Customising Pen Palettes Using The Palette Editor

This Tech Tip explains how to use the Palette Editor.

The Pen Palettes in AllyCAD 2011 can be customised to suite a users' specific work environment.

Opening the Pen Palette Editor

Start Button › All Programs › AllyCAD 2011 › Tools › Palette Editor


The new Menu Editor

Customising the Palette

File Menu › Open


The Palette Editor open dialog appears, select the cad.pal file, and then click on the Open button


The palette file will be opened in the editor (the first pallet in the file will be loaded). The default palette file contains multiple palettes. To select or view the palettes in the file, click on the Edit Menu › Select Palette


The editor will always open the first palette in the file, selecting a different palette will load that pallet into the editor.


The default AllyCAD palette is now shown.

Once we have opened the default menu file, we will save the file to the user folder, this will prevent the file being overwritten when any updates are released.

File Menu › Save As


Click on the Open Local user Folder Location button, if the menu file is called cad, then this automatically becomes the default colours, if it is saved under a different name, then the palette may be loaded as a custom palette, give the file a name then click Save

Editing the Palette Colours


Each of these palettes has colour settings to be used based on the two types of background, light and dark. The colour settings for a light background are used when the drawing background is set to something like white (or a colour that is internally determined to be in light range). Conversely, the colour settings for a dark background are used when the drawing background is set to something like black (or a colour that is internally determined to be in the dark range).

The left area is used to change the colour assigned to the selected pen. To select a pen for changing click on the relevant pen in the display. The edit area will display the pen number and current colour assignment for the selected pen. The right area is used to change the colour assigned to the marker pen. The marker pen is used in AllyCAD/Civil Designer to draw items that are not part of the drawing but which need to be displayed on the drawing. These are items such as the current view cube. The marker pen is usually set to black for a light background, and to white for a dark background.

In either edit area, double-clicking on the colour display will open the standard Windows colour dialog where you can choose the colour to be associated with the pen.


We will edit pen 2 in the palette, select pen 2, and then double click on the Edit Button.


The Color dialog appears, select the new colour for pen 2


Then click OK to continue.


Note the pen 2 colours has changed.

Once you are finished customising on Light Background. Click on Dark Background and change to different colours as explained above.

Once the pens have been customised, click on the File Menu › Save

Using the new Palette

Open AllyCAD, Settings Menu › View Settings


On the View Settings dialog, on the Pen palette drop down select Custom() and then click on the Load Custom Palette... button. Click OK to continue.


Click on the Open Local User Folder Location button on the toolbar, select the cad.pal file, then click Open to continue.


The palettes in the selected file will be shown, we will select the AllyCAD palette (this is the palette we customised earlier)


After selecting the palette, click OK to continue.


The new select custom palette will be shown in the View Settings dialog.

The next step is to change the System Settings

Settings Menu › System Settings


Change the Default pen palette to Custom, click OK to continue.

AllyCAD also has a few default scripts that can be added to a menu. Click on the browse button.


AllyCAD will load the new customised palette, note the new pen 2 colour.

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