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Okay. I found out today that I cannot plot to my HP DesignJet 230 from VWA 9.5.0 (MAC) It comes out as a completely black sheet (what a waste of ink!). After much hair-pulling and whining I got a very concise response from NNA Tech Support. They told me that MacPlot cannot yet print from cabonized apps (VW 9.5.0 is carbonized). There is a work-around: when you get ready to print, quit 9.5.0 and then open 9.0.1 and then open the document you wish to print from within 9.0.1. It seems to work fine. I was told that MicroSpot is working on an update to solve this. Let's hope.

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Here is what was officaly said by Paul Pharr, our CAD Software Manager here at NNA.


VectorWorks 9.5 is now a Carbon based application, and as we have discussedrecently, the Carbon printing architecture is completely different than theprinting architecture used by non-Carbon applications.

Whereas under classic MacOS the application talks pretty much directly tothe printer driver without much operating system intervention, under Carbon,the application talks to the operating system which potentially performs anintermediate layer of processing before then talking to the printer driveron behalf of the application.

Carbon under MacOS 8 & 9 attempts to be compatible with existing printdrivers, but because of this interpretation that goes on between theapplication and the operating system, Carbon needs to know the format of thedata being passed back and forth. Since the data is different for everydifferent print driver, Apple has created a new resource called 'pdat' whichdescribes to Carbon how to interpret the conversation between theapplication and the printer driver. Apple has supplied 42 different 'pdat'resources in CarbonLib itself which allow many commonly used printers towork with CarbonLib based applications.

There are many other print drivers which potentially do not have 'pdat'resources and Apple has not done a very effective job at telling printdriver creators that they need to create these.

Your problems stem from three issues:

1 - The Cannon 4550 'pdat' resource which Apple has shipped in CarbonLib isincorrect. We have worked directly with Apple and they have supplied us aversion which works properly, but it will likely not be in CarbonLib 1.5 dueto the release schedule of 1.5.

2 - Neither Microspot nor Apple have created a 'pdat' for MacPlot. We areworking directly with Microspot to get this created as quickly as possible.We will let you know how you will get this - whether as an update fromMicrospot or directly from us.

We do see some functionality problems with MacPlot related to the missing'pdat', but we are able to get it to plot successfully. Some MacPlotfeatures are broken, however, such as the ability to do a plot preview andthe ability to set up pens. We are successfully plotting using CarbonLib1.2.5 and CarbonLib 1.4 and MacPlot Raster 5.1.2.

3 - CarbonLib 1.4 broke some fundamental aspects of communication betweenour application and the print driver. Some calls which used to work properlyin CarbonLib 1.2.5 now return bad data to us. We have put in workaroundswhere we identify this bad data and reset it to a default value if we arerunning under CarbonLib 1.4. This can compromise your ability to changecertain settings in page setup. Apple has fixed these problems in the betaversions of CarbonLib 1.5, so this situation should improve in the future.

We will put together a tech note in the next few days which addresses theseissues.

I see your report of 4550 problems, but I do not see your report of MacPlotissues. What specifically are you seeing?


Paul C. PharrCAD Software ManagerNemetschek North America

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FJ, No that's not what I said. Please read it again and read what Paul Pharr said. In a nutshell: I can plot w/ MacPlot, BUT not from 9.5.0. I can work in 9.5.0 and then open the document in 9.0.1 and plot just like before. AND MORE IMPORTANT: the guys at MacPlot and NNA know what the problem is and are working on a PDAT resource for MacPlot, which ought to take care of the problem. I'm reminded of something a very knowledgeable VW Instructor told me: "Remember," she said."All this stuff is really new and in many ways highly experimental." Think back to how you were drawing five or ten years ago. It's amazing that any of these new things work at all! PLC

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Plotting is very important. Having to open a 9.5 file in 9.x would not work for me as I would be upgrading from 8.x which is not the same. And, upgrade from microspot of vw for the pdat resource is currently up in the air in terms of what, how and cost. I think my upgrade will wait until there is a definite, working solution here.


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