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Export to PDF using VectorWorks 12.5

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I've been following the thread about people not being able to export to PDF on Mac OS X using the new VectorWorks 12.5 update.

I to was having the exact same problem so I thought I would wait for the UK installer DVD to turn up. The installer turned up today so I wiped my previous installation and re-installed from scratch. I fired VectorWorks 12.5 up and tried to export my drawing as a PDF (with layers) but like before and once again the same result. Nothing was created.

I've seen a lack of polish on previous VectorWorks installers so I thought I would check permissions on various folders. Like before some of the folders had incorrect permissions set, so I went to the top of the VectorWorks 12.5 folder, set the proper permissions and then applied these permissions to all enclosing items. I then fired up VectorWorks 12.5 and once again the same thing happened (or didn't). No PDF export.

I was sure that the issues I and other people are having are permission related so I delved a little further and found that a user without administration rights for his computer cannot export to PDF on Mac. As soon as I gave the said user admin rights to the computer he could happily go away and export to PDF no problem. The reason for this is I think VectorWorks as part of its export routine tries to create the PDF into one of the hidden directories (probably "/var") and users without admin rights do not have access to this folder.

Overall I think this is a great update but Nemetschek could do a little bit better with testing the installation procedure. This isn't the first update to have issues with permissions.

I hope there will be an intermediate fix before version 13 is released.


Jason Turley

IT Manager

Nicholas Hare Architects LLP

Edited by Jason Turley
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There was a lot of pressure for NNA to get this update out because Intel-based Mac users Jason. Ask a lot of people around here and they'll tell you this update was delayed. I prefer to wait and have as stable a product as possible, but avoiding 100% of possible bugs is next to impossible as far as I understand software programming.

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I generally agree with what you say Christiaan, but when simple permission issues re-occur (previous version also had these issues) with the installer I do wonder about the testing procedures.

I think VectorWorks is a fantastic application and I was impressed by the development team when I went to meet the engineers over here in London. I just hope they take some of the comments on board and use them to improve what is already a fantastic application.


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  • 3 weeks later...

I have to agree with Jason on this one. We also have 50+ users and we also cannot use the suggested workarounds above. We just need to wait till the next update before experiencing the joy of decent pdfs straight from VW.

No critisism of the team - it was good they could get universal binaries out so promptly (Microsoft now saying end 2007 for Office I think...)

However, like Jason, I hope that the developers can see that permission issues are problematic for a large userbase - where we can't just make everyone an Administrator. I hope that there is a pool of beta testers who test the software with non-Admin accounts.

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I have been using VW 12.5.0 (downlaoded 150Mb update following CD install!) for a couple of weeks. PDF export works fine, (single sheet/dwg) although I attended the demo on the Hispanola (London) last week and was under the impression that one could export all saved sheets in one hit can't find this function anywhere is this because wer're fundamental users, or just not looking in the right place? Help!!

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I read this thread and I feel like I'm missing something.... I can't find any menu item for exporting to PDF files, including under the "Export image" menu item. I looked in the "help" document and can't find instructions. I looked all over for a way to export a pdf document (including the print menus) but no luck. Someone please give me a clue. (I checked my computer and it says I have administrator priveleges, and I did already update to VW Arch 12.5.0)

Windows XP sp2

VW 12.5.0

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if you are using a customised workspace, change back to the standard VectorWorks one, or go to the Workspace Editor and add the new command to your workspace. In the standard VectorWorks Architect workspace the command is in:

<B>File > Export > Export PDF </B> or

<B>File > Export > Export PDF (Batch)</B>

since this is like a print command, I put this command next to my Print command in the File menu.

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I am having some problem with the batch pdf export. I am using vw 12.5 designer. when I try to export some of the saved views to pdf files (using batch export) it simply don't export. actually its not even asking me where ot save the file or anything. any suggestion. I have to send some images urgently to a client and is desperate to get this working by today.



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Send the file with a description to tech@nemetschek.net and someone will be able to look at the file. Please include the answers to the questions below, too.

Please note whether you get the export dialog box that allows you to select the different views.

Does it happen in all files, or just this file?

How many saved views/sheets are you exporting?

What OS are you using?

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We have trouble printing to PDF with Acrobat on certain VW files. These tend to be files that were converted from VW 11. Same issue- Acrobat just goes directly to saving the file without asking where to send it too. Haven't been able to track them down in the machine. Only work around I have found is to do a save as postscript and take the file to Distiller. Doesn't help much when you are trying to batch plot. I've noticed that when this happens, there isn't a PDF Options selection available from the print settings pull down menu in the print dialog. Not sure if this is a VW bug or an Acrobat one. Discussed it to some degree in a previous post and never really came up with an answer.

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I have briefly experimented with the PDF export feature. It did produce a multi-page pdf document- which is great. However, I encountered two significant problems:

1. The fonts did not work properly- in the Vectorworks produced pdf file they were converted to odd symbols and gibberish. The drawing contains several Adobe OpenType fonts. None of the fonts reproduced correctly in the Vecotrworks PDF. When I used Adobe Acrobat 6 to produce pdf files from the same Vectorworks drawing the fonts are reproduced correctly.

2. Line wights in the Vectorworks produced pdf are a courser than in pdf's created using Adobe Acrobat.

If it is possible to solve these problems, the export to pdf feature would be a real timesaver!

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I found that using the export PDF function produces smaller pdf files than using the pdf option in the print dialogue box, which is great when sending over the email. One issue I found is that white fills are printed with a grey tone instead of white. I normally use this as a fill with text. How can I get around this?

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Here is an update to my previous post regarding PDF creation.

When I open and print the Vectorworks produced PDF in Adobe Acrobat Pro v.6.0.2, the text is garbled. When I open and print the same Vectorworks produced PDF using Apple Preview it prints fine.

Any thoughts as to what is causing this?

VW 12.5 architect+ renderworks

Apple OS 10.4.7

Edited by CEA
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