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Introduction to Pen Tables

Resymbolization is the process of changing characteristics of elements within a design file. When these changes are applied to printed output, the process is referred to as print resymbolization. Pen tables and design scripts control print resymbolization. Pen tables let you remap any of the characteristics associated with design file elements for the printed output. Once specified, you can save them for future use. You can store multiple pen tables that can be applied to one or more design files. Using a pen table, you can specify many complex print resymbolization steps. Similarly, you can specify a single simple resymbolization step. In addition, the text string substitution feature lets you substitute specific strings of text with one of several tokens provided by the pen table.

In summary, a pen table lets you:

  • Selectively alter the printed appearance of elements
  • Determine the printing order of elements
  • Specify text string substitutions

When you submit a plot, you can attach a pen table, a design script, or both. In the case where you attach a pen table and a design script, if the pen table sets an element’s color to blue, and the design script sets the same element color to red, the design script takes precedence over the pen table since its output actions are always applied last.