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Grayed Layers Printing Problem and DJ800



This seems to be a consistent problem that in searching through the knowledge bases and tech forums I haven't found a reasonable solution yet.

First the system:

XP Pro SP2

3GHz/1G Ram

100 G Drive

DJ800 (not PS) with latest Drivers (6.11)

VW 11.5.1

If a file has a layer grayed out, it only partially prints, dropping out random bits and pieces.

If the layer is colored gray (not VW forcing gray) it prints fine.

If the layer is not grayed, it prints fine.

I do not find the printing Rasterized or at On Screen Resolution is an acceptable solution, as this increases the time to plot dramatically.

Furthermore, printing to a PDF or other format and then printing is a telling sign. I can do print outs from various pieces of software at many different shades of gray without a problem.

The problem is with VW and the processing it does to Gray a layer for printout. This seems to be a known, re-occuring theme throughout various versions of VW. Has this been addressed in VW 12?


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It has not been changed in v12. I suspect, with the number of comments like yours here on the boards, it must be on the improvements consideration list. . .but I have no inside info.

I too find the inability to print the greyed layer, or the background grid, in a user-defined density to be very high on my wishlist.

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if you use fewer layers and more classes in your drawings then you can use classes to control visibility and graphic style.

If you are using vw12 then you can set up viewports and you can edit the graphic style of classes in a viewport. This is even better than grey layers, because you can change the lineweight, line style and colour. But you need to use classes for this.

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That sounds great but....

Has VectorWorks put a limiting factor on how many layers I can or can't use? If so what is that number? Have they limited how many classes? Have they limited the usage of grayed layers?

It has been a longtime, advertised feature of VectorWorks to gray layers (or classes) and to be able to print them. It is also a reasonably well documented problem for VectorWorks to print these grayed layers with all hardware.

My point is with VectorWorks (and all other software or other products that I spend money on) is that if they advertise it to do something, I expect it to do what they advertise.

When the manufacturer comes back to me and says, "yes that is a feature we advertise, but we actually can't do it. You must do it this way, not the way the brochures say" I become a little bothered.

I would dance a little jig if the manufacturer would say, "Yep, we screwed up, but we're working on it." At least I would know they were listening. That they are responding to multiple customer's concerns and are addressing it. And I would remain a loyal customer.

However, as I have been chasing this problem through the Tech Board, most threads end in "please send me your file." We never see if there was a solution.

Was there a solution? Is there a solution? Something beyond waiting an extra 1/2 hour to print a rasterized version? If that is the method, then the print dialog should automatically inform you that printing grayed layers may cause problems.

If I'm having to find a work around solution to get what a product says it will give me, I would rather work with a product that actually gives me what it says it will give me. I don't necessarily mind bugs in software. It is part of the process that we consumers have been saddled with.

But before I invest in an upgrade to a product, I would like to know that those features they said would work in the previous version were working. I may be naive about this, but I would think if they issue a product that they said would perform a function and it didn't, they would not make me pay for something new until they got everything working with the old version.

I am not willing to pour more money out for new features, when the old ones don't work.


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It is of course unacceptable, at this late date, that VW can not print a grayed layer. Why have a grayed layer at all if it cannot be printed? Is it possible to change the color of the VW default gray so that it can be printed. I have a work around using Gimp where I increase the saturation, density etc, of the printer in order to make the gray layer visible but if I could darken the gray by two shades to begin with it would be a lot easier.

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