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PDF export from Vectorworks loses color quality


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We overlay color on our rendered site plans, and have trouble with the printed color quality when the drawing is saved as a pdf outside of Vectorworks. The colors print fine from within Vectorworks, but the files the we export as pdf's to print from Acrobat are very inaccurate. It seems to be an issue with the pdf created within Vectorworks, as we don't have this problem with pdf files created in InDesign and other programs. Is there a setting within VW that will embed a color profile in the pdf to ensure accurate color representation? Or, are there any other tips to ensure a high quality pdf out of VW?

Thank you.

We are on Vectorworks 2010 Landmark. Mac OS X 10.6.3. Acrobat 9.

Edited by AHubb
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I have the same problem, but then, its also a problem when printing a VW drawing, too.

We used to have a color correction sheet. We printed out all the VW colors, and printed those, then did a test to show what each color on the screen printed out like. Our on screen product didn't always look right to our eye, but our print outs did.

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I've had to do that with Photoshop before. But, because the colors look right printing directly from Vectorworks, I really want to figure out a way to get a PDF to reproduce the colors. We send these files to consultants to print, and want to be sure that they are as accurate as possible.

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Have you contacted tech support?

I believe it has to do with a mismatch between the color spaces in VW & Acrobat and that it's possible to correct it by adding a Color Conversion in Acrobat>Advanced>Print Production>Convert Colors.

Edited by bcd
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  • 2 years later...

Have you got transparencies? I find that PDF translate the transparencies differently to how the Quicktime engine renders it on screen.

I had the same issue as you described above and was further confused by why some of my PDFs exported from within the same file were perfectly color matched.

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  • 4 years later...

I have been trying to solve this issue for the last 2 years and I finally figured it out!


When calibrating my iMac I noticed that the Adobe RGB setting looked like the dull PDF's that I had been exporting from Vectorworks. When I changed the setting to Apple RGB the drawing inside of Vectorworks looked correct but when I exported the PDF again I had the same issue.


To fix the PDF color on export I had to:


1. Navigate to: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop CC 2017/PDF

2. Click on High Quality Print.joboptions

3. Select the Color Tab

4. Click the Color Management Policies drop down menu and select convert all colors to sRBG.

5. In the Working Spaces below under the RGB dropdown select Apple RGB

6. Select okay and overwrite the existing profile.


Note you may have to do the same for the High Quality Print profile in this location:

/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe PDF/Settings

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