Here is a great tip from my Autodesk colleague Shiho Tanaka an AutoCAD QA Engineer here in the Autodesk San Francisco office. This tip covers the new AutoCAD 2011 Transparency property which has been a top request of AutoCAD customers.
In AutoCAD 2011, we added a new object property called “Transparency.” This is just like other object properties, such as Color/ Linetype/ Lineweight etc, and has ByLayer/ ByBlock/ Transparency value (0-90%) settings available. The purpose of Transparency is to make objects transparent so that you can see through objects underneath when they’re overlapping each other.
- How to apply Transparency object property:
There are several ways to apply Transparency to an object.
1. Ribbon: We added Transparency control and slider in Properties panel in Ribbon Home tab.
2. System variable: CETRANSPARENCY. This controls the default Transparency value when creating a new object.
3. Commands: We added Transparency option in CHPROP, CHANGE, -LAYER, VPLAYER, SETBYLAYER and LIST commands.
4. Properties palette and Quick Properties: We added Transparency property in both Properties and Quick Properties.
5. Layer Property Manager: We added Transparency column in Layer Property Manager.
- How to plot Transparency:
The primary option for controlling plot transparency is in the “Plot transparency” checkbox in the Pagesetup/Plot dialogs. It was added as an option because there is a performance hit when plotting with transparency. This checkbox option allows you to specify that only certain plots in their Batch plot/Publish process be plotted with transparency.
If however, you would like a “global” switch to turn transparency On or Off for all plotted output, you can use the PLOTTRANSPARENCYOVERRIDE system variable to override the “Plot transparency” setting in the Pagesetup/Plot dialogs. The PLOTTRANSPARENCYOVERRIDE=0 or 2 option (OFF and ON for all drawings) should be used sparingly, as it does not update the “Plot transparency” checkbox in the Pagesetup/Plot dialogs, and could lead to confusion.
- Transparency for 3D users:
You will see back face lines in 3D objects when visual styles, such as Conceptual, Hidden, Shaded with Edges,,,etc are selected.
When you’re seeing these back face lines, please set VSSILHEDGES system variable to 0 to turn the lines off.
Also, for the best result in 3D drawings with Transparency, setting “Transparency quality option” to High in Manual performance Tuning dialog is recommended.