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marshu

Creating Plot files for OCE 9800

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I work with Architect 10.5 on a windows machine and typically send my files to a print house using an OCE 9800

http://www.oceusa.com/index.jsp

I upgraded this past summer from Minicad 7.xx and used to create plot files using OCE's generic postscript print driver which can be downloaded from their site. This print driver doesn't seem to work as well with the newer version of Vectorworks, especially with hatches and worksheets. Since MacPlot isn't an option for me, and since PDF files don't work with OCE's machine, I am wondering what printing solutions are being utilized by users of Windows machines? I've spoken with OCE and their response was that my software vendor should contact them to develop an appropriate driver. I also spoke with my printshop about your viewer product by was told that OCE does not allow unauthorized software to be installed on their machines. Any ideas?

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For my print service I use Repro Desk.

http://www.oce.com/en/Software/ReproDesk/default.htm

What works for me is to print to file in hpgl format with my DesignJet 430 driver, I do have the printer so this is a bonus not to have to switch printers, drag them to Repro and the program converts them to .vic (I think) files and ftps them to my print service. The print service gave me the software.

Also, I have to check Process... ...in computer in the advance tab of the print properties dialog (not sure if this applies with the Oce drivers) to print anything in 10.5. You may want to try that first if it applies.

[ 12-20-2003, 08:39 PM: Message edited by: raylibby ]

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VW does not make print drivers. All print drivers utilized by VW are supplied by the manufacturer of the printers themselves.

VW uses all standard OS print drivers.

If you are having that big of a problem with printing, I suggest you send the file to the print bureau and have them download the VW Viewer to allow them to print your VW file directly from within a dumbed down version of VW. The viewer was designed primarily as a printing resource.

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There are alot of print bureau's that will download the VW Viewer for printing purposes.

I understand that OCE will not allow it to be installed to that computer. However, you do have a choice to go to another print bureau.

Unfortunately, without the capability to do so, it's hard to determine where the problem may lie.

There are many factors that could cause a printing problem between a PS file created by a generic print driver and a full fledged printer.

1) the computer that is printing to the OCE may have the AutoCad driver installed rather than the original printer driver installed.

2) the print driver itself. You are using a generic print driver that may not have all the abilities to convert a VW file to a ps file which is then converted to a ripped file by the on-board ripper of the OCE. OCE printers are notorious for being very specific about the PS data included in ps files.

3) operating systems. If you are using WIn 2k and the client is using WIn 98 - the difference in the PS language within the ps file could be enough to cause a print to not work. THis seems to be a common problem with OCE printers. HP, Epson, and others don't show these types of problems.

4) The fact that you are using a generic ps driver rather than the exact driver for the OCE can also cause a problem. Again, this is because of the sensitivity of OCE's data interpretation the printers do within the actual print driver.

Here is where the viewer would help tremendously. If they had the viewer, you could give them the VW file and they could print from application to printer, bypassing creating a generic PS file and ruling out a million things.

One thing you can try is to send them a TIFF file.

You can export an image file from VW and use the TIFF file format. The print bureau should be able to convert the TIFF to the OCE using a Ghosting application.

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Katie,

I do not think you can print directly to an OCE 9800 or Kip 8000, like you would with a HP Designjet or similar printer. You must use a controller or submission software, such as Reprodesk or Plotworks. These are the 2 main programs used at any print bureau. And if you were to give them a native vectorworks file, most likely there will be a conversion or setup fee for each file.

I have some customers who mainly use vecorworks on a mac platform. They have successfully sent me .pdf files using the OSX pdf driver. I am still having problems with users who are running an older version of Mac OS who don't have the full version of Acrobat installed. Is there a way for them to create a pdf file without the full verion of Acrobat and Distiller? I have tried the PrinttoPdf plugin, but have not had any successful results.

Also, what driver do you recommend to output on a windows based system? For Autocad users, I usually recommend the HP 650c, VIC, or Kip driver.

All in all, I think it would be in the best interest for Vectorworks users to have a step by step guide with pics to create a plt, pdf or tiff file for all operating systems. I have done this for Autocad customers in the past.

Steven

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Katie, please read my original posting. OCE does not allow any 3rd party software on their machines. Also, while it is OCE responsibility to develop print drivers for their machines, they need to know that you (Vectoworks) exists. After repeated calls to OCE, I can assure you that they have never heard of this product. Interestingly, your competition is working hand in hand with OCE to develop appropriate drivers for all of OCE's machines:

http://tss.oceusa.com/drivers/autocad.htm

How about a phone call to OCE to develop appropriate drivers for your product?

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How to create those files should be in the knowledge base section of the website.

It's also been outlined in the Print section on the message board on a few occasions.

Creating files of these file formats, for the exception of TIFF are standard OS practices.

To create a plt file for windows, install a PS printer - good ones are the 650 and 755cm. CHeck mark Print to File and click on the Save button. Enter a location, file name and .ps extension.

This is how you would create a plot file in any application.

Mac OS 9 is a little tricker.

OS 10 is easy - click on save as file.

To create a PDF file in OS 9, you need PDF generation software, such as Adobe Distiller.

Adobe is the only PDF creator we actually test with. Print2PDF and other freeware/shareware applications can be troublesome, and often you get what you pay for.

To create a PDF file in OS 10, use the PDF build in function, one of two ways OR you can use Adobe Distiller to create a true PDF.

You can select Save as PDF in one of the print options or print to preview and then print to PDF through the preview.

Windows users need PDF creation software to create PDF files such as Adobe Distiller.

Again, we only verify with Adobe products for PDF generation.

Please note, the PDF file format is copyrighted by Adobe. Knock off PDF generation applications do not create true PDF files, but image based PDF files. There can be drawbacks to using these types of PDF creators, which is why I said often you end up with what you pay for. Adobe Distiller is a far more superior product than the knock off pdf creator applications.

TIff file generation is available through the VW application. It is the same method for both mac and pc, any os version.

Since TIFF is a true image file format, you can use the file export menu item under the File menu and select TIFF as the file format.

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