Cant See .ctb files: CONVERTPSTYLES

When opening a drawing that is from someone else, they may have set the drawing to plot/print using a “Style” that has a file extension of “.stb” instead of a “.ctb”

What is a “.stb”?
The settings that define how a drawing looks when it is printed can be defined by either how it handles each color in the drawing (.ctb = Color Dependent Plot Style) or by wrapping up many of the various plot settings as a “Style” (.stb = Named Plot Style).


When you come across a drawing that has plot styles (,stb) and not your usual .ctb files simply use the command CONVERTPSTYLES <enter>


It will notify that it will no longer be looking for .ctb files

Click OK



Just to verify that it worked, look in the command line…



Now the drawing should be able to see your .ctb files when plotting.



About AutoCAD Tips

This blog serves as a knowledge base for myself (and anyone else) so that I can reference tips & tricks that I have learned and also refer others to it as well. I hope that this blog helps you learn at least one tip to make your drafting/design experience better.
This entry was posted in BASICS, Printing - Plotting. Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Cant See .ctb files: CONVERTPSTYLES

  1. Matthew says:

    This is a great post! I have a coworker that we had to use this for.

  2. William T. Guevremont says:

    I visited a couple of other sites and their solutions were crazy cumbersome! Your solution and the way you presented it was absolutely amazing GOOD!! I have a project due tomorrow and was stressed beyond belief until I tried your awesome easy solution!!!! THANKS.

  3. Jeff Brannon says:

    Yes, this tip works great for one drawing. Since we upgraded to 2014 almost all of our drawings come in looking for .stb files instead of our standard .ctb files. Is there any way to do this globally so every drawing is looking for our standard .ctb files? Thanks!

  4. Annie Truncale says:

    As a fairly young lady 44yrs old I have been in the residential building construction business for almost fifteen years. I have worked many departments and loved each one. My favorite has been estimating. Recently I realized that I would love to enter the specific career of offering CAD services specifically to residential plans. I am concerned if taking a on-line class is realistic to learn the true skill. As a single mom working full time with child that is not old enough to be left while I attend an evening class…I was hoping you might be able to offer some suggestions.

    • AutoCAD Tips says:


      I appreciate the question and I understand the dilemma you are facing.

      I have taught AutoCAD at a community college and may do so again in the near future.

      Being a CAD Administrator as well, I can tell you that just because someone has a certificate doesn’t mean that they know the program and are competent “behind the wheel” so to speak… Depending on your self discipline, I would suggest an entirely different approach that would still wow someone over in a job interview. Here is what I would suggest: has an amazing set of classes for AutoCAD. Especially the classes by Jeff Bartels. He speaks clearly and shows an abstract application of a given tool and then a practical (real world) application.
      There are a ton of other software tutorials on that site. But if you were to just take the series taught by him for AutoCAD 2013 or 2014, you will love them. Also Get the premium membership as this allows you to have access to the sample files that go along with the course.
      Now the question becomes “how do I prove that I can do what I learned from these courses to a possible employer?”
      You can get Autodesk Certified for a particular Autodesk application like AutoCAD.
      There are even a few days per year where they discount the certification exam price to something like $35. I think the normal price is $125.
      But if you can be disciplined and truly learn what Jeff teaches in his classes and then get Certified. you should have no problem walking into a job interview and answering any CAD questions or even a CAD test. And you will do it all without having to pay a ton of money and it can be at your own pace.
      Let me say something as a CAD instructor as well – When I taught, I felt rushed because the younger students would absorb the stuff so I would move along to the next thing. Then I noticed that the older students would stay longer because I didn’t go over a certain topic in-depth enough or they felt that i rushed though it. So it is hit or miss when you go to a school. You could get a great teacher or a lousy teacher. But There isn’t anyone who has watched Jeff Bartels AutoCAD videos that doesn’t like them.

      I hope this helps,
      Keep me up to date- ~Greg

  5. Matt says:

    didn’t work for me…

  6. Ashley says:

    I am using AutoCAD LT for Mac and this command doesn’t exist. Do you know of any other work-arounds? I have been trying to fix my plot styles for a while and nothing seems to be working.


  7. Sajawal Hashmat says:

    Great Really good tip appreciated

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