The colour of text

I was approached by an architect a few months ago to produce presentation drawings for an auto dealership he had designed. On the presentation drawings he wanted a red bar across the bottom of the page with white text declaring the name of the sheet. It sounds simple but turned out to be a problem.

After some experimentation I discovered there are some rules Revit follows when displaying text. The picture below illustrates how Revit handles text. As you can see down the right side are text styles with opaque backgrounds and down the left side are text styles with transparent backgrounds. The notes that say “BLACK NOTE” have an RGB value of 0-0-0 while the notes that say “WHITE NOTE” have an RGB value of 255-255-255. With the exception of the bottom middle note which has an RGB value of 254-254-254.

When the text style has an transparent background Revit assumes that the background is the same colour as you paper, which is typically white (RGB 255-255-255). Revit also assumes that you want to be able to read the text on the background so if the text colour is white (RGB 255-255-255), Revit prints it as black. Any other colour is shown as the colour you specify.

Text styles with opaque backgrounds are also treated special by Revit. Only in this case Revit doesn’t need to make assumptions. If the text colour is white, REvit makes the background colour black. If the text colour is any colour other than white it is shown on a white background.

Back to my problem with the presentation drawings. I found a work around to this problem by setting the text colour to almost white (RGB 254-254-254). This 1 pont off white is enough to keep Revit from changing text to black but is still so close to white that you’ll never know the difference. Refer to the “WHITE NOTE” on the bottom middle of the colour box in the illustration. You can also see at the bottom of the black colour box, the almost white note is being displayed on a white opaque background so it totally disappears.


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Revit and Building Information Modeling