Jump to content
  • 0
Sign in to follow this  
UrbanMyth

Making .plt or .tif files

Question

We don't have VectorWorks yet but we're considering it. We would be plotting through a specific service bureau that has informed us that it will only accept .plt or .tif files. It seems to me that tiff files of architectural sheets would be rather large, and my experience with other CAD applications is that they don't usually create very readable tiffs anyway...

But a current VectorWorks user has told me that I can't make .plt files in VectorWorks - that I would have to write to .pdfs and go through some multi-stepped process in various applications to accomplish this.Is this true?What exactly is involved in creating .plt files in VectorWorks, how long does it take, and are the drawings likely to retain all information and look like what I see on the screen?Thank you for any info!

Share this post


Link to post

11 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

  • 0
Guest

Well you can create plt files and tif files any any kind of image file you want.

To make the Tif file you would use the image export. The print bureau should accept any type of image file, we offer many to chose from. A tif file is rather large, so you should go with something smaller in size.

A plt file is simply using a print drive to write to a print file which the service bureau can then send to a printer. We suggest the HP 755 since that seems to be a good work horse printer. It allows for large size sheets, or your simple 8.5 x 11. You can download the print driver at hp.com. Once you download the print driver and install it, you will need to go to VW and set it as the printer in Page Setup. Then, once you have the page positioned accurately on the page, you should be able to go to File Print and check mark the little box that says "Print to File". You will then be asked where you want to save the file to, and proceed from there. Take that file that was saved and send it to the print bureau.

You may want to check with them to see what printer they are using. You might be able to download that print driver and use that to generate the print files.

** If you are on a Mac, you will need to have MacPlot to create plt files. This is a ripping software necessary to translate the files in order to be read by the printer.

Another option is PDF files. If you have Adobe Distiller you can create PDF files which the print bureau can also view. If you do not have Adobe Distiller, there are a number of freeware and shareware PDF Writers available for download on the internet. A good place to check is cnet.com/downloads.

Also, (probably the best choice) we have a VW Viewer that was designed for this issue specifically. It is a free (small) program available for download on our web page. The service bureau can download the application, you send them your VW files and they print via the view, your VW files. The one small drawback is the viewer doens't support renderworks. If you are not using RenderWorks for rendering, then that is the best solution for you.

Good Luck.

[ 07-22-2002: Message edited by: Katie ]

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Guest

Some PDF creators actually make an image, so needing the fonts on the other computer goes out the window. If you use any of the image export options, the other computer doesn't need the fonts either.

The computer you send it to needs the same font you have if you are using a VW file via the Viewer to print.

PLT files will hold your font information 99.9999999% of the time.

[ 07-23-2002: Message edited by: Katie ]

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

UrbanMyth,

It depends a bunch on what platform you are on. On Mac OSX you can generate pretty good tiff files (and PDFs) from the print preview option. A program like GraphicConverter can save a tiff out as a .plt file-- which is an HPGL/2 file. Your mileage may vary on this one. For native plt generation you can try MacPlot. We haven't used it in years so I don't know how well it works.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

I belive the print house must also have a copy of the fonts you used when you use the viewer; whereas with PDF files you can embed the fonts used into the documents.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Thanks for the replies!

I would like to go with creating pdf files to send to the service bureau. Unfortunately the service bureau that we need to use is unyeilding in its requirements for .plt or .tif files ONLY. They're plotting on an Oce printer and claim that they cannot use pdfs or any other type of image file.

We are on Macs, using OSX. We're also concerned about preserving our fonts and such.

We'd strongly prefer not to have to buy additional software (like MacPlot), so it seems difficult to make .plt files.

I've been running tests on a friend's copy of VectorWorks and am finding it difficult to make a tif file that retains the scale of the drawing at the same time as having a high enough resolution. One problem I'm having is that when directly exporting a tiff from Vectorworks I always seem to get the sheet in the upper left corner, surrounded by blank white space, rather than the sheet at the size that I requested. Why is this?

