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Change the Color of Almost Any AutoCAD Screen Feature

By Ellen Finkelstein, June 20, 2013
Originally published on EllenFinkelstein.com. Republished here by permission.

A reader told me he was having problems with his 3DCLIP command after upgrading to AutoCAD 2013. He wrote:

"I create 3 or 4 different 3D models that I then xref them together into an arrangement drawing. I then create my viewports for the different views I will need. In the past, I would click into my viewport to get it into view model space and then I use 3dclip to adjust clipping planes to get the view looking the way I want it. I have found with AutoCAD 2013 that I can’t do that anymore, when I get to 3dclip only my back clipping plane shows up, for some reason my front clip plane has disappeared - any idea why or how I might fix this?"

I told him I’d never heard of this problem, so he wrote back.

"Hey Ellen, it’s the color of the clipping plane that is messing me up - with a black clipping plane and black background I can’t see it. If I change my background to white I can see the plane but my 50 yr old eyes can’t handle the white background. Any thoughts on how to change the color of a clipping plane?"

That rang a bell. Here’s what I told him to do:

  1. Start the OPTIONS command. You can right-click almost anywhere and choose Options.
  2. The Options dialog box opens. Click the Display tab.
  3. Click the Colors button to open the Drawing Window Colors dialog box. Here, you can alter the color of almost any interface item in the AutoCAD window - making AutoCAD the most customizable interface I know of. The most common item to change here is the drawing background, but you’ll find a lot more options here.
  4. In this case, I said to choose 3D Parallel Projection (and repeat with 3D Perspective Projection) in the Context list. Don’t forget to choose the appropriate item in the Context box before going on.
  5. Scroll down to the Camera Clipping Planes item. Or choose the item you want to change.
  6. Click the Color drop-down list and choose a color. You can choose a standard color or click Select Color to specify any color you want.
  7. Click Apply & Close.
  8. Click OK to return to your drawing.

Here was his response:

"Hey Ellen, looks like you nailed it. I also chose Restore Classic Colors and that fixed it up nice as well."

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About the Author

Ellen Finkelstein Ellen Finkelstein is a recognized expert, speaker, trainer, and best-selling author on AutoCAD, PowerPoint and presentation skills. Her articles have appeared in numerous magazines, newsletters, and blogs. She is the author of the AutoCAD 2013 and AutoCAD LT 2013 Bible. More…

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