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Ken

Best quality plot file

Question

My drawings, like most of yours, have multiple sheets. Some of my sheets have imported images. Some of those images are scanned from consultant's hardcopies -- no way around it. The scanned files are generally TIF, but can be converted to most anything with GraphicConverter prior to importing in VW.

Some imported TIF images do not export via the Export PDF or Export PDF (Batch) command. No problem. I use the old tried and true method of Saving PDF as Postscript in the Mac OS print window, then stitch them together as a multi-page PDF, which actually creates a higher quality PDF than VW's command. Image files that are PDF sometimes help for either method.

So my multi-page PDF goes to a printing service because I do not have a large-format plotter.

However, they struggle with it. PDF's containing imported PDF's sometimes crash their system. When they don't crash (as with imported TIFs), their best solution comes from converting my drawings to TIF in order to feed their OCE machines! I don't care, but the quality of the embedded images suffer. Vector lines and VW content come out fine, but greyscale images are a mere ghost of themselves. Then they charge me a nice chunk for the conversion -- not per file but per sheet! I then tried converting my PDF to TIF with GraphicConverter, but even at 200+ MB, they don't look on screen like worhty of high quality printing.

One alternative at the printing service is printing direct to a Postcript printer such as their HP 1055 CM. Overall quality is only slightly better, but it's inkjet, so they discourage it except for low volume full-color output. I can see why because every sheet takes several minutes and drains a lot of ink. I need just greyscale anyway. And sometimes multiple sets.

So has anybody found a high quality cost-effective solution in remote digital printing with WYSIWYG quality for lines and scanned images alike?

Note -- anything 12"x18" and smaller comes out perfectly from my own laserprinter. It's just the larger sizes I can't get.

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