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Printing greyscale

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Just wondering if it was possible to print greyscale from Vectorworks (12.5) to an HP 1012 laser. I normally set my preferences to "black and white only" just prior to printing, otherwise my coloured lines print fuzzy. But, of course, when I do that, any shading added to my drawing disappears. The closest I can get is to add a pattern to approximate greyscale, but it's not quite right. I do know that if I print to PDF first, then to the printer, the greyscale comes out smooth. But that's not really the answer I'm looking for....

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks

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I am also looking for an answer to this question. In my case, I use class colors to indicate line weights. Just before printing, I switch to "Black and White Only".

The problem is that I use greyscale shading with some light lines. These are converted to pure black when printing, losing the 'grey'. Does anyone have a solution to this?

Thank you,

ThreeDot

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Of course it's possible. One solution (and you may not like it) is to draw with a WYSIWYG attitude. If you want black, use black. If you want gray, use gray. Draw fat lines where you want 'em, and skinny and medium ones too. Works all the time...

Edited by CipesDesign

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You're right, I don't really like that solution. Apparently Nemetschek doesn't think too highly of it either...

ZoomLineThickness.jpg

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The zoom line thickness is only how the thicker lines DISPLAY on the SCREEN - it does not affect how the various lineweights print. If you have a heavy line weight, it will print heavy regardless of this setting.

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Katie,

One must have a method to understand line weights on screen, in anticipation for how they print. There are two popular methods.

1. Allow color to represent line thickness. A user sets up a table mapping on-screen color to printed color/thickness. The software will then correctly make the conversion when printed. VectorWorks does not (really) support this method, so...

2. Emulate the output line weights and colors directly on the screen (WYSIWYG). It's a very direct and sensible approach. I find it amusing that one the most basic aspect of any CAD software (virtual emulation of drawing), here carries a "slow" warning.

So, if method 1 (poor supported) and method 2 (Slow) are not practical. How do you recommend I visualize printed line weights?

ThreeDot

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Hello Again 3. (sorry, couldn't resist), On any fairly new machine it isn't really *that* slow. I am not even visually aware of it. In fact 2d screen redraws are instant in almost every case... What is you hardware/OS config?

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I'm running a Dual 2 GHz PowerPC G5 with 2.5 GB RAM and the original GeForce FX 5200 graphics card. Performance for me is okay, but large files tend to bog down and overall speed is not as snappy as AutoCAD on similar size drawings and hardware.

Looking at an actual drawing has certain advantages (smooth resolution, overall perspective, etc.) over viewing the same drawing on-screen (smaller format, pixilation, anti-alias blurring, etc.). I think visual aids are absolutely required when drawing on-screen. It's extremely useful to have objects, classes, or layers color coded so the dimensions can easily be distinguished from lines, or Class 1 distinguished for Class 2, etc.

I don't think VectorWorks WYSIWIG approach works very well as currently implemented. If I want my output to be black and greyscale, then I cannot have ANY color represented on the screen. On the flip side, if I have color on-screen and want to print black only, I cannot also have greyscale on-screen. This seems like a serious deficiency.

I think, at minimum, VectorWorks should provide finer grain user control for printed output. Perhaps an additional column in the Class dialog that would allow a user to choose print output per class "NonPlot", "Color", "Black", or "Grey". Conversion should happen automatically on print, unlike the current "Black and White" setting which requires an extra trip to the preference dialog.

ThreeDot

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If I want my output to be black and greyscale, then I cannot have ANY color represented on the screen. On the flip side, if I have color on-screen and want to print black only, I cannot also have greyscale on-screen. This seems like a serious deficiency.

I'm not sure what you're problem is, other than possibly not using Quartz Imaging.

I run a dual 2 GHz G5 w/1.5 Gb RAM and the GeForce FX5200, and have no problems printing B&W or grayscale when I use color on-screen or printing B&W only when I use grayscale on screen. It's simply a matter of selecting the appropriate Quartz Imaging filter.

Try this:

1. Open up a file with color onscreen

2. Hit <Command-P>

3. Select "ColorSync" in the drop down menu

4. Select "Black and White" in the "Quartz Filter" drop down menu

5. Hit <Preview> or <Print>

Repeat for Grayscale, but choose "Gray Tone" in step 4.

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Another way to get greyscale is to use a patterned pen. This allows you to use a colored display. Print in b&w and the pattern should dither the line. The only problem is that it seems that this can only be used with a solid line -no dash.

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1. Open up a file with color onscreen

2. Hit <Command-P>

3. Select "ColorSync" in the drop down menu

Fsung .. is absolutely on target ...discover hidden power of ColorSync ... it can do so much so easily ... and you can save the various page attributes for later.

Keep in mind that OSX uses CUPS ( CommonUnixPrinterServices) so the selected PPD is what matters most.

Goto Console>Logs/var/log/cups/ ... and watch what happens when you

select print.

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Colorsync is handy but when there are hundreds of classes in a drawing that aren't set up with a color that translates well, colorsync is out of the question. This is an issue that could be easily solved if the pen could be set to use both a pattern and a dash.

Does anyone have another solution?

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