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Major problem with certain objects and postscript printers

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We've had this problem for years and we need to deal with it because it's not going away on its own.

When we use objects with less than 100% opacity (and potentially some other objects that don't come to mind) we run into problems with postscript printers (whether we print straight from VW or from PDF). The problem is a halo or blurring of other parts of the drawing.

To demonstrate, I've attached three files. A VW file, a PDF and a PS file. (you'll need to change the .txt file extension to .ps as the forum wouldn't let me upload a .ps file)

The VW and PDF files look fine on screen but not when printed. You can see this problem by opening the PS file in a PDF reader (at least on a Mac); the balcony balustrades are transparent and cause blurring of the adjacent brickwork.

So my question is, do Windows users see the problem when they open the PS file? And can anyone on a Windows PC replicate this problem by opening the VW file and producing a PS with the same problem?

I'm using:

Vectorworks 2011 SP1

Mac OS X 10.6.4

Any PDF reader that can open Postscript files

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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

This is an old known issue and is caused by a difference between computer and print graphics. There is a knowledge base article which at the bottom has a detailed description of the problem and various workarounds. Currently the ?Rasterize Print? option is not available on the Mac but until that becomes available you do have the option to ?Export Image File? then print the image. I hope this helps and please let me know if you have any additional questions or concerns.

Knowledge Base Article

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I have the problem that transparent images (e.G. xfrog trees) have solid white fills. It took me some hours to figure out an export to pdf and open in Illustrator solved some problems and the export to jpg also works (max. dpi!). But I must say that all my other professional programs gives me a good output when I print to destiller.

So it would be very nice if I can export or print as I like.



Edited by Uli
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The engineers from Ricoh who maintain our machine weren't even aware of the problem, so I've been sniffing around the Fiery settings on our Canon and noticed a PDL setting called Auto Trapping, which is currently set to off. It won't let me turn it on for some reason.

Is this perhaps the answer to our problem?

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  • 10 months later...

I see the problem also on Minolta printers and Epson Plotters, Windows XP and 7. Filed as bug years ago. I had a big quarrel with Minolta, they are aware of the problem.

As noted in the Knowledge Base Article the issue occurs when on drawing even a singular transparent object is present.

Our solution is to increment the line thickness on class basis, but this is very very cumbersome and not always correct, since the issue is also affected by the layer scale, which is often mixed across the different Viewports on the same Sheet layer. It takes loads of plotting paper for testing. And you can't but test on the very printer where you need to output (results are printer specific).

For the amount of plotting paper that we wasted on this, I filed at one point a wish request to have an option to manually increment the line thickness upon printing/exporting to PDF. The option to disable GDI isn't feasible, since thus permits wouldn't have the needed layout.

Give us the option to increment line thickness please, storable on VP-basis.


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  • 4 months later...

Sorry for opening an old thread but this problem is really frustrating to us. We had thought with VW 2012 that this issue would have been worked out and being brutally honest it was one of the reasons we upgraded from VW 2008. We really want to use opacities in our drawings but still cant with 2012. Has any headway been made with this issue...???



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