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Removing Educational Watermark from Pro Drawing


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I'm currently designing a show for an educational institution. I received a groundplan from them drafted in their educational version of VW 2008, and I drafted my light plot atop that ground plan in my standard version. Within that plot I created a custom symbol for a fixture that I hadn't used before.

When finishing the final plot for a separate professional show, I imported that symbol because, hey, why re-create it... And now this drawing, entirely edited by my standard version of the software, seems to permanently have an "Educational Version" watermark on it. I didn't notice, of course, until I tried to export to a pdf. I deleted the resource and recreated the symbol from scratch but that didn't help.

Is there anyway to remove this watermark, or have I permanently corrupted this drawing file by importing that symbol?

I have to bring this plot to load in tomorrow, and I'm pretty irritated that it'll have the watermark all over it, especially since that symbol was never modified by an educational version of the software.

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I've run into exactly this situation before. Once the educational version infects the finger you have to cut off the hand.

No amount of deleting or copying and pasting to other documents will make it go away.

You have to be very disciplined about the workflow direction of content. NEVER export a symbol, texture, or worksheet that has been in an educational document to any other file (especially a file in your "favorites"!).

And never reference to an educational document.

I'm now extremely careful to only accept pdfs from educational users.


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In talking to VW about this problem I found out an interesting twist to this watermark issue. If you buy an individual ED license it will put the watermark on your work.


If you buy a lab license it will not. So if you need more than one computer, buy the lab lic for your computers and you won't have the problem.

If I print from my laptop I get the mark. If I print from one of my lab computers I won't, according to VW.

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I understand it a little differently than what you described.

I believe that both individual and lab educational licenses watermark the file, but the lab licenses are able to print educational files without the watermark.

If you send a file to someone with a commercial version, it will have the watermark and the potential to contaminate other files.


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I have seen the same reaction to the lab license and only get the watermark when I use the individual license. I am therefore often juggling both watermarked and non-watermarked drawings. It is possible (however difficult) to edit both and not lose your mind but be sure to save often. If you accidentally import a watermarked element, undoing the action is not enough, you have to revert to saved to fix the error and if you have not saved recently enough you will regret it. I find it best to save before I import anything from anywhere.

Kenneth Helvig

Lighting Assistant

American Repertory Theatre

Cambridge MA

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"but it looks like it is a virus that can infect other non ED drawings but making the mistake of importing something FROM an Ed version."

Its a very simple process, every document that is produced in the Educational version has a watermark.

If any part of that document is copied and pasted into a non-educational file it will take the watermark with it.

So if you open an educational document on your office machine it will have the watermark, it is not a virus but a simple device to keep the different versions distinct.

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I think we all realize that the educational version is behaving as intended.

Jim's point (I think) was that it is acting like a virus.

I can understand why NNA set it up so that objects created in an educational version carry the watermark with them. NNA has been very responsive on this issue, and I think the current state of affairs is a reasonable solution. Especially since this primarily affects only the Spotlight community.

The only change I would ask for is this: allow a reference to an educational drawing that doesn't carry the watermark.


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