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Hi All,


I have a VWX file that is north of one gig in size, mainly due to imported bitmaps of hand drafted scans. Does anyone know of a way that I can reduce the DPI / resolution / file size of these images in order to improve my file's responsiveness?


Thanks, Nick

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Here are a few ideas:


A.  Try design layer viewports. 
The concept is that the images exist in separate files which are then referenced into the project file. The references do not carry the same overhead as the source files. References are sort of snapshots of the source file.  

Here’s a work flow:

     make a new blank file Eg named Import 1

     import a scan bitmap, save. 
     in your project file (Eg project.vwx)  create a new, blank design layer
     in the project file create a new viewport

         In the creation dialog Source field, choose the Import1 file

         Assign the viewport to the new Design layer

this new viewport can be moved, rotated, etc to match Project needs. 

Trace the scan as needed


Import the other scans, either into new files, or to new layers in the Import file.

Each scan will require a separate DLVP (unless you want several images shown on same layer in the project file)


B.  Try reducing the bitmap file size either during the scan or after in an image editor:

           Open the source file in Apple Preview (or other image editor)

           Tools>Adjust Size> adjust resolution and/or pixel count
           Save, then import into vwx and Rescale as needed

C.  Scan again at lower resolution, then import. 


D.  Import a scan into a new vwx

      Create a new blank layer

      trace on the new layer

      Copy/Paste the trace into the project file






Edited by Benson Shaw
John Hancock
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Hi Benson,


Thank you for the very thorough response!


My work flow already uses design layer view ports sadly. I get VWX files from my colleagues with a ton of bitmaps of hand scanned drafting, which I then reference in a drawing where I do my work. It is this file that I want to improve and slim down.


I don't really have the tools to reduce the bitmap resolution in apple preview, because when I get my colleague's VWX, tons of work has already been done, the hand drafting is often the bottom/background layer.


I was hoping to hear about a vectorscript or command that could "ditch all bitmap data outside of the crop" OR "reduce jpg quality of all bitmaps" inside vectorworks, since by the time I am getting these files, they are far removed from the original bitmaps.


Thanks again, Nick


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So is this all monochrome? Are you happy changing it to black or do you want to preserve a hand feel?


A couple of things I have done in the past.


There's a tool WinTopo (free and paid versions available, paid is US$260, but free one does a lot) that I've used to simplify hand-drawn graphics to vectors. It's the best tool I have found for this, although there are other ways including using Imagemagick. 


WinTopo produces nice loose forms - as dxf - that emulate hand-linework pretty well. That should give you 90%+ filesize reduction.


I have also degraded handwork and aerials using a watercolour filter in 'shop or GIMP, 

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I'm only using 2012 but file size questions come up a lot even with latest versions. What I don't know is what image file types are handled in latest versions - .webp for example have much (25%) smaller file sizes.


One of the issues I've found with vw is with viewports where when you export say a pdf the data outside the vp does not get removed. So with very large aerials I split image into a grid of pics and put each one in its own class. But it should not be necessary.

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