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Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

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Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

Hi PTC Community !

This is my first (and long... sorry) post. I write because I have been spending the last two years to solve a problem that is easy do describe :

How do I get a good display of the hidden lines on PDF files with the SaveAs PDF command ???

I still could not get the answer ...

First of all there are two ways to get a PDF file from a detailed drawing :

1) File --> Print. Select "MS Printer Manager", then OK and select your "PDF printer" in the "Name" field. Here is what I obtain with my "Adobe PDF" program :

Image1_OK.png

As you can see, the dashed hidden lines are well displayed and are BEHIND the black solid lines that describe the shape of the object.

If you modify the plot_linestyle_scale parameter, the size of the hidden line changes. Here is what happens when I change the value from 3 (previous picture) to 1 (next picture).

Image2_OK.png

Now the hidden lines appear with smaller elements.

With this method, all is ok .

2) Click on the SaveAs PDF button in the toolbar :

Save.png

Here is what I obtain :

Image3_NoOK.png

As you can see, the dashed hidden lines have very long elements (they seem to be solid) and, if you look carefully, they appear IN FRONT of the black solid lines, in the same way as already described in the thread http://communities.ptc.com/message/158760. The black solid lines are also thinner than with method 1.

If you modify the value of "plot_linestyle_scale", there is NO modification.

In other forums where this problem of hidden lines style is described, people confuse the two ways to get the PDF and say : modify the "plot_linestyle_scale" to get your result...

As I said, my question is : How do I get a good display of the hidden lines on PDF files with the SaveAs PDF command ???

More generally :


How do I modify the appearance of the drawings processed with the "SaveAs PDF" command ?

For technical reasons, I need to use the method number 2. So, please, don't say "Sylvain, use method 1" .

Thread http://communities.ptc.com/message/158760 could not help me, as it uses File --> Print method.

I use ProE WildFire 4.0

Thank you !

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions

Re: Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

hi Sylvain,

This is my new *.pnt file:

! pen 1 for white (visible geometry, curve, quilts)
! pen 2 for yellow (spline surface grid)
! pen 3 for gray (hidden geometry)
! pen 4 for red (dimension lines, leaders, axes and centerlines, balloons, x-hatching)
! pen 5 for green (sheet metal color entities)
! pen 6 for cyan (sketcher section entities)
! pen 7 for dark gray (toggled sections, grayed dimensions and texts, dimmed tangent edges)
! pen 8 for blue (spline surface grid)

pen 1 thickness .05 cm; color 0 0 0
pen 2 thickness .025 cm; color 0 0 0
pen 3 color 0.0 0.0 0.0; pattern .2 .1 cm; thickness 0.025 cm; half_tone_color
pen 4 color 1.0 0.0 0.0; thickness 0.025 cm; letter_color
pen 5 thickness .05 cm; color 0 0 0
pen 6 pattern .2 .2 cm; thickness .025 cm; color 0 0 0
pen 7 thickness .025 cm; color 0 0 0
pen 8 thickness .025 cm; color 0 0 0

Notice that i switched pen 2 and pen 4 notes. This table.pnt does red dimension lines etc.

I've found few options for config.pro related to printing:

use_software_linefonts

- I have this one set to no, couldn't see any difference in the change of this option

use_8_plotter_pens

- didn't quite figure out what does this one do but I have it set to yes to use all 8 pens

plot_linestyle_scale

- this one can be of a value 1 or more for shorter dashes in hidden lines

- if you put pattern command in your *.pnt file then this command has no effect

Well this simply means that you can change the length of the dashes. But about the gray hidden lines always being above black geometry lines I don't really know. Guess the only choice for you is to use black hidden lines as well.

You get a vectorized graphic while exporting to pdf and for some reason the pen 1 is always written first to the pdf before pen 3, Strange is that pen 1 is written after pen 4.

18 REPLIES 18

Re: Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

I realize this probably won't help you out, but I thought that I would post anyway. I noticed you said you were using WF 4.0. We are on 5.0 here and I tried to print and PDF and do a save as PDF and could not tell a difference between the two files. Again sorry that I don't have the answer, but thought It may be worth noting.

-Greg

Re: Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

Thank you Greg

I don't think it is a problem of version. I think that your ProE is correctly configured. It seems strange to believe that this fundamental functionality (to show hidden lines on a PDF file) was not included in the previous versions of ProE.

There should be the magical option hidden somewhere that enables to get the same result for both methods of PDF creation...

If not, I do not see the purpose of the SaveAs PDF command ...

Sylvain

Re: Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

Do you have the following option set? sounds like it could be the culprit if you are using the default value in your config.pro options....

Config Option:

pdf_use_pentable

Data Exchange No - PDF export does not use any

defined pentable changes as would be

applied to plotting the drawing.

