between low priority and high priority color numbers. However, here at the Denver Service Center office, we use Plot Station / PrfGenerator software to print AutoCAD drawings, and it has capabilities that AutoCAD does not have. One such feature is the ability to assign "priorities" to AutoCAD colors. So, using Plot Station, any high priority color will show through the mask colors, and any low priority color will be hidden by mask colors - all of this happens regardless of draworder.

The bottom line:

Unless you're using Plot Station / PrfGenerator here at the Denver Service Center office, use the low priority colors for most objects. Use the mask colors for objects to act like an eraser. And, pay attention to the draworder of objects if you're masking.

Also, be sure you have the latest version of our pen settings file, NPS_HP_Grayscale.ctb.

Should I use colors that are not shown on this chart?

NO! Even though our .ctb files will print colors not shown here (like color 150), please don't use those colors. We are reserving those colors for unexpected uses. In the future, color 150 might plot to a 1" wide line with Mickey Mouse ears every .5". Okay, maybe not, but you get the idea.

100%
Black
Rapidograph Decimal Acad Color
#'s
Low Priority
Acad Color
#'s
High Priority
000 0.010 cyan 4 36 68 100 132 164 196 228
00 0.013 magenta 6 38 70 102 134 166 198 230
0 0.017 white 7 39 71 103 135 167 199 231
1 0.021 red 1 33 65 97 129 161 193 225
2 0.026 yellow 2 34 66 98 130 162 194 226
3 0.035 green 3 35 67 99 131 163 195 227
4 0.043 27 59 91 123 - - - -
5 0.055 blue 5 37 69 101 133 165 197 229
6 0.067 30 62 94 126 - - - -
50%
Gray
Rapidograph Decimal Acad Color
#'s
Low Priority
Acad Color
#'s
High Priority
000 0.010 14 46 78 110 142 174 206 238
00 0.013 16 48 80 112 144 176 208 240
0 0.017 10 42 74 106 138 170 202 234
1 0.021 11 43 75 107 139 171 203 235
2 0.026 12 44 76 108 140 172 204 236
3 0.035 13 45 77 109 141 173 205 237
4 0.043 28 60 92 124 - - - -
5 0.055 15 47 79 111 143 175 207 239
6 0.067 31 63 95 127 - - - -
30%
Gray
Rapidograph Decimal Acad Color
#'s
Low Priority
Acad Color
#'s
High Priority
000 0.010 24 56 88 120
00 0.013 26 58 90 122
0 0.017 20 52 84 116
1 0.021 21 53 85 117
2 0.026 22 54 86 118
3 0.035 23 55 87 119
4 0.043 29 61 93 125
5 0.055 25 57 89 121
6 0.067 32 64 96 128
No Plot Rapidograph Decimal Acad Color
#'s
Low Priority
Acad Color
#'s
High Priority
- - dk gray 8 40 72 104
- - lt gray 9 41 73 105
- - 17 49 81 113
- - 18 50 82 114
- - 19 51 83 115
Masking Rapidograph Decimal
- - 136 137

Questions or problems should be directed to dsccadsupport@nps.gov

 

Last updated: January 19, 2018