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Export PDF - paperspaces only?

Hey, I'm trialling BricsCAD, looking at converting over from AutoCAD. So far everything has been really impressive, but we're caught up on something I didn't even think would be an issue, given how well Brics has performed in other aspects.

AutoCAD's export has a setting which allows you to 'plot all paperspaces'. Is there anything like that in Brics? Might sound odd, but this is a pretty big dealbreaker if it's not possible - in AutoCAD, we just type 'AUTOPUBLISH' and it plots everything into one file perfectly, no messing around. So far I haven't figured out how to do this with BricsCAD other than using a batch plotting macro into a PDF printer, which both generates some questionably large files and takes a long time to set up if you have a tonne of sheets to plot. People have gotten used to the 'one button pdf maker' and don't want to go back to using batch plotting tools.

The EXPORTPDF command takes an option 'plot all sheets into a multi-sheet file', however it plots the model space as well. For us, the model space is useless in a plot format - as a 2d drafting company, I'm not sure of any time you would want to export the model space to a PDF along with the paper spaces. Exporting all to a PDF, then using another PDF tool to remove the first sheet is the only way I can actually get BricsCAD to make suitable PDF files which we can send to clients. Suffice to say, that's not really a long term solution - it would be FAR better if BricsCAD could just not plot the model space! :)

Thanks for any help.


  • edited May 2017

    Please have a look at the PUBLISH command, which allows to print a series of layouts from a single or multiple drawings. The selected layouts can be saved to a *.dsd sheet list file. The PUBLISH command has an option to create Pdf's: a single multi-page pdf or one pdf per layout.

  • A-ha, that's essentially the same as the BATCHPLOT command in Auto. Not optimal, but I could automatically generate the .dsd file (the format is quite basic) and then hopefully run the publish command with the generated .dsd file and get an easy 'AUTOPUBLISH' command going. Basically I just want to type a command and have the file save a multi-sheet pdf copy of the layouts into the same folder & name as the original drawing.
    Suffice to say, that kind of functionality would be well received in the base product, without having to resort to LISP automation - but at least there's a way to solve the issue at hand.


  • edited May 2017

    I often use publish to create a PDF in my BricsCAD v14 pro. The list of pages to print comes up with all currently open drawings. So, if I want to create a PDF of just one DWG, I close any other Dwgs. Then, I need to delete the first item, which is the model space tab. Then after you click OK, you just dismiss the window asking if you want to save the list of pages to print, and then the PDF is created.

    However, in my case, my own work is best saved as a PDF that is created using a PDF printer, rather than the native PDF export. I have all my tabs set to the same PDF printer driver. Both options are available in the Publish window.


  • @Joe Dunfee said:
    Then, I need to delete the first item, which is the model space tab.

    In V17 you can choose what to include in the Publish output: 'Layouts', 'Model'or 'Layouts and Model'.

  • The problem with this is that I have to do all sorts of stuff which I don't have to do when using AutoCAD - look at a dialog, move my mouse around, click the drop downs to select Layouts, open a filebrowsing window and manually browse to the drawing folder, manually type the name of the pdf file (which is always exactly the same as the dwg file), check that settings are correct, all of that stuff which takes a long time and is prone to human error -
    the exact thing that LISP automation is built to counter.

    In writing our automation scripts, I try to avoid having dialogs as much as possible, because it just leads to things being saved in the wrong spots, also this is a process which can take 30 seconds to a minute just to browse to the folders, write the names (which can then be typoed or possibly saved over an existing file, requiring more manual time to fix it). The only output file name I -ever- want for these pdfs is the same as the drawing name, in the same folder as the dwg.

    In AutoCAD, after configuring a few settings, you just type AUTOPUBLISH and press enter, and then it saves a PDF by the same name in the same folder with the layouts - no clicking needed. I have expanded this to a lisp function which takes our cad reference drawing number, saves a new DWG file by that name, then plots a pdf and runs a macro script which then builds an email to the client with the files already attached - all the user needs to do after completing their design and paperspace layouts is check the files/email is correct and press the send button. This saves roughly 1-5 minutes every time it's done in comparison to manually clicking through publish dialogs, building emails and the like.

    If the PUBLISH command in BricsCAD were scriptable at all, then this wouldn't be such an issue, but I can't seem to initiate any kind of scriptable mode for this feature, so I have given up on the BricsCAD project. I dislike using manual publish dialogs like this so much that I've started using AutoCAD again :disappointed: since having to manually do things sucks (I'm an automation software engineer from a previous life) - call me fussy, but if I don't have to do it, I shouldn't have to - time is money! For such a simple feature to go lacking is a little disappointing, I hope that Bricsys can expand on the publishing capabilities in future so I can revisit using it.

  • if this is your only criteria for non-swiching to BricsCAD... - sorry what is the meaning of fussy ;-)
    Have you regoniced the Licencecosts of BricsCAD vs AutoCAD?
    The saved money you can spent in several individual Programmings which are possible to create exactly the Tools you need for as faster working.
    I can develop the 'finish work button' for the most steps you have to do with BricsCAD.

  • You can use Ghostscript to delete the first page of a PDF:

    ; (PdfDeleteFirstPage 
    ;   "C:\\Program Files\\gs\\gs8.61\\bin\\gswin32c.exe"
    ;   "C:\\Downloads\\Source.pdf"
    ; )
    (defun PdfDeleteFirstPage (gsExe srcFile / tmpFile)
      (setq tmpFile (vl-filename-mktemp ".pdf"))
          gsExe " "
          "-dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -dQUIET "
          "-sDEVICE=pdfwrite -dFirstPage=2 "
          "-sOutputFile=\"" tmpFile "\" "
          "\"" srcFile "\""
        T ; Wait.
      (if (findfile tmpFile)
          (vl-file-delete srcFile)
          (vl-file-copy tmpFile srcFile)
          (vl-file-delete tmpFile)
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