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22 December 2011


This is very interesting. I can not believe that so many people still use CTB instead of STB. STB is so flexible that I would never change to CTB any more. But as you have written, there are so many users who don't need this flexibility because they only use greyscale. As soon as you have and want to bring colour into your drawings you should work with STB or truecolor.

Hi Shaan,
You instructed your readers to use the "CONVERTCTB" command to Convert a CTB drawing to STB. This command doesn not perform the conversion, it converts a CTB file to an STB file for color mapping purposes during the conversion.

You would then use the CONVERTPSTYLES command to convert the CTB drawing to an STB drawing and are prompted to select the previously created STB file.

The same CONVERTPSTYLES command is also used to convert from STB to CTB. The CONVERTPSTYLES command detects which drawing type is current and converts to the other type.

You are very correct thank you. I got half in thought in the blog post and messed it up in the process.

I have now clarified the two commands which are definitely different in that one CONVERTPSTYLES converts the plot style mode of the drawing and the other CONVERTCTB converts the actual plat style files.

Thank you for keeping me on my toes and providing correct instructions and information. I really appreciate it. I should have not been so quick in writing the post before the holidays since I was on the team that developed these commands.

Best Regards,

There are several instances where I have found STB to be less flexible. For example, if you use different shading (or boldness) for different portions (sub-entities) of a dimension or multileader or even portions of text. How would you accomplish this, if the property is set by the layer or entire entity? With CTB, you just specify that sub-entity to be a specific color.

Any thoughts on file size? I work with a drafter who says stb plot styles create larger files than ctb plot styles. The files we create are 2D files plotted grayscale.


I am not sure I agree with there being a difference in the resulting file size a plot file size if you are comparing true apples to oranges.


CONVERTCTB only works in one direction, CTB to STB, and not the opposite, which you say in your blog. There is no command to convert a STB file to a CTB file.


You are indeed correct, and I have edited. You can convert a drawing from color based to named and named back to color based but the actual plotstyle files can only be converted from CTB to STB using CONVERTCTB.

There used to be a method/hack but the tool is now gone which essentially allowed you to convert a plot style to PC2 then you could reconvert that to CTB.

Thank you

You can change them in Dimension Style Manager. Instead of choosing the color, you can assign the pen width (Lineweight) to every part i.e. text, leader, ticks, etc of dimension, instead of "Color." Also, if you want to change the specific line, you can change the lineweight from "by Layer" or "By Block" to he thickness of the line in property. So it's pretty much the same. But drawings with STB looks prettier because you can use the same color for the different objects with different pen width and/or you can use the 16.7 million colors without creating 16.7 million pens :)

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