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General Contractors printing issues.

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So, question for you guys.

I just sent out a set of .PDF's to a contractor and when he went to get them printed, they crashed the printers computer. The printer had to "reformat" the .PDf's. They said that there is an issue with the conversion software from the drawing to the .PDF, or there are too many layers.

Now, what I don't understand is if there is an issue, why hasn't this come up before? I've always given clients/contractors .PDF's of files, and there seems to be no issues. I tried to open the same file on my computer, and they work out fine.

So I guess the question is this - have any of you had issues like this before? Any ideas of how to get around them? I thought about rasterizing the .PDF's in photoshop and then sending them out, but for a package of 25- 22x34 drawings, the file size would be outrageous. Any ideas?

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It may be that the PDF reader at the printers is an older version that does not support layers.

I know that this is the case with older versions of Acrobat and CorelDraw.

In my opinion, there's no reason to include layers on a PDF sent to the printer.

I recommend not mapping Vectorworks classes and layers to PDF layers.

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If the print shop is amenable to testing, here are a couple things you could try for one or more sheets:

1. Ask them to try the Print as Image setting in their print dialog (assumes Adobe at their end). The spooling takes longer, lots longer if there are high rez renderings.

2. Instead of Export PDF, try the Print>Save as PDF option. These have worked well for me at local print shops. Scale is correct, etc. File size is usually manageable, even in multi page documents.

3. Note that VW output resolution can be set in Doc Prefs>Resolution dialog, Edit Sheet Layer dialog, and Print dialog. If resolution is not same in these dialogs, is it possible that VW sends out several settings in the file info? Could this cause a conflict at the print shop, esp if older software?

Is one of those supposed to override the others?

Text seems to go ragged edge if print dialog rez is too small. Strangely, spline polys stay cohesive in same setting.


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A few proven Ways to avoid the PDF conversions problems:

1) Post your project PDF files to a secure server ( send only links ) so that changing the submittals is both organized and universal.

2) Ask all recipients to declare their hardware/ OS/PDF versions, then format sheets as required.

3) Don't be dismayed that what seems to work fine on your iMac refuses to perform on older less flexible systems, afterall ...OSX is native PDF.

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It may be the difference between Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader.

Most printing companies are probably using the paid for Acrobat. Most end users have only the free Reader.

Anyone else having issues with Adobe Acrobat in particular? I am.

I use Adobe CS3 on the same computer that I run Vectorworks.

When I export a PDF from Vectorworks and view it in Acrobat it crashes 9 times out of 10. Turning layer and class export on or off makes no difference for me.

Same PDF file opened in Reader works fine.

Edited by Brian Lehmer
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