10 Replies Latest reply on Jul 11, 2018 9:34 AM by Matt Peneguy

    New Printer! How do you all update your existing drawing Print Properties?

    Daen Hendrickson

      We got a new printer in the office! It's a nice machine - fast, quiet, etc.

       

      Our drawing templates / Page Setup is set to "Use this document settings"... Which results in all previously created drawings pointing to the old printer.

       

      This causes a few issues with existing drawings:

      • Firstly, when I switch to the new printer in the drawing print dialog box it defaults to Letter-sized portrait settings. So Page Setup must also be opened and paper size and orientation adjusted. That will rapidly become tedious!
      • Secondly, the above problem will persist unless the changes / file are re-saved. This drives updating drawings in the vault (yes, still using Workgroup).
        • And we really want to limit who re-saves updates to the vault.

       

      How have you handled updating and saving the printer settings on multitudes of existing drawings and updated the vault? Manually (as you go), custom macro, script ran through task scheduler, #TASK add-in, other?

       

      FYI - I have updated the drawing templates so all future drawings are not an issue.

       

      Your ideas are appreciated.

       

      Thanks,

      Daen

        • Re: New Printer! How do you all update your existing drawing Print Properties?
          Alex Burnett

          Someone before my time here at my company wrote an API application to allow you to print to a remembered printer to a standard size. I thought it was odd at first but I quickly realized printing from SW is a nightmare.

           

          If the document is A size, it prints on 8.5x11. Otherwise, it prints on 11x17. There's also a checkbox for color printing and a number input box for number of copies. It's quite simple but it's very useful.

          • Re: New Printer! How do you all update your existing drawing Print Properties?
            Dan Pihlaja

            I NEVER print from inside Solidworks.  I ALWAYS save to a PDF first and then print that.   Works much better in my opinion.  PDF also has more options available.

            • Re: New Printer! How do you all update your existing drawing Print Properties?
              Casey Bergman

              We just set ours to use system printer and then whatever default printer the user has it will print to there. 

                • Re: New Printer! How do you all update your existing drawing Print Properties?
                  Daen Hendrickson

                  Casey,

                  Changing the page setup from "document" to "system" settings doesn't provide a smooth switch.

                   

                  Firstly, you have to enter the page setup dialog for every printing so it is just as many clicks.

                  Secondly, system defaults the print size back to "Letter" size

                  Thirdly, even with the new printer set as default and the old printer removed from the system, the above change leaves the old printer still selected for the print job. So more clicks to change it.

                   

                  Thanks for the suggestion.

                  Daen

                    • Re: New Printer! How do you all update your existing drawing Print Properties?
                      Dan Pihlaja

                      Daen Hendrickson wrote:

                       

                      Casey,

                      Changing the page setup from "document" to "system" settings doesn't provide a smooth switch.

                       

                      Firstly, you have to enter the page setup dialog for every printing so it is just as many clicks.

                      Secondly, system defaults the print size back to "Letter" size

                      Thirdly, even with the new printer set as default and the old printer removed from the system, the above change leaves the old printer still selected for the print job. So more clicks to change it.

                       

                      Thanks for the suggestion.

                      Daen

                      I think (and I haven't tested this out recently, but that is how I remember it way back when I was still using the Solidworks printer setup), that the system print size is whatever the default printer's default settings are set to for that user.   Changing the user's printing preferences from the windows GUI will change the default settings for that printer for that user.   Then, system will simply use that.   I think.....

                        • Re: New Printer! How do you all update your existing drawing Print Properties?
                          Matt Peneguy

                          I think you are right Dan, but just as you I haven't used the print settings in a while.  IMO, everyone should be using PDF for CAD.  Did you know the new 2018 AutoCAD supports importing layers from PDF?  That means that keeping 2D CAD files has almost become irrelevant.  If you are using AutoCAD correctly, that statement may not be completely true; but if you save out the master file to PDF with all the overlays, there shouldn't be too much difference if you import it again.

                          There are another couple of things that need some attention from SW regarding this whole CAD/PDF thing. First, did you know Custom Properties can be propagated from drawings to PDFs?  I have Bluebeam Revu (PDF creator) installed and if I choose to Save As>Bluebeam PDF instead of Acrobat PDF, I get this:

                          Second, AutoCAD supports view scale exports to PDF.  So, if I use the measure tool in an AutoCAD generated PDF with one view scaled at 1:1 and then measure on a different view scaled at 1:4 the measurements come out correctly in the PDF.  It seems this would be pretty simple for SW to implement.

                            • Re: New Printer! How do you all update your existing drawing Print Properties?
                              Dan Pihlaja

                              Wow Matt....that is awesome!   I am going to have to look into BlueBeam

                                • Re: New Printer! How do you all update your existing drawing Print Properties?
                                  Matt Peneguy

                                  Hey, I'm not trying to sell Bluebeam...If I were trying to do that I'd be mentioning their Session and Studio functionality.  That's truly awesome.  So, here's how we use it:  When we get to a plan stage, say 60% done, we generate a PDF with all the Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Architectural drawings.  Then I create a "Session" and the file gets uploaded to Amazon's cloud server (all this happens behind the scenes and most people don't know it's Amazon's server, but me being the nerd I am, I inquired).  Here's the neat part, all of the people "invited" to the session can mark up and comment on the PDF and everyone participating can see each other's markups.  There's a chat box and messaging system built in too. You can set an end time to the session, for deadlines and such.  And once the session is over, the creator can generate a Summary that can be appended to the PDF with hyperlinks back to the comments in the PDF...That's what I'd say if I were trying to sell you Bluebeam...BTW, if you are really considering it, there are 3 versions Standard, CAD and Extreme.  All of them come with the Session/Studio functionality.  The CAD version gets you the Custom Property functionality above and the Extreme version gets you scripting/programming and OCR...

                                  Here's a screenshot of a current session we've got going:

                                  You can see the PDF in the top left.  Directly below it is all the comments (in a sortable list).  To the right of the PDF you can see all the attendees (Greyed out means they aren't actively logged in and editing the document).  Below the Attendees is the Record of who did what when.  And there are tabs there to send people little notes.  And I forgot to mention this, if someone adds a comment to the PDF, it can be marked to be reviewed by another and a reply can be made to the comment(It's kind of hard to show that functionality without a video).

                                  Oh, and I guess if I'm still trying to sell it to you and that didn't do it...I'd have to mention the document Compare and Overlay functionality... If you've got a revised set of a PDF the Compare functionality will cloud any differences and the Overlay will show one revision green and the other red overlayed on top of each other (where they are the same it is black).  That makes it very easy to check revisions of plans and shop drawings...

                                   

                                  In my previous post I was just pointing out that the above two things should be included in the SW... But, I'm more interested in One and Two to submit and ER about it.