BenPalmer

PDF printing, append prints to one file

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Curious how others handle pdf creation 'using Chief's PDF printer' of multiple prints into one pdf file.

 

For example:  I print the main floor to a pdf 'using Chief's PDF printer', and it creates a pdf file.  Now I want to print the upper floor.  I print and I need to create a new pdf file with a different name.  Now I print a site plan, and another pdf is created.  I then go and merge those multiple files into one and delete the ones i'm no longer using.  I have 3rd party pdf software that handles this print process merge into one file efficiently through a preview process including rearranging, watermarking etc and then just save one pdf file and i'm done.  However, because of how Chief's transparent fills don't cooperate with 3rd party printers, i have to use Chief's pdf printer.  See this link for more info on that:  https://chieftalk.chiefarchitect.com/topic/3893-x7-poor-print-quality-using-transparent-fills-in-walls/  One solution would be to eliminate transparent fills, but I believe that is a step backwards and would like to get it to work.

 

So my question(s):

  1. Using Chief's PDF printer, is there a way to merge/append the multiple prints I need 'during the print process and not after'? (see an example here, which is not the software I use, but a good example of how it could work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YmdDNp3RICU )
  2. If no way to do this with Chief's built in printer, has anyone found 3rd party software that prints with transparent fills without the vectorization/pixelation problem demonstrated in the previous link i supplied?
  3. If no again, I suppose this would become a feature request.

 

This print process take a lot of my time and looking for a way to speed it up, so appreciate your input on how to make this work, or an efficient way you use to handle this.

 

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Ben,  Is there a reason you don't print from layout?  This would solve your problem if I understand correctly what you want.

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Good question: These pdfs are during the design process so I haven't set up the final construction sets via layout.  The final prints are done via the layout and do print to one file.  I could set up a layout for the preliminary work on 8 1/2 x 11, but that would take extra time as well when I just want to quickly print the files from the plan without much set up time.  But a layout is an option.  thanks for the reply.

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Yes I sometimes print 8 1/2" x 11" or 8 1/2" x 14" one off preliminaries but usually just paper and not PDF.  So I understand if you want to do it electronically.  Just a rough layout would be my solution.

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I 100% agree with Chopsaw.  Layout is the way to go.  I use any existing project as a starting point;  copy, rename & relink.

With the Layout and Plan both open - as I work on the Plan, any changes are automatically reflected in the Layout.

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I just open a blank layout for this type of thing all the time.    Really very easy.    Having said that, I'm not sure what the problems you're having with transparent fills are. I just tested with three PDF printers and the results are the same with each one.   I used Chief Architect's built in PDF printer, Nitro Pro, and Microsoft Print To PDF.    Transparency works just fine with all three.   And FWIW... Nitro Pro works exactly like the example program you posted a link to. It offers the choice to append to an existing file. 

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Thanks for the feedback.

 

1 hour ago, Joe_Carrick said:

I 100% agree with Chopsaw.  Layout is the way to go.  I use any existing project as a starting point;  copy, rename & relink.

With the Layout and Plan both open - as I work on the Plan, any changes are automatically reflected in the Layout.

One issue with doing layouts is when you have a combination of portrait and landscape in the same package.  Do you create multiple layouts in this situation?  I also don't like having extra files to manage.  Managing this through the pdf is much quicker and efficient, IMO.

 

48 minutes ago, Alaskan_Son said:

 Having said that, I'm not sure what the problems you're having with transparent fills are. I just tested with three PDF printers and the results are the same with each one.   I used Chief Architect's built in PDF printer, Nitro Pro, and Microsoft Print To PDF.    Transparency works just fine with all three.   And FWIW... Nitro Pro works exactly like the example program you posted a link to. It offers the choice to append to an existing file. 

I'll double check using the pdf printers you mentioned as it does not work in the one I use (as of beta anyway).  This would eliminate my issue compeltely and could go back to managing this through the pdf creater.  I'll let you know what I find out.  Curious, did you read through the post I linked in the original post that describes the transparent issue I'm having?

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One thing I see with using Chief's built-in PDF is, it generates a much larger file size for one.

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6 hours ago, BenPalmer said:

One issue with doing layouts is when you have a combination of portrait and landscape in the same package.  Do you create multiple layouts in this situation?

 

Ben,  You can rotate quite easily in layout and this should not be a problem.

 

6 hours ago, BenPalmer said:

Curious, did you read through the post I linked in the original post that describes the transparent issue I'm having?

 

Just had an issue with the Chief Architect Vector print to PDF that may be related to the original problem in that the file is still not being flattened properly.  I still have to go back and check the original transparency and .png issues but I did not read anything in the update notes that would indicate this issue has been worked on.  This one is printing  in multiple sections that show  a ripple at the join and fuzzy distortion and offset in the shadow line.

