An n4ce pen is a combination of a colour and a line width to which a name has been attached. There are 256 pens available to you and, by default, the names and colours are the same as those for the 256 colours that are available in the n4ce palate. If you select the pen settings option or a pen button in another settings dialog, the dialog box to the right is displayed.
The Pens group define the list of pens. Note that they are not sorted alphabetically. It makes sense that if you use a given pen more often than others, it should be close to the top of the list. As you select each pen in the list, its name is displayed in the Name field. To change its name, enter a new name in this field and the list will be updated when you select a new pen. As you click each pen, the other pen attributes also update themselves.
For basic graphic options, there are 256 colours available to n4ce. The RGB values assigned to these colours are the same as those assigned to the default 256 colour palate used by AutoCAD. A few have been named, such as red, green and blue, but most are given a name that is their numeric number in the list. It’s very difficult to distinguish between light blue and slightly lighter blue.
For n4ce pens, two colours need to be defined. These are the colours for display and printing and can be set using the Display Colour and Print Colour field. The settings buttons give access to the available list of colours in a dialog box as shown to the right.
The Colours list the names assigned to the colours in the colour palate. The Preview group shows a swatch of the currently selected colour. The RGB values for the current colour are also displayed towards the bottom of the Preview group. The RGB values represent the intensity of the red, green and blue colour components for each colour and the values can range from 0 to 255. For black, all three are set to 0 whilst for red, the colour components would be 255, 0 and 0.
A final check button in the pen settings dialog allows for printing in black and white. In this is checked, any colour that is other than the current background colour will be printed in black.
Pen Line Weights
Each pen has a line weight attached to it for printing or display purposes. The line weight is the actual line width in millimetres when the pen is used for plotting or display. The available values mirror those that are found in AutoCAD and range from 0.05mm up to 2.11mm. They are also those which have been traditionally used in engineering drawings before the advent of computers.
There is an additional line weight of 0.0mm. If you set this value as a line weight, this uses the default line width that has been set for the current display or printer.
A further check button in the dialog controls the display of line weights on the computer screen. Called Display Line Weights on Screen, it allows you to turn line weights on or off. If turned off, the default line weight for the current screen will be used. Note that when line weights are turned on, they are drawn in millimetres relative to the current model view scale. It is often the case that the line weight does not become visible until you are zoomed in quite far.