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Plot transparencies issue


When the option "plot transparencies" is on, BC creates raster PDF instead of vector one.

I have tried several PDF printers:
Print as PDF (BC naitive) and DWG to PDF (ACAD) - creates 20kb empty file.
BullzipPDF, PDF Creator & PDF Architect 6 - make a file, but completely rasterized.

I have a few solid hatches (colour) semi transparent, nothing fancy.

Anyone bumped into the same issue and found a solution?
Help would be appreciated :).



  • I have no problem creating a vector based PDF with transparencies using BricsCAD's default 'Print As PDF.pc3' configuration.

  • I am using v18.2.04
    I cannot get the "Print As PDF.pc3" to print with Transparency at all, regardless of the checkbox in the print settings.

    I printed to "Microsoft Print to PDF" and I get the same results as @DrJan - a raster PDF with Transparency enabled, and a vector PDF with Transparency disabled.

    FWIW - AutoCAD also creates a raster plot file (.PLT or PDF) when transparency is enabled.

  • edited May 2018

    According to the Release Notes an issue with 'Plot Transparencies' was fixed in V18.2.04. I have tested with V18.2.08.

  • I'm on 18.2.14 and it still doesn't work then...

  • With V18.2.14 I get the same results as with V18.2.08. See my previous post. IMO it works fine.

  • Well good for you then :). Doesn't work for me.

  • @DrJan: Have you tested with my dwg?

  • 18.2.08 sharp as a pin at 6400% zoom level

  • Well it works on ur sample file, however the file is not the real life situation.
    I have a site plan for a middle size project, a few xrefs attached (site networks etc.) and it doestn't work here.
    I remember the same issues I used to have in ACAD a couple years, ago. We never sorted that out otherwise than turning off.

  • Roy, your sample file works great! However, extruding your objects to 3D and then publishing the layout results in a rasterized PDF.

  • The whole rasterization issue needs to be addressed. To rasterize a line-art drawing should not be necessary. I realize that a shaded view needs to be rasterized, to allow for the various colors needed for shading. But simple hidden-line removal should not. When it is, you end up with both an extremely expanded file size, and faint lines.

    Legacy hidden is not really an option either. Any curved surfaces become so dense with tessellation lines, they are a solid color.


  • @Richard Webb:
    For a rendered VP I would not have expected vector-based PDF output.
    The question is why @rkmcswain ('I cannot get the "Print As PDF.pc3" to print with Transparency at all') and @DrJan ('Print as PDF (BC native) ... creates 20kb empty file') are having issues with transparencies.

  • edited May 2018

    @Joe Dunfee said:
    The whole rasterization issue needs to be addressed. To rasterize a line-art drawing should not be necessary.

    In my other CAD, PDF rasterization, including Vector Elements, is a valid
    large hammer method to circumference plotting issues (?)
    to force a WYSIWYG.
    So a nice option.
    (Together with the option to rasterize raster data like images at
    a special lower DPI)

    But yes,
    generally the meaning of PDF or post script is to keep vector data vector.

  • @Roy Klein Gebbinck said:
    The question is why @rkmcswain ('I cannot get the "Print As PDF.pc3" to print with Transparency at all')

    Good question. "Plot transparencies" is checked in the Print dialog.
    Here is a screenshot of the DWG and the resulting PDF.


    If I use a different print driver, such as the Bluebeam or "Microsoft Print to PDF", then I get this:

  • @rkmcswain:
    Post your dwg please.

  • @Roy Klein Gebbinck said:
    Post your dwg please.

    It's any drawing. Simple create two solids, as shown.

  • @rkmcswain said:
    It's any drawing. Simple create two solids, as shown.

    It is not unusual for there to be an issue with a system variable or other settings that vary between different users. There are so many settings, it takes a expert to be familiar with all of them. So, posting an actual DWG can help an expert to look into the settings that are stored in a drawing.


  • Probably Really Late to be on here but I had a similar issue with one of my drawings, while my plans were plotting just fine with the transparency on hatch the detailed elevation had quite a bit of an issue, on the final file, there were some dark and some light lines showed on the brick hatch.

    found a way but quite a bit complicated one requiring many software subscriptions hopefully, this will at least help someone out there...

    first of all, you will need Adobe or another better enough PDF creator rather than the regular DWG to PDF as that just creates complicated files and is way too much for illustrator later on.

    • color your hatch on a different color (easily noticeable)
    • create a file without any transparency even though you haven't selected plot the transparency on the plotting tab.
    • export the pdf without transparency by Adobe PDF(for me) you might use a different software but I can't assure the output.
    • open and check the file and then open it on illustrator
    • select similar lines in your drawing by color match
    • decrease the line weight 0.05 (worked for me), change the color of lines and if needed add transparency.
    • save file and yaaay!!! the file is finally there with all the transparency you needed.

    my normal workflow is CAD or Rhino and then to illustrator and then via InDesign publish a PDF and print and submit my work.

    Hope this helps out.


  • @Jeet

    Why can't you just save your .dwg in an earlier version and open it directly with Illustrator?

    In respect of your workflow for the original poster, save the file as an earlier .dxf and open in Inkscape and create pdf from there. You can do transparencies in Inkscape and it is free.

  • I have another problem with "transparencies"; so I will continue here:

    Bricscad 18.2.20, German, PDF XChange Lite

    I have a drawing, only a rectangle and 2 lines, printed to a very oversize paper-size

    a) "Plot transparency: no"
    vectorized output, can be cropped with PDF tools to "inked area"

    b) "Plot transparency: Yes"
    rasterized output; wrong internal definition of "image" - PDF can not be cropped, because it contains huge empty images
    (Problem depends on size of the plotted area: Plotting small areas creates correct "internal images")..

    Images and PDF-discussion see here:

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