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A Comment Re Printing in V18

The price one pays for being Dumb – and not reading the release notes for a new version

I was screaming - HELP
Quite frankly this was driving me absolutely nuts -
I just want it to work – time is precious and I can not afford to be spending massive amounts of time trying to understand why I can not PRINT or bring up the relative screens – it works fine in my Windows version

I just want to print a drawing – surely not an unreasonable request.
I am not a tech geek and am very cautious about playing with things I don’t understand.

Anyway – after much Googling and reading vast amounts of incomprehensible data I was totally confused and frustrated.
Commands and files I don’t understand, Bricscad dropping out, vague messages - What exactly is a PC3 file, what is PMP and what do they do ? – I don’t care – I just want to PRINT - everything is defaulting to pdf files ??????? Why ???

What is happening and how do I fix it ??

For reference – I still have V16 of Bricscad on my computer – When I open a drawing in V16 and go to the “Print” command – it works fine – Allows me to select my office printer – All Good.

Maybe I should just keep using V16

And then …….more by good luck than good management I stumbled upon the V18 release notes - and again, more by good luck – I actually read them.
(Normally the release notes leave me totally confused so I don’t bother to read them.)

Then - ****** EUREKA******

PRINT FLOW - BricsCAD now always prints to PDF. BricsCAD relies on Mac OSX for previewing and physical printing. The standard Mac OSX print dialog can be opened via Preview. BricsCAD Page setup remains available as before. PDF export remains independent from PDF Printing as before.>

As an aside – can anyone tell me exactly what BricsCAD Page set up actually does ??

If anyone from BricsCAD gets to read this post – Can I BEG you to highlight any significant changes – such as this print issue. Shout it from the rooftops.

If in fact you did – and I missed it – Then I unreservedly apologise

I need beer.!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comments

  • @John Chadwick said:
    For reference – I still have V16 of Bricscad on my computer – When I open a drawing in V16 and go to the “Print” command – it works fine – Allows me to select my office printer – All Good.

    It should still work this way, though I am on Windows so it could be different there.

    As an aside – can anyone tell me exactly what BricsCAD Page set up actually does ??

    A page set up is basically all the printer settings you get in a normal print dialog (selected printer, page size, what to print, scale, orientation etc.) but then saved into a "template" that you can apply to a sheet (you can even set a page setup for model space if you want, but most people use it for sheets).

    When you have or create a sheet and apply a page setup then it will apply the print settings (including the printer selected when defining the settings) to that sheet. With a newly created sheet you'll notice the page size will get updated right away to that of the page setup.

    You can set up pages for e.g. A4 and A3 and to be used on a particular printer. That way you can easily set the print settings to sheet and when using the publish command (or just the print command) you'll not have to bother with the print settings and can print right away (assuming the specified printer is available). Especially if you want to publish multiple sheets with different page sizes as individual PDFs this can be quite a timesaver.

  • Yes, it is true, for v18 PDF only.
    It is another click.

    I normally do not print at all for my kind of work. If I would it would be
    something to mail to clients - like PDF anyway. Of course I would prefer
    to save out simple image files like JEPG or PNG, without the unnecessary
    PDF container around.
    So I am not that experienced.

    But I am not sure, if you need to real print on "dead wood", if a PDF step
    between is really such an issue. PDF is a fine container to finally print on
    any kind of printer, plotter or plotting service. And you also have a File that
    you can save, eMail or reuse for printing later.
    I tried Print Preview. It will instantly open Apples Preview App with the PDF
    and setting up printer and printing needs just another click.
    For me that would be ok.
    Standard Print may be a bit more tedious, it will just save the PDF to your
    Plot Path and do nothing, which means the need to search for it in Finder
    and then print from Preview ...
    I did not find them but maybe there are settings to make it less tedious.
    Even it would be an Automator App Action that will instantly send Files,
    which are falling in that Folder, directly to your Printer (?)

    And it looks like in the Files Page Setup you can still apply one of your
    printers, to Model or Layouts, instead of the default PDF option.
    But maybe that is just an old Dialog that should no more exist in those
    new PDF only times.

