Autocad Line Weights, Colours and Plotstyles

Loft Conversions

Lineweights and colours in Autocad can be a bit of a minefield when you first start out. It is difficult to find standard colour/weight assignments and therefore you find yourself wondering if you are doing things correctly and have set things up ok.

We had really good AutoCad training at uni and were given useful information on standards of practice. However, as soon as you get out into the workplace this can fall apart. Generally, offices have their own standards and practices, which will vary from one organisation to the next, which adds to the confusion. I will give you the standards I have come across the most and that seem to be more commonplace.

One thing that is key to know is that in Autocad you can save your own plot styles (ie, line weights assigned to colours) so that wherever you go you can use your own system. Not ideal in the workplace as you should conform to office standards, but very useful when you are going between different computers, at home, uni, library, laptop and so on.

It is also useful to set up a standard dwg file, that has all your standard layers and colours so that you can copy and paste into any new dwg without having to recreate your layering system all over again. I will go into more detail about layering in a future post, just to make your AutoCad life, a little easier!

Just remember, everyone has their own way of doing things, so take from this what you will and find a way that works best for you.

Generally, it is easiest if you only use the basic colours, 1-10 for your general drawing. Then use the other colours as and when they are required and assign specific line weights as you need them. With that in mind these are the basic colour assignments.

Autocad Colour / Pen Width

1. 0.18mm – Red

2. 0.25mm – Yellow

3. 0.35mm – Green

4. 0.35mm – Cyan

5. 0.50mm – Blue

6. 1.00mm – Magenta

7. 1.40mm – Black

8. 0.35mm – Dark Grey

9. 2.00mm – Light Grey

10. 0.18mm – Red


I have found that sometimes it is useful for all your pens to plot in black and white, but to have red plot as red for a site boundary for example. It is also useful to have greys plot as grey for hatching and shading and so on. With this in mind I tend to create a completely monochrome pen set, and a monochrome with red and grey pen set. This usually covers everything, however, you can assign pen colours as and when you need them. This is done in the plot styles menu, select your pen, then choose the colour – often the default is set to black.

This is a basic introduction to the idea of pen sets, line weights and so on. Click below for our video tutorials that covers this in more detail, and shows you how to assign line weights and create plot styles.

Go to Plot Styles Video

My favourite Tools and Resources

I have curated a list of some of the tools and resources I would strongly recommend for anyone studying or working in Architecture.