I'm able to export properly if I choose a targa, pict, etc., but then to change this to a tiff I need to take it to another application (like PhotoShop) and the scale often changes...

I've also made some attempts to export an EPS to Illustrator, with similar scale issues by the time it gets to the tiff stage!

Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks for the help!

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

VectorWorks' image export options are not really meant for large scale print output.

But, the only way not run into scale issues is to do the math out for the printer/resolution.

If you are just dealing with 2D information, you can restrict the exported area better by putting the program into Perspective mode. (View menu -> Perspective -> Normal Perspective)

If you have any windows machine available, you can also use the VectorWorks viewer to generate a print file using the real OCE driver.

My only other suggestion would be to find a more platform agnostic print shop.

Matthew GiampapaNNA Technical Support

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0
Originally posted by Katie:

[QB]Well you can create plt files and tif files any any kind of image file you want.

(snip)

A plt file is simply using a print drive to write to a print file which the service bureau can then send to a printer.

We suggest the HP 755 since that seems to be a good work horse printer. It allows for large size sheets, or your simple 8.5 x 11.

You can download the print driver at hp.com.

Once you download the print driver and install it, you will need to go to VW and set it as the printer in Page Setup. Then, once you have the page positioned accurately on the page, you should be able to go to File Print and check mark the little box that says "Print to File". You will then be asked where you want to save the file to, and proceed from there. Take that file that was saved and send it to the print bureau.

You may want to check with them to see what printer they are using. You might be able to download that print driver and use that to generate the print files.

** If you are on a Mac, you will need to have MacPlot to create plt files. This is a ripping software necessary to translate the files in order to be read by the printer.

(snip)

katie,

how can i get vw9.5.3 (running on osx.2.2) to recognize the hp driver (hp755 or hp650c) that only supports os9? i do have a copy of macplot pro v.4.7.5 but i have not installed it yet. we are trying to set up .plt files to send to our print house.

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

To all regarding this post: Please see the related post called "Older design jet plotting..." web page as I think it is relavant.

ALSO: To Urban Myth: Have you considered buying a used plotter of your own? I think you might be amazed at what $700 or so will get you (on ebay and elsewhere). Since doing so myself a couple years ago I am happily plotting in-house and charging clients a much lower per sheet reimbursment. My plotter has paid for itself!

Happy Holidays, Peter

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

peter,

thanx for the link to more info. we actually have an hp designjet200 but it recently died. we're using the print house now just to get us through until we buy a new or used plotter sometime after the first of the year. do you know if this gimp print/ghostscript will work for sending plot files to a print house?

happy holidays to you as well,

cherie

quote:

Originally posted by CipesDesign:

To all regarding this post: Please see the related post called "Older design jet plotting..."
as I think it is relavant.

ALSO: To Urban Myth: Have you considered buying a used plotter of your own? I think you might be amazed at what $700 or so will get you (on ebay and elsewhere). Since doing so myself a couple years ago I am happily plotting in-house and charging clients a much lower per sheet reimbursment. My plotter has paid for itself!

Happy Holidays, Peter

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

Cherie, I am not sure. I think you will need to find out the specific requirements of your print house. Then you need to create either a PDF (which is easy in OSX) or another type of print file. There are other that have much more knowledge about this than I. Hopefully one of them will respond.

Happy Holidays,

Peter

Share this post


Link to post
  • 0

It would be worth asking the service bureau, or even different people who work there, if they are absolutely certain they don't accept PDF's. For months now I've been told that the place I want to use accepts only HPGL and EPS. After calling them for the 5th time today and discussing troubles with each of those, they said, "Oh, we can take a PDF." Duh. Those are a breeze to create and they include the fonts. Sure solved my problem.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Answer this question...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

 

7150 Riverwood Drive, Columbia, Maryland 21046, USA   |   Contact Us:   410-290-5114

 

© 2018 Vectorworks, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Vectorworks, Inc. is part of the Nemetschek Group.

×
×
  • Create New...