Acceptable Values:

yes, no

Default Value:

no

Hope this helps,

-Greg

Re: Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

Thank you Greg

Unfortunately, modifiying this option does not change the appearance of the drawing.

With or without this option enabled, the drawing remains the same.

Sylvain

Highlighted

Re: Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

hi Sylvain,

I think you didn't set your pen_table_file option right. Gotta make sure that there are no spaces in your pathname.

See this thread:

http://communities.ptc.com/message/158558

I figured out that the pen_table_file option can't be set in WF5 through Tools ---> Options command like other silimar setup files. You gotta write the path to your *.pnt file manually there.

I think the *.pnt file you create determines the pattern of your hidden and other lines. I didn't test it yet but the *.pnt file i posted in the thread (link above) seems to be working fine.

Re: Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

Hello Jakub !

Thank you for your help. The situation is now better but not as good as expected. Here is what I obtain :

Image4_NoOK.png

The black line is thicker . I modified your code like this to get the hidden line with grey color (pen 3) :

pen 3 pattern 0.3 0.3 cm; thickness .025 cm; color 0.5 0.5 0.5

What is strange is that :

1) The hidden line elements are still too big. If I put, for example

pen 3 pattern 0.1 0.1 cm; thickness .025 cm; color 0.5 0.5 0.5

There is no difference !

But if I put

pen 3 pattern 0.1 0.1 cm; thickness .2 cm; color 0.5 0.5 0.5

I get :

Image5_NoOK.png

The thickness parameter works !

2) The hidden lines are still in front of the black solid lines (which is clearly the case on the above picture ...). If they are hidden, they should be behind ...

I think other options need to be set, but, thank you Jakub, this was a big step !

Re: Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

hi Sylvain,

This is my new *.pnt file:

! pen 1 for white (visible geometry, curve, quilts)
! pen 2 for yellow (spline surface grid)
! pen 3 for gray (hidden geometry)
! pen 4 for red (dimension lines, leaders, axes and centerlines, balloons, x-hatching)
! pen 5 for green (sheet metal color entities)
! pen 6 for cyan (sketcher section entities)
! pen 7 for dark gray (toggled sections, grayed dimensions and texts, dimmed tangent edges)
! pen 8 for blue (spline surface grid)

pen 1 thickness .05 cm; color 0 0 0
pen 2 thickness .025 cm; color 0 0 0
pen 3 color 0.0 0.0 0.0; pattern .2 .1 cm; thickness 0.025 cm; half_tone_color
pen 4 color 1.0 0.0 0.0; thickness 0.025 cm; letter_color
pen 5 thickness .05 cm; color 0 0 0
pen 6 pattern .2 .2 cm; thickness .025 cm; color 0 0 0
pen 7 thickness .025 cm; color 0 0 0
pen 8 thickness .025 cm; color 0 0 0

Notice that i switched pen 2 and pen 4 notes. This table.pnt does red dimension lines etc.

I've found few options for config.pro related to printing:

use_software_linefonts

- I have this one set to no, couldn't see any difference in the change of this option

use_8_plotter_pens

- didn't quite figure out what does this one do but I have it set to yes to use all 8 pens

plot_linestyle_scale

- this one can be of a value 1 or more for shorter dashes in hidden lines

- if you put pattern command in your *.pnt file then this command has no effect

Well this simply means that you can change the length of the dashes. But about the gray hidden lines always being above black geometry lines I don't really know. Guess the only choice for you is to use black hidden lines as well.

You get a vectorized graphic while exporting to pdf and for some reason the pen 1 is always written first to the pdf before pen 3, Strange is that pen 1 is written after pen 4.

Re: Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

Great Jakub ! You did it !

I now have the hidden lines correctly displayed. Here is the result with your .pnt file :

Image6_OK.png

After investigation, the half_tone_color parameter needs to be written to get the dashed lines.

With

pen 3 color 0.0 0.0 0.0; pattern .2 .1 cm; thickness 0.025 cm

it does not work...

With

pen 3 color 0.0 0.0 0.0; pattern .2 .1 cm; thickness 0.025 cm; half_tone_color

It works !

For the problem of hidden lines vs geomtery lines, I will perhaps open a new thread soon. If we look carefully, some hidden lines are behind the geometry lines, while other are in front of the geometry lines... There should be parameters somewhere to define the pen printing order.

Anyway, thanks for all !

Re: Hidden lines display and PDF files : the big mystery ...

You're welcome, Sylvain.

It was interesting to find at least this out. I am looking forward to see your *.pnt file.

I also have bunch questions about exporting drawings from Pro/E but mostly related to dwg export or about Pro/E drawings by itself. Will start shooting them propably next week in new topics ofc.