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tlee

Printing from VW10 to HP/GL driver on PC

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To All,

Greetings. Our office's printing problems in the past started with VW 9.5 on Windows NT to HP1055 DesignJet plotters. We have since upgraded to Windows 2000 and now, a few months later, we started to notice a "squished text" problem that seems to happen sporatically. Out IT have contacted VW tech support before and they found out that it's a known problem with Windows NT, 98 and Millennium. The recommendation was to upgrade to Win 2000 or try using the Adobe Postscript driver instead. (We're using Win 2000 now, and I don't want to use the Postscript driver because it is so much slower than the HP/GL)

My question is: has the new VW 10.1 addressed problems VW encountered with printing to the HP/GL driver? Can I expect the "squished text" problem be eliminated with the newest version of VW? For those of you using VW10 on PC, how is your printing experience? problems?

Thanks in advance,

Terence

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Hello Terence

I'm having the same problem. I'm using 10.1 on XP pro and HOME systems. We had a long discussion in this subject, in the printing section. You can check the link below:

http://techboard.nemetschek.net/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=22;t=000109

I sent some relevant 10.1 files to Katie, few days ago, and she is checking them to find if the problem is caused by VW or the HP driver. Hope, for all of us, she'll find some solution to this annoying problem

And finally a tip: Until the problem will be fixed I'm checking each .plt file, on screen, to see if the "condensed text" effect happened in that print. If it does, I'm reprinting it (you don't have to change any setting, because it doesn't have any effect), and checking it again, until I'm getting a fine result.

There are a lot of ".plt viewers" on the net, but most of them fail to show a good screen picture of the print file. The best solution I found yet is "CAD Viewer" from GuthCAD. You can download a demo from:

http://www.guthcad.com/ssl/buyvw.htm

All of the viewers I've checked fail to show the details we are looking for - the text. Only this one will show text, but only if you use font size bigger then 20. Since I'm using usually smaller fonts, I'm inserting a check text block, bigger than 20 points in each doc I'm printing these days. I know it sounds bad, but this my best solution, until NNA guys will find a solution.

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We've tracked down the squished text problem.

It seems to happen when objects are copied and then going to File Print. While the file is rendering for printing - the progress bar that goes across the screen in VW, the user alt-tab's out of VW and into another program which causes a focus switch.

The resulted symptoms are line weights being scrunched, dashed lines printing as solid lines and text being scrunched up.

For now, while the progress bar is moving in VW for print rendering, do NOT tab out of VW into another program. Leave VW the active application until the printer starts to print.

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Originally posted by Katie:

It seems to happen when objects are copied and then going to File Print. While the file is rendering for printing - the progress bar that goes across the screen in VW, the user alt-tab's out of VW and into another program which causes a focus switch.

I've had this (squashed text w/ HP Designjet 430)many times and doubt that moving out of VW into another program is the cause here...I certainly can't remember each occurance, but I don't generally bounce around to other programs after sending files to print...too pessimistic.

Carl

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Katie, glad you're on the case. This has been a very time-consuming (and paper-consuming) problem for me (VW 10.1, HP800 plotter, WinXP). I notice that when the plotter gives the message "Processing HP/GL-2" the print usually comes out okay, and when it just says "Processing" it doesn't.

I'll try your suggestion about staying put until the plot begins. But with other architects on our network, the queue is often pretty long. Do I actually have to wait until physical plotting begins? Can I work in VW in the meantime?

This is another embarassing VW glitch that has AutoCAD users in my office smirking.

[ 03-28-2003, 12:28 AM: Message edited by: P Retondo ]

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Hello Katie

Sorry, but I'm taking Carl side ? I don't think that this is the problem.

Since some of my speculations were lack of memory, I tried doing nothing when VW is printing, thinking that using the computer for other tasks will put too much pressure on the system. For the last weeks I tried to quit other programs before printing, and still I'm having the "Squished fonts" problems, sometimes

By the way, you were mentioning "?The resulted symptoms are line weights being scrunched, dashed lines printing as solid lines and..." ? Never saw that in my prints. Even if the fonts were squished, the rest of the graphic info printed correctly.

yovav

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Well, that is the only way we have been able to reproduce the squished text result. Our engineer has been working on this issue for months and seems to be the only way we've been able to reproduce the issue time and time again on many printers.

Just try to print wihtout switching out to another program or opening the print monitor or anything like that and see if you still get the squished text.

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Thanks for trying Katie, but even if not doing anything on my computer while VW is printing is the solution, it is not practical. While graphically VW is a great tool, it is by far an inferior product compared to AutoCAD for its reliatbility and stability. We have been long time users of VW and myself personally longer, since MiniCAD 6.0. The last truely great upgrade was VW 8.5. It's been down hill since. Going back to my original question, it appears that the 'squished text' problem had not been solved with the latest VW 10.1, therefore I will not be recommending our office to upgrade.

Yovav, there's also another great plot file viewer called WebPlotter (http://www.swplot.com/wplot.htm)

Terence

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Well, I didn't say that as a fix but as a suggestion until we fix the problem.

You only need to leave VW the application until the printer starts to print. Once the printer starts to print, you can move over to another program.

The key is durring the rendering used for printing. The progress bar that goes across the screen - generally, while that is going, the drawing is being rendered for printing. When this progress bar is done, you can switch to another program.

I have yet to see this process take more than 5 minutes maximum. Usually it takes a minute or two.

I say to wait until the printer starts to print, just to be on the safe side.

You have the right to decide if a program is practical for you or not.

This message board is a forum where we can offer suggestions, comments and workarounds.

My suggestions were simply workarounds that we just discovered this week alone.

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Thanks for the URL Terence, It is the best viewer I've seen yet. It shows fonts in any size, and that's cool.

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I feel your pain.

I plot on an HP 500ps and also witness the "52-car pile up" of text. Only in non-ps mode. (Forget PS it takes way too long to plot a line drawing.) Unfortunately VA is the only program that I use that has this problem. The only work around that seems to work is to simply reprint a second time and then it plots properly.

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