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bob cleaver

greyscale option in Publish command

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The Publish command is great, except the black and white option is not enough to handle patterns and nuances of grey-tones when converting color drawings.

A greyscale option in Publish to PDF that maintains opacity settings would be greatly appreciated.

I do most work in color and would like the option to Publish in greyscale.

Contractors receive drawings via email or the cloud and send drawings out for printing (pricing and construction) and need the greyscale for clarity.

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Grayscale looks like its been requested again recently already, adding this to it.

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@ Cipesdesign: for whatever reason, Preview does not fully process large greyscale requests. I have a large landscape sheet using multiple landscape areas in gradients with opacity and even with multiple requests, Preview does not 'grey' all of the sheet.

Of course the Publish tool looks so promising and it is already in Vectorworks and I get to keep the drawing collection as a 'saved' workflow in Vectorworks- so close and yet so far......

Pixelmator works great for greyscale conversion but a single sheet at a time. I have a 15 sheet set and do not look forward to processing each sheet.

I considered trying my hand at an Automator workflow or folder action but I am not capable of achieving it.

Thank you both for your efforts, I appreciate your help

Happy New Year

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Interesting. I wonder if the new OS broke something. It has always worked in 10.9. Oh, well, worth a shot...

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Since I'm not 100% sure what the original color PDF looked like it's hard to make a comprehensive statement. But it is rather dubious that there is still green showing in that one area!!

I'd venture to guess/bet that there are certain very specific object types or hatches, fills, opacities, etc. that cause problems. If it was me I would delve a little deeper and run some tests, then use only those objects, fills, etc that work as expected.

Some years ago I ran into similar issues with certain fonts getting F'd up in PDF's. I switched fonts and cured the problem. Never looked back.

But still, I feel your frustration. We expect these (very very complex) systems to "just work", and when they fail like this it's annoying and disheartening.

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Thanks Bob, It's interesting. It looks like there are a few issues occurring simultaneously. 1) It appears that there is at least one grayed layer (the adjoining site, e.g.) which is showing as fully opaque in the gray scale version. Perhaps there is a bug with the way grayed layers print? I'm not sure because I rarely if ever use grayed layers. 2) All of the green areas, even the light greens are darker (as grays) than you'd probably want. Again, I'm not certain, but I would guess this is because of the nature of green colors: they print to gray very dark. FWIW, yellows used to print 100% black. You might be able to fix this one by using the "lightness increase" filter, but use caution as it can cause even dark blacks to wash out when printed (to paper or bond). 3) Hatches appear to behave as if they refuse to go gray... I wonder if the green shrub area to the east is also a hatch (rather than a fill)??

So, here's a thought... How much (or how often) do you actually print in color? Or do you just use color because it's more fun on screen? If it was me I would probably do some experimenting and testing to come to compromise solution.

And a question: you might have already said, but was this all working as expected in earlier versions (OS and/or VW's)?? If so then there are bugs to be filed! I would send the VW's file along with the two pdf's in to bug submit (or directly to Jim??) and let the engineers do their magic... P

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VWX Publish should definitely do grayscale pdf without a hitch.

Just adding this as a workaround:

Open the pdf in Preview.

Export as png, raise the resolution as desired.

Open the png in Preview.

In the Adjust Color pane, set the saturation slider to zero.

If pdf is required, export to pdf.

I know, extra steps, rasterized, etc.

But at least everything is gray.

-B

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Thank you both-

Peter: I am using the Publish feature for the first times because there are many sheets and the typical workaround will take time.

I use color for client review/schematics and am hoping to quickly convert the schematics to something for pricing then construction.

Benson: Thank you for the recommendations. We usually save as a jpeg instead of PNG. We will try PNG.

Have you written an Automator 'Action' to batch convert in Preview ? I am interested in having a workflow that activates and converts the color to greyscale, saves as a PDF, and renames the file.

I know this sounds ambitious-

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Hi Again Bob, Thankfully for me my plan sets are usually 10 sheets or less, and I only do 10-15 projects a year. I say "Thankfully" because I can still justify the time it takes to Print each sheet to PDF, then use a free third party app ("Combine PDF's") to create a single multi-page PDF document, then open that in Preview and Save As using the Gray Tones Filter.

I do all that because of the unpredictable results I have encountered using the Publish Command in VW's!! So yes it would be really cool if the Publish command woke as expected/desired...

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Peter, have you tried your hand at Automator ?

I assume a 'workflow' or 'action' can be written to convert PDFs to greyscale in Preview and then save as a new file name.

The Publish command will combine multiple sheets into one PDF.

I use "Hazel", an application that does great things with folder actions but have not configured it work on this 'workflow' and Preview. I can get any file dropped in a predetermined folder to duplicate and open in Preview, but my abilities stop there.

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Yes, I am aware of that. However, other things sometimes get lost in the translation. I've had text/font issues; opacity issues, etc... I keep test it at every new release/update. Still not 100% reliable. Most recently had a problem where the DPI was very low in the "Published" set, even though all sheet layers were set to 300... Etc...

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Hi, Bob - I have no experience with Automator. Sorry. Let us know if you find or make a conversion workflow for multi page pdf to images to assembled pdf.

Both png and jpg files respond to the saturation slider in Preview (and desaturation in other image editors).

-B

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