PDF Print Print Issue Not Flattening.JPG

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OK, started playing with the output some more.  I'm using microsoft print to pdf as the control since many likely have access to this.  I printed a simple plan i had up and it printed beautifully.  I got excited.  I then opened a more complex plan and the problem returned.  Doing a little more testing, it appears Chief has fixed this issue in relation to straight walls, but walls that are curved or angled cause a bounding mask to be created and anything within it's boundary will be pixelated, similar to what you see in Chopsaws image. (on a side note, if you use 'print image' i believe that will go away, which I find acceptable for outputs like your example and elevation prelims, but not for plans that need to be zoomed.) So, better, but still not fixed.

 

A majority of my designs have angles and curves, so I will continue to run into this.  However, Chief's built in printer does not have this issue, just 3rd party printers.  So I can print using Chief's printer and adjust the pdf after they are created.  I can use a layout and adjust the pdf after created to rotate portrait and landscape, or if a simple plan I can use the 3rd party printer.  Still not totally sold on the layout idea as I will still need to open the final pdf and rotate to get landscape and portrait to appear correct.  But it is a fair workaround (yes, I said work around).

 

Appreciate everyone's input.

 

Any other thoughts?

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4 minutes ago, BenPalmer said:

However, Chief's built in printer does not have this issue, just 3rd party printers.

 

Ben,  Thanks for all your help and input, I think this is going to be helpful in sorting these issues out.

Just to clarify about the PDF image that I posted.  It was printed with Chief Architect Save As PDF @ 600 dpi.  The lines goes away when printing at 144 dpi but that is too low res for me and the whole thing looks fuzzy.  I also test printed this page with Microsoft Print to PDF as well as PDF995 with results that were not as good as Chief.

 

11 minutes ago, BenPalmer said:

Still not totally sold on the layout idea as I will still need to open the final pdf and rotate to get landscape and portrait to appear correct.

 

There is a grab handle on the layout box that is easy to rotate your image in layout before printing.  Also if you like I can show you how to do your watermark in layout.  Just let me know.

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4 hours ago, BenPalmer said:

Curious, did you read through the post I linked in the original post that describes the transparent issue I'm having?

 

1 hour ago, BenPalmer said:

Doing a little more testing, it appears Chief has fixed this issue in relation to straight walls, but walls that are curved or angled cause a bounding mask to be created and anything within it's boundary will be pixelated

 

No,  I actually didn't read that thread.  I did now though and I can definitely see the problem you're experiencing now that I try it with an arced wall.  I tried printing to PDF using the lowest compression settings, highest DPI, and both oldest and newest PDF type settings I could with Nitro Pro and to some degree they all had the pixelation you speak of but only on arcs and off angles that are part of an object with a transparent fill.  And it's only the immediate vicinity of the actual arc or off angle line segment that seems to display the problem.  Strange indeed.  It makes me wonder what's different about the built in PDF printer Chief is using and the presets they chose.  I doubt they wrote that in-house and so it seems any settings they might be using should be reproducible with other professional PDF printing/editing software. 

 

I do understand your issue with rotating pages and I don't actually see how layout will solve that problem for you.  Yes you can rotate the layout box but the page orientation will still be the same throughout.  If you want to actually rotate the individual pages I see no way to do that outside of using your PDF editor (especially if your pages are different shapes or sizes).  Unless Chief gives us a built in append/prepend option or fixes that pixelation issue I think you're doing the best you can by printing a few files and then combining with your PDF editor. 

 

Just an aside...I don't know what program you're using, but that whole process is super easy with the program I use, I just group select the files I want to combine, save as a new file and then either keep or delete the others depending on what I want to do...

Combine.png

When I'm individually printing pages like that for the sole purpose of combining them I usually save those pages to a temporary location and then I periodically just delete or overwrite them. 

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Ben:

 

I usually had a client presentation layout and a permit layout

 

the client might want to see lots of renders and maybe some rays

where the permit office just wants the condocs

 

I still use PDF995 and it has a companion utility PDF995Edit that is worth considering

 

Lew

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Really appreciate everyone's comments in both tips, their process and confirming some things for me.  I have very solid PDF software that I'm very happy with for both creation and editing.  I would like to see Chief get the pixelation of transparencies further cleaned up if possible.  That is one way this would get solved for my work flow (I realize we all work differently).  I will keep plugging along and consider ways to increase my productivity with the tools available to me.  Thanks again for your help.

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Here's a test-individual files printed from CA plan file (not layout) using the CA printer. Transparent circle and variations (think I can get a gallery to show?)

Merged with Bluebeam PDF Revu Think I had it at 600 dpi. Appears pretty good to me.

Printing to BB with transparency has the issues noted-from what I can tell not adequate control over anti-aliasing or image type (defaults to jpeg)
I have no idea why merging is better. Hope it still looks good once uploaded. :)

ca 3.pdf

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Yeah, anything output with chief's pdf printer works perfect, but we have the extra step of having to merge the files after multiple ones are created.  Would love to add an append/prepend option to Chief's printing output.  As you noted, the problem comes when using 3rd party software, which is where I can merge (prepend/append) as I print saving me the extra step of editing/merging the pdf after files are created.

 

Thanks for the demonstration.

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