In a span of a couple of days I got an interesting report that had us all scratching our heads for some time. Eventually, it got me thinking whether this is worth sharing or not. Fortunately, the other report came in (which is a typically bad or a good sign, depending on the perspective) which scattered my doubts. So, here it is.
In Civil 3D’s Label Styles with background mask turned on, the labels showed as obscured by the black masking as black boxes in paper space. I remember seeing this many times and almost each time it was an issue related to a bad plotter driver. What made this one different is that there was no plotting involved. It would all show up fine in model space and plot preview. Even plotting was not showing any issues. To help you “picturize” it see the images:
So since there was no plotting involved, there was also no need to check drivers. And not all styles experienced this issue, so it seemed to affect older drawings only. That was a good start.
Eventually two things emerged from it. One is that the style had background masking turned on in Dragged State. Go into each label style and check Background Mask settings. If you see any overrides most likely they are the cause of the original issue.
One other way to resolve this issue, in case styles are all set up is to go into Page Setup and uncheck “Display plot styles”.
After this the label should display correctly.
I hope this helps somebody save some time looking for a settings to adjust.