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Since our office upgraded to VW 2008 we've been unable to do a simple copy-paste from VW to Word. In previous versions I could "Copy" from the VW file, then "Paste" into Word, and a nice, crisp PICT image would be inserted. The printed document showed a very readable vector drawing.

Now this doesn't work anymore - when I copy-paste, or export to PICT, I end up with a rasterized image. Because my Word docs typically have several VW drawings embedded in them - many of them including small text - exporting the VW images as JPEG or TIFF isn't practical, as it makes for a very large and unworkable Word file.

My question: is there a way to transfer an image created in VW 2008 into Word so that the resulting print is crisp and readable without having to use a large hi-res raster image?

Thank you!

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On a Mac you can use: Command-Shift-4

then you can just draw a rectangle over

what you want to get a screen shot (capture).

That is weird that it went backwards.

I used to copy-paste viewports into

word doc's, but now I just use Vectorworks

in place of word...yeah I have written multipage

reports right in VWks...better than Microsoft!

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Thanks for the suggestions - I tried Command-Shift-4 on my Mac (OS 10.5, btw), but couldn't get the Screen Capture command to work. Then I tried the same using "Grab", which created a TIFF of the selection. I inserted the new TIFF into a Word document and printed it - and, just as before, the print is pixelated and unreadable. (I've also done the same using a nifty little add-on called "SnapNDrag" with similar results.)

How do I get vector lines back for VW-to-Word images? Or are they a distant memory? (Would that I could do all my docs in VW as gmm18 does - but sadly, I have to be able to send them to clients - who don't have VW - for review & editing ...)

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions - any others would be hugely appreciated!!

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Huh, OS 10.4 using Command-Shift-4 (the "4" being on the top number bar, not the

numeric key pad) gives you a selection icon, then you drag a box around what you

want and it places a .png on your desktop. I think it is actually using the Grap app

without having to open it. Also you can hit Command-Shift-3 to snap a picture of

the entire active window.

But no, this is no longer vectors as you say. I remember getting Vectors back in VW11 copy to word.

That is weird, because you can still Copy-Paste a VW viewport into Adobe Illustrator and get vectors.

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Thanks gmm18 ... I did get Command-Shift-4 to work (it HAD worked before, I just didn't look in the right place for the image) - but unfortunately, as you point out, the PNG file is still a raster image, and doesn't give me the crisp vector image I need ...

I also tried copy-pasting from a viewport view, from a sheet layer view, and from a standard drawing layers view to see if it made any difference at all ... nope. All pixels, all the time.

Thanks for trying though! (And I'm still open to any and all suggestions!)

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Never heard of OLE so I looked it up (http://www.csgnetwork.com/glossaryo.html):


1. Object Linking and Embedding, Microsoft's proprietary mechanism for allowing documents and applications to access data and subroutines from within other applications. OLE is itself built on top of COE. OLE is a major component of ActiveX, and sees some minimal use in linking data (primarily video and audio clips) across applications.

2. OLE, an acronym for Object Linking and Embedding is a Windows technology that allows not only the creation of compound documents with data originating from more than one program, but also the editing of cut-and-paste data using the originating application program without leaving the host program.


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Thanks Benson for the Quartz Imaging & Anti-Aliasing suggestion - I just checked my preferences and they already are on ... so I'm having the problem even with these options enabled ...

(Thanks also for the lesson on OLE - I'd heard the term but also had no idea what it meant. It would be useful in this case as Shaun says.)

Back to the drawing board ... and, again, open to any & all suggestions!! (And, if anyone has any insights into why this has changed in VW08, I'd be interested to know!)

Thanks again to everyone for their creative suggestions. At least I'm learning a bit more about VW & my computer, even if the problem isn't solved yet!! :)

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cavanna - It seems that small layer scale has the same effect as lower resolution in the copy paste action. Attached find a print-to-PDF save of a two page Word doc. (File manager does not let me attach Word files). I pasted the same selection of a VW design layer into the Word doc, but at two different layer scales. The images occupy the same amount of a letter sized Word page, but the quality is very different.

On Page 1 the VW layer scale was 1:1 - The lines and text are crisp.

On Page 2, the VW layer was set to 1:6 (2"=1'0") - The lines and text are highly aliased.

Not shown here - I also pasted to Word a Sheet Layer View Port of the same VW image. VP scale is 1:6 - very poor image quality in Word.

This gets curiouser and curiouser!


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Thanks Benson & Miguel!

