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send VW9 print to print shops

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The absolute best way is to send them an Adobe Acrobat (pdf) file. I do this all the time with my blueprint shop and it works beautifully. Buy the complete acrobat package from Adobe and you can create a single file that contains all the sheets of a set of drawings. If your clients are computer savy you can share your drawings with them this way as well. Acrobat also contains "security" features too that can prevent the file from being opened or printed without a password. If you look around this board there are more complete discussions and instructions about "printing" to Acrobat

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  • 4 weeks later...

This reply is to dlstudios, would like more info on how this works, live 40 miles from my client base and am having to live in the a'cad world, which means I have to visit these blueprint shops on a regular basis. If I can get away from my pen, or possibly new plotters I would welcome the prospect.

Further to all, is there anything good about VW 9, why should I upgrade? Deneba has offered their 2.02 package at $329, and it is A'cad 2001 compatable. Are users that unhappy with V'works 9? I have to admit that documentation is really bad, bought Janis Kent's Manual for an arm and a leg and low and behold VW 9. Somebody, including Apple, needs to sharpen up their OS and app's to the point that all work smoothely. PDF manuals suck and if you can't document your software, you're moving too fast for people like me! All help appreciated

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Printing Acrobat (pdf) files is a 3-part process for me. First, I create a postscript file of each sheet I want printed using Adobe PS. In Adobe PS you create a "Virtual Printer" and the custom sheet sizes you will need. Next, I use the Acrobat Distiller which converts postscript (.ps) to acrobat (.pdf). Third, I use Acrobat Exchange to assemble the individual files (sheets) into a single file that contains all the sheets in their proper order and save the file with a new name.

I am still using Acrobat 3.01 and Adobe PS 8.6 with VectorWorks 8.5.2 under Mac OS 8.6.

I use this method both with clients and my print shop. Without a copy of the full Acrobat package my clients can view and print the sheets of the file using the free Acrobat Reader program that is available from Adobe's website. Their printing capabilities are limited only by the capabilities of their printer - Acrobat does not tile printing - so without a large format printer/plotter they cannot print full-size - that's OK with me. With the full Acrobat package (that is available for Macs, and PC's - an also I believe unix) they have the additional capability to add post-it note like comments which they can email back to me. I can add my own post-it note comments initially if I want to call my clients attention to something.

My print shop can plot my files directly from the Acrobat (.pdf) files. Initially I had to send them an individual file for each sheet because multiple sheets would overcome the limited memory in their plotter. They have since added memory and now I send the whole job as a single file. We also had a scaling problem. Their plotter driver would take a 24" x 36" sheet and shrink it down to fit within the printable area of the plotter. I solved this by reducing the sheet size to something less than the printable area of the plotter (23 1/4" x 35 1/4" for my usual 24" x 36" sheet size).

All your fonts can be embedded in the file so that your clients (and the printshop) sees and prints exactly what you see in your VectorWorks files. The only problem I have ever run into is that certain fonts contained in VectorWorks worksheets (usually bold fonts) will create errors. I just avoid those fonts.

Hope this helps. You can email me with any other specific questions at dlstudios@ncounty.net

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  • 2 months later...
  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee


Originally posted by kennyvestal:

Minicad used to produce a scaled down 2d version of minicad called Blueprint. Has this product been discontinued?

Yes, I don't think NNA has sold Blueprint for five years or more.


Andrew Bell


I am not an official spokesperson for NNA

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i deal with print shop all over the country and have had more headaches over PDF files....

i have learned though that most "real" print shops use Oce` plotters and can handle .Cmds (file type made by MacPlot Pro). the file sizes are much smaller than PDF and fonts are a non-issue. the HPGL/2 format is pretty universal.

if your print shop is using Oce` equipment, there are 2 settings you need to make the prints shop aware of; Transpearancy = ON and Merge = ON. this settings are set within ReproDesk (Oce` software).

hope this helps.

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