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VW 2020 Publish Dialog Changes?


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I have found what appear to be a couple changes in the publish dialog that are, so far, just annoying - but I am wondering if there is a better way around them that I am missing?


I publish PDF's in black and white, but I work in color. Two things have changed with the publish dialog in the 2020 version of VW...


1) when I add sheets to the publish side (while working in color) it shows them as ready to publish in color, like it always has. However, I used to be able to click on the first sheet in the list, hold shift and click on the last sheet, and change them all to B/W with another click - 3 clicks no matter how many pages. Now, I have to click on each sheet's color setting, then click on a little drop down menu to select B/W. Usually 3 clicks per sheet. A time consuming process when there are more than a few pages to be published.  The obvious work around is to change the preferences to display black and white before going to publish (I have a scripted "document context menu" short cut), I just have to remember to do this before opening the publish dialog.

I am wondering if there is a different way to do this...or?


2) I have always exported generated model images, and then re-imported those images onto my sheet layers. Doing this, not only saves a lot of model regeneration time as I work and add or change things, and other advantages, but it also always USED to allow me to publish a PDF with a B/W sheet border and other drawings, but a full color model image. My client could look at the full color version on their monitor, their printer converted the images to grayscale, or if they print in color, the dimensioned drawings would still be in black and white as they prefer. It has served me well for years and years.

In the 2020 version, however, when I publish in B/W those imported color images are changed to gray scale in the PDF.

So, unless I am wrong, I now have to publish the model image pages in Color...which means all my annotations, sheet border, other drawings, etc. are in color. When my client goes to print, those colors go to grayscale. So, now the border and other drawings and dimensions look very different, even hard to read depending on the color I use, especially when compared to the other sheets in the PDF. 

The only option I have come up with, is to modify my sheet border from colors to all black and white...which I can do, just an announce. But that doesn't allow me to put a color image on the same sheet with a black and white line drawing. So if I want to add a color model image, it has to be on its own sheet. I REALLY don't want to change all my classes to black, or even change the properties of the drawings on the same sheet as the model to be black...


Am I just missing something here?


A simple example of what I find I can no longer do, is below.


A bit of a side note - 20 years ago when I worked in AutoCAD, the publish set up would allow me to set the print preferences for each class (Actually AutoCAD layer). This allowed me to print the entire drawing in black and white, but, say, print dimensions in color - different colors for different dimension classes (layers), regardless of what I used for color when drawing. This allowed the viewers to quickly determine the dimensions of different types of objects in the same drawing. Using something like the example below, I used to show door dimensions in one color for one cabinet maker, and box dimensions in another color for another cabinet maker. I added this to the VW wish list a couple times 12 or 15 years ago. I forgot about it because this client went to a black and white laser printer when their plotter died. But, it would solve both of my problems here. All I would need is a class for imported images, or even viewports, set to print/publish in color, and I could set all other classes to print/publish in B/W. There would be no need to change the setting of each page in the publish dialog each time, no unexpected grayscale images...There are only a couple of "tools" AutoCAD had that I have always missed in Vectorworks. That is one, and one I have never found a good work around for it. 


Vecrtorworks Designer 2020

Windows 10










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  • Vectorworks, Inc Employee

Hey @SLFYSean,
  Thanks for the note and sorry for the disruption.  Well our intention with the B&W only change was to fix an old bug and make the software more consistent.  Unfortunately, we overlooked this particular workflow not realizing the wrong behavior was needed to pull off the effect.  We’re currently looking at restoring the previous behavior until we can come up with a way to fix both bugs which would probably require some UI changes.  Your other point about the multi-selection in the list browser is also being looked at and I’d assume it should also be fixed shortly.

Thanks again,


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  • 3 weeks later...

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