Found a hidden feature or want to share a time-saving shortcut? Let us all know...
#77235 by Ted B
Thu Nov 14, 2019 3:15 am
For the last few months I've been experimenting using a white background in Datacad to mirror the paperspace of Sketchup Layout. Since I heavily use both DCAD and SU extensively, I thought I'd try it. (The first office where I worked in DCAD used a light gray background as it's office standard back in the 90s.) Many of my construction document sets contain pages created in DCAD, SU and OpenOffice documents ...all printed to .pdf then compiled into one .pdf record document for submittals and distribution.

I thought I'd use a more paperspace approach and use light gray, dark gray and black lines with weight rather than the typical CAD rainbow of lines with assigned pen-weights. My typical office standard is to look like hand-drafting; offshoots, hatching, architectural .ttf-fonts and 4-6 line thicnesses on 11x17" inkjet originals.

So far it's a mixed bag.
- First surprise is somehow the DCAD white screen is brighter and harsher than the SU paperspace screen. Lots of eyestrain compared to my previous Prussian Blue background I've used for decades on DCAD. But if I use a slightly grayed background, then the White=Black color is disabled. But I can use dark gray instead of itself a work in progress.
- And I find it hard to see or find snap-points (ñ) against the bright screen. On a dark screen even one lit pixel is discernable, but on a bright background I'm going blind. And I live for snap-points laying out my work.
- Also the snap-points get lost on a line with any weight. I have to work on that.

I just upgraded to DCAD 21 and hopefully will upgrade to SU 2019 before it's 2020 the interoperability will (hopefully) be improved. Having to convert .pdfs and CAD details into .jpg or .png first to SU is a pain. And I do want to explore xref"ing SU into DCAD, and directly inserting .dwg into SU and Layout.

All a wotk-in-progress, and the final product is still lines on paper.
#77237 by Neil Blanchard
Thu Nov 14, 2019 8:03 am
Hi Ted,

I have used a white background a lot in the past, though recently, I have been using a black background again. One thing I learned was that the line colors need a fair bit of tweaking. Green needs to be darker, and yellow, too. Light blue needed to be lighter, brown looks orange. After all of this, a white background works much better.

Though, on some monitors you will also need to change the brightness setting.
#77240 by Mark Bell
Thu Nov 14, 2019 5:37 pm
I tried a white background for a short while but didn't like it and as Neil stated, lines and walls need the colours adjusting. I currently work on a very dark grey background (RGB 21, 21, 21) which allows the smart walls with solid fills in a black to be visible. I guess each to their own.
#77245 by joshhuggins
Thu Nov 14, 2019 9:01 pm
Yeah I would not go to a light background for nothing. I would go to a dark grey if we didn't loose the White/Black issue maybe. I am all about the dark mode these days. So much easier on the eyes. 8)
#77259 by Ted B
Sun Nov 17, 2019 12:19 pm
When I bought my first DCAD license, I was using a Compaq monochrome laptop; orange lines on a dark screen. And that laptop cost as much as my car at the time. I still have it somewhere...I wonder if it still works? Had problems with the keyboard as I remember.

I used bright orange and a dark orange for pen-colors, and two lineweights....on the black background. After a while you didn't notice the odd color. My previous computers had green monochromatic text-only screens!
#77276 by Robert Scott
Tue Nov 19, 2019 7:24 pm
At one point in the dark ages of my DataCAD use I had my background set to dark blue....the color of old "blueprints".
I prefer the dark background myself.

#77307 by Ted B
Fri Nov 22, 2019 3:12 am
I always liked the old white on blue wet-Diazo look. They were already obsolete by the time I was in architecture school. I still use a similar "style" in Sketchup when it's a digital-only presentation. ...It's murderously expensive to print on paper like that.
#78662 by Nick Pyner
Sat Aug 29, 2020 11:24 pm
What with all the comments on pixel visibility, eyestrain etc., I never understood why people ever consider a white screen. It's just bang-yer-head-on-the-wall stuff. I put it down to some bureaucrat in the Macintosh world, and what the hell would he know about it? Worse still, another bureaucrat at Autodesk thought it was a good idea, so it stuck.
Just how much thought process is really needed to put a black screen onto white paper?

I actually recall a clerical colleague refusing to use a Mac ll because of the screen, and got an Olivetti. It could work in portrait mode, but I guess it didn't have Pagemaker.
#78714 by Ted B
Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:12 pm
While the screen is a bit harsh, I switched to a white background to better switch back and forth with Sketchup Pro and SU Layout while working on the same project. You do lose a degree of "colorfulness" as most colors wash-out as you're more dependent on black(white? ), dark gray and light gray.

I might experiment with a pale canary/cream background like Architect's sketch paper.
#78733 by Nick Pyner
Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:24 pm
Ted B wrote:pale canary/cream background like Architect's sketch paper.

I recall Gregg Kett did exactly that sometime back in the 20th century. He incurred the usual colour problems - yellow I guess. I'm sure you are aware DCad's colours can be customised. There were articles in CheapTricks about this - Phil Hart, I guess.

I see I have fallen into a black screen in Facebook. Even Zuckerberg knows what to do now. Maybe his father was a bomber pilot.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests

About DataCAD Forum

The DataCAD Forum is a FREE online community we provide to enhance your experience with DataCAD.

We hope you'll visit often to get answers, share ideas, and interact with other DataCAD users around the world.


Software for AEC Professionals Since 1984