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Changing colors/pens based on layer


I know it’s not possible so I am adding it into my wish list. It would be awesome if I can select electric plan layer (or any other later anyone uses) and turn it all whatever color or pen is desired, same for other layers. For certain plans I like to use colors so they pop up on the plans and details aren’t overlooked. I do put usually correct colors but it’s a lot of manual work and sometimes I can forget too so it would be great to have this bullet proof tool where I can select color/pen specifically for a layer. 

thank you 


Eduardo Rolon

That can be done since AC20 using Graphic Overrides.




If you are referring to adding a "color swatch" to the Layers Palette I don't see a reason for that.



Eduardo Rolón AIA NCARB
AC26 US/INT -> AC08

Macbook Pro M1 Max 64GB ram, OS X 10.XX latest
another Moderator

Ok i think someone mentioned it before but I could not figure it out. I will look at it again, test it and update ! Thank you for sharing 😁

It can be done in Graphic Overrides but I’ve always thought it would also be great to be able to control the pen colour by layer so it’s global, always. This is the one and ONLY thing I liked about AutoCAD. 

Lee Hankins
ArchiCAD 4.5 - Archicad 27UKI Apple Silicon 5003
macOS Ventura (13.5.2)


I use GOs for all my views. I used to get frustrated trying to track down pen settings in elements and objects, now I have GOs for view types that change everything to black or grey and then highlight the elements and annotations that matter in the published view. Saves on managing pen sets as well. 

Apple iMac macOS Ventura / AC27UKI (most recent builds)

Barry Kelly

I wouldn't want colours by layer.

I guess it might have its merits (especially in 2D CAD), but I wouldn't want all of my walls in the same layer to be the same colour.

I like to see the colour based on the type of construction - timber frame, metal frame, brick, etc. will all be different colours.

Rather than separate layers for each type of wall.


As suggested use Graphic Overrides to change colours.

Can be for all elements in a particular layer or you can specify individual types of elements that you want to change the colour of.


I work with a coloured pen set on screen so I can easily recognise construction materials and pen thicknesses in the plans without having to turn on true line weight.

Then when I print, I use another pen set that has most pens changed to black (except the white ones), some may be shades of grey and some may even stay a particular colour if I need colour in the final print.




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Erik Bjornhage

Just adding to what everyone else has said - Graphic Override is your friend.


We use a Graphic Override when we have different hotlinks and want to review the "oldfashioned" way - with a specific colour for a specific discipline. We then use Graphic Overrides to colour all Structural blue (for example), Electrical is Red and Mechanical is Brown - all done with Graphic Override Rules. 


Just be careful how you set up your RuleSet and pay attention to order and you should have no problem.

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Thank you everyone! I will look into it and hopefully I can make it work! 

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