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Issue with Import Images



Suddenly, about a week ago, VW stopped being able to import images (I'm on most current version of 2018, Mac). It goes through the dialogue, asking about JPG or PNG, and I can even see a preview if I click Edit Attributes, but after I hit OK< nothing happens. I've tried on Sheet Layers, Design Layers, various Class settings—nothing. I need to be able to include map images for permit drawings, so this is pretty urgent. I've done it literally thousands of times over the years, never an issue before.


Anyone else?

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What is the file size of the map images? Up to 150-200 MB will often work ok, larger images will take a bit longer but when you get into the GB range (e.g. satellite/aerial images of large areas or high resolutions) it may either fail to import, or import but fail to show or take a very long (sometimes 2+ hours) time to import. Splitting such images into multiple parts often helps, esp. when saving to JPEGs having a size of approx. 50 MB max.


Do keep in mind that most JPEGs have a compression factor of approx. 10 and Vectorworks will internally use the non-compressed size as far as I can tell so a 50MB JPEG is probably around 400-500 MB non-compressed so at some point even a JPEG will fail to import.

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7 hours ago, melon said:

Smallest image file tried was a 209 KB (!) JPEG and still no dice. Like @JRoth mentioned above, it will work if same image is imported as bitmap but not as JPEG. Same for larger images in the MB range. For now I'll have to make to with the bitmap option.

That sounds something is wrong with either your VW install or the JPEG is in a flavour that is not (properly) supported by VW. Especially with georeferenced/GIS files it may cause issues if the georeference/GIS formatting is not supported. Did you try importing the georeferenced file without geocoding sidecar file?

If you are allowed to share one of those problem JPEGs I'm willing to have a look at it and see if it has issues on my end as well.

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I am having a similar issue on 2019. There is absolutely no effective image import after going through the prompts. I am on a Mac 10.13.6 on a Mac Pro 2013 running Vectorworks Spotlight 2019 with service pack 4.


I also feel like this functionality disappeared all of a sudden. I have restarted the machine. I am not importing I have tried PNG and JPG options and I get the same result. I am not importing large file sizes (most are under 1mb). There is no error message. There is no image import. 


I am covering by converting image files to pdf, and then importing the pdfs.


Any help would be appreciated.


Thank you,



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Guest Alex Sagatov

@briland23 and in case anyone else above is still running into this:


Can you please confirm this setting?


Screen Shot 2019-07-17 at 11.10.23 AM.png


If this drop down is set to IMAGE RESOURCE, the import will occur, but it will appear nothing happened because the import is simply making an image fill resource in your resource manager. Can you please confirm this setting is set to BITMAP?

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Have you tried:

0. Tried both Dragging and Dropping and using the Import menu options?

0.b. Made sure the files you are trying to open are not corrupted and open in another program?

1. Restarting VW?

2. Restarting the computer?

3. Restarting the computer in Safe Mode?

4. Createing a new user on the computer and see if VW operates properly from there?

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