Benson, I separated the 2 pages in the PDF you attached; unfortunately, the technique you suggest results in exporting a hi-res raster image, which greatly increases the file size - the two pages in your test file are 116KB and 1.2MB respectively; I'm working with complex, multi-layered floorplans, and typically have to insert several in one Word file ... so, with each one at, say, 2MB, my file would get impossibly slow after only a few drawings ...

Miguel, I have the same results by using the PDF method: the resulting image in Word is rasterized (and, as above, a higher-res image results in a larger Word file).

What I'm looking for is a way to get a vector image from VW into Word, which results in a smaller file than inserting a high-res tiff, jpg, etc.

Thanks for trying though - much appreciated!

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Hi, again, Cavanna - The Word file grows with addition of images, but is not as big as you fear. I horsed around some more with that same image:

1. Opened my older VW 12.5.3 .mcd version of the owl drawing. Slightly smaller object count, because I developed it further when I recently upgraded to VW2008. I produced the 2 page Word file with VW selections at 1:1 and at 1:6 scale. The resulting Word file is 560 KB. Print/Save the Word file yields a 1.1Mb PDF - twice as big as the Word file.

Anyway, this Word file has same problem with aliased lines and text on the page made from smaller scale VW layer. Are you sure you were successful with this Select Paste process before? Maybe you did some intermediate process?

2. Also checked file sizes in the VW2008/Paste to Word. It makes a 640Kb .doc Saving that file with the print dialog results in the 1.3MB pdf posted earlier.

Sorry this does not resolve your question. but rather expands it.


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I went back & tested the various versions of VWorks I have installed: 10.5.1, 12.5.2 and 2008. The problem I've described also occurs with 12.5.2 (I hadn't noticed before, since we upgraded to '08 about a week after I installed v.12).

Anyway, the 10.5 version gives me a lovely, crisp, readable vector image in Word, but 12 and 08 don't. So, the change happened earlier than I'd thought ...

I'm attaching a PDF of a Word doc with 3 samples, all using the same original file, opened in the 3 versions and then cut-pasted into Word:

The first one is a crisp vector image - the image retains its quality even zooming in to a ridiculous magnification like 6400% (the max I can get in Adobe Reader); it was copy-pasted from v.10.5.1.

The 2nd and 3rd are raster images and look terrible at a normal zoom, and definitely don't print well (you can imagine that smaller text would be unreadable); they were copy-pasted from v.12.5.2 and v.2008.

Again, even if there's a long-winded and roundabout way to get the results I used to get with v.10, I'll be happy. I'm frustrated at not having found one yet (and, believe me, I've tried every export option available in the new version!)

Thanks again ...

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After a bit of mucking around...

Select a viewport or object or text in VW2008

Copy. This puts a true pdf on the clipboard. If you open Preview and select file - new from clipboard you will get a pdf file that is clean and crisp. Save that file and open in Acrobat, zooms in beautifully, certainly in AR8

But paste or import into Word and all is lost. Back to square one. Paste it into Pages, however and all is sweetness and light.

Exporting a PICT image from VW2008 seems to work better into Word but not as good as copy and paste to Pages.

Exporting immaculate Pages file to Word gives the same results as directly importing the image to Word (i.e. bad)

Exporting a pdf from Pages gives a crisp and clear result.

So it seems that it's to do with the VW/OS setup defaulting to pdf for clipboard export and Word not handling pdf as well as the previous format - PICT. You can export a PICT and drag - n - drop into Word but it's a picture PICT not a vector so it's only as good as it's file size.

Not sure if that's any help at all, but there you are...

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Thanks Charlie - I did notice that there's no problem at all in creating pdfs, so what I've been doing as a stop-gap is creating a pdf of my VW files, and a separate pdf of my Word files, then combining them ... it's ok if the VW files are ok as a separate page - in an appendix, for instance - but doesn't help if I want to insert an image directly into the body of a Word file (say, as an illustration).

Since we send files back & forth to clients, we can't use Pages as most of our clients wouldn't have it - same goes for programs with better results, such as Illustrator or In Design. Thanks for the suggestions though!

I don't understand why the masterminds behind the system upgrades lost this particular feature ... very frustrating!

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Perhaps this issue isn't a VW version problem but an OS version issue.

Recalling that prior to OSX the MacOS used vector PICT for copy&paste whereas OSX utilizes postscript PDF. VW10.5 was optimized for MacOS9 ...VW2008 for OSX.5.

And... PDF comes in 2 flavors ; image raster & vector depending on the driver.

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