  • Hello John,

    that is right, starting from V18.2 BricsCAD indeed always prints to PDF, on Mac and Linux.

    About the decision to always print to PDF:
    The 'detour' of printing to PDF brings the major advantage that the difficult job of directly printing to a physical printer is chopped in half.
    Previously we spend a lot of effort on supporting individual printers. In V18.1 we had many customers that could not directly print to their printer. We could fix some bugs, but it was a never ending process of fixing physical printing issues. The workaround to print to PDF first always worked. So we decided to implement the workaround as the actual approach.

    PDF has been around as a printing standard for a long time. We are confident that the PDF format supports anything that is needed. So nothing is lost by the detour. On the contrary. Previewing and printing will be more reliable by leaving it up to the OS. We had no chance to ever make the previewing and printing equally reliable as PDF previewing/printing, since it is not our core business.

    Also, many customers on Mac suggested to 'simply' use the standard print dialog of OSX. A standard OSX print dialog is now within easy reach by opening Print Preview.

    The main drawback is that this change happened in V18.2. For customers that could print to a physical printer successfully, this brings an awkward transition. I would have preferred to delay this to V19, but due to other print-related changes, we found ourselves forced to do it in V18.2.

    As this flow to always print to PDF is new in V18.2, suggestions for improvement are very welcome.

  • Thanks Tijs,
    for explaining the background behind PDF plotting.

  • Tijs,
    Out of curiosity does Lines Merge actually work on Mac/Linux? It does not in Windows. In Windows the setting can be toggled, but it makes no difference in the output. I depend on Lines Merge working for my printing. I think it is fundamentally wrong to have any setting in a program where the setting can be changed but changing the setting does nothing.

  • AFAIK PDF does not support merged lines.

  • Acrobat and Bluebeam support lines merge. Converter/printers based on Ghostscript do not.

  • @H Martin Shoemaker said:
    Acrobat and Bluebeam support lines merge. Converter/printers based on Ghostscript do not.

    I stand corrected then. Maybe @Tijs Vermeulen can comment? His 'nothing is lost by the detour' claim is perhaps not 100% accurate?

  • I think it is fundamentally wrong to have any setting in a program where the setting can be changed but changing the setting does nothing.

    You surely have a point there. BricsCAD has too many settings exposed to the end-user.
    We should have simpler end-user configuration to encapsulate the settings. If/when we manage that, the settings dialog could still remain as a fallback or a power user tool.

    As for the specific setting PdfMergeControl. It does work as far as I know, but only for PDF Export, not for PDF printing. It behaves the same on Linux/Mac as on Windows. Indeed, platform stability is a strong asset of printing/exporting to PDF, as opposed to direct printing to a physical printer (driver).

    The fact that there are PDF Export settings that do not apply for PDF printing is confusing. Even the very distinction between PDF export and PDF Printing is somewhat confusing. There are reasons for the distinction but on this front too I agree the configuration means for the user are not very clear.

    I think the PDF print configuration means should be a super-set of the PDF export configuration means. In other words, every PDF export option should have a PDF print option counterpart, but not the other way around. So I think PdfMergeControl should be added for PDF printing if indeed it is not available in another way. I may be missing some context though, I'll have to dig a bit deeper.

    Using PDF export instead of PDF printing could perhaps be a viable workaround?

    His 'nothing is lost by the detour' claim is perhaps not 100% accurate?

    As far as I know line merge control was never available for direct printing in BricsCAD (Mac). So it cannot be lost by the detour :)

    I am confident that PDF is rich enough to express everything needed for printing.
    Anything that might be lost in BricsCAD (Mac, Linux) by abandoning direct printing should be re-added.

    My confidence in that claim lies in the proven richness of the PDF format in the prepress sector, a sector that has higher printing demands than the cad sector.

  • Tijs,

    The problem for me with PDF export is that it exports layouts. I know that layouts can be very useful, but for the work I do layouts are not the best option. My drawings typically are model space only and have multiple pages shown side by side. Using a pdf printer driver is the viable option I have.

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