New Features in AutoCAD 2011 continued…

Well, I hope you enjoyed that last post on linetypes in 2011 and I know this one will not disappoint as well… In fact, I just received a support case from one of our customers two days before the unveiling of the new features of 2011. He wanted to know if there was a way to tone down the display of some objects in his AutoCAD drawing that he received from a client. He understood that it could be done through an Xref or a PDF type format using “fading”, but that wasn’t the way that he desired to work. But, there’s good news! I am happy to announce that 2011 has introduced a new type of Layer Property called “Transparency”. Let me show you how it works…

AutoCAD 2011 includes a new transparency property that enables you to apply transparency to objects and layers in the same way you apply colors, linetypes, and lineweights.

AutoCAD Transparancy

AutoCAD Transparancy


You can set transparency by layer, by block, or individually for an object. The default transparency value for layers and objects is 0, and you can set it as high as 90. The Layer Properties Manager (palette and dialog), the Layer States Manager, the Layer Filter dialog, and the Layer Translator have all been updated to reflect the new transparency property. In the Layer Properties Manager, a new column for Transparency is available in modelspace and layouts, and a column for Viewport (VP) Transparency is available in layouts and floating modelspace viewports.

You can set transparency for individual objects just like color and linetype. Setting a transparency value for an individual object overrides the layer transparency setting for that object. You can access object transparency from a number of places: the Properties palette, Quick Properties, or the ribbon. The new CETRANSPARENCY system variable sets the transparency property for new objects.

The SetByLayer Settings dialog has been updated to include Transparency as one of the available Properties and Transparency has also been added to the Quick Select, Filter, and Match Property Settings dialogs as well as the CHPROP, CHANGE, -LAYER, VPLAYER, and LIST commands.

A button has been added to the status bar to enable you to temporarily turn off transparency display (TRANSPARENCYDISPLAY system variable), similar to the behavior of the lineweight display button. This does not affect plotting. However, you have the option to turn off transparency when plotting. The Plot and Page Setup dialogs both include a checkbox for transparency (PLOTTRANSPARENCY), similar to the behavior for plot styles. When this option is enabled, AutoCAD rasterizes the entire drawing for plotting, slowing down the plotting process.

Prior to AutoCAD 2011, images had a setting, also called “transparency,” that controlled whether the background of a bitonal image was clear or opaque. This property has been renamed to “background transparency” to distinguish it from the new “transparency” property. You can apply both background and object transparencies to images in AutoCAD 2011.

Well I hope you have enjoyed this one and I will try to keep them coming… until then, I thank you for your time.

Isaac is the go-to guy for the AutoCAD skills that lie at the foundation of AEC software tools and increased productivity. And you’d be hard pressed to find someone who knows more than he does about how to be more efficient in AutoCAD. Isaac can present best strategies and tips for productivity because he understands his audience and what they do. He has a high number of repeat customers who like his dynamic style and keep returning to learn more from him.

3 thoughts on “New Features in AutoCAD 2011 continued…

  1. I have a question about image transparency in AutoCAD 2011. Once I rotate my image, I can’t turn the transparency off. Even with the image transparency and background transparency settings turned “off” the image still show as transparent.

  2. Sorry, I was unable to respond to your question right away, I thought I replied but it did not take… (So if you have not already fixed it?) First of all; what type of object are you making transparent? (Hatch, Block and so on…) How are you applying the transparency? (by Object, Block, or Layer?) And what means are you rotating it by? (by rotating the object or are you rotating it by rotating a viewport?) That way I can try and recreate the problem. If you want you can email me the drawing with a brief description of what you are trying to do and I will see if I can figure out what is happening. Thank you for your question.

  3. i just tried the new transparency feature but noticed that plots are rasterized.
    if i want to print a PDF with transparency it becomes much larger as it is a bitmap as a whole, besides the colors get messed up somehow, especially at the edges of transparent objects.
    is this really how it ought to be?

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