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If you have graphics / PDF issues - please try this build

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Max, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    Warning: This is a pre-release test build and should not be used for production work nor should you save your files in it. Its purpose is for you to verify to us that we have successfully fixed issues that might be happening on your specific machine and nothing more. After this 10 minute test, it should be uninstalled.

    Ok, now that that's clear - if you're having any of these issues:
    1. PDF export quality issues
    2. PDF text acting weird, showing up as boxes (e.g. Japanese), looking bad, or being unselectable/unsearchable
    3. Large file sizes for 2D PDF and sluggish PDF performance in a viewer
    4. Design issues such as "blurry text" in your design dimensions or reference geometry
    5. Things not looking "crisp"
    Then please do the following (please follow carefully) or you may see no change:

    1. Uninstall Alibre Design
    2. Download and install this version (build 57)
    3. Make sure the Use Legacy Display option is disabled (unchecked) in System Options > Display > Use Legacy Display. Restart Alibre Design.
    Making sure not to save anything you haven't backed up, try the following:
    1. Try making a 2D PDF using the Publish to PDF feature in the Gem menu - does everything look and work as you expect? If it does not, please upload it here or send it to max@alibre.com with a description of what is wrong.
    2. If you experienced "bluriness" in 3D before, please first go to System Options > Display and enable (check) the Antialiasing settings in Design (3D and sketchmode) and Drawing (2D drawings).
      1. Play around in 3D part creation and 2D drawings - do things look blurry still? They should look anti-aliased, but not bad.
      2. If they do look blurry still on your machine, disable the antialising options in step 2 above for Design and Drawing. Play around again in 3D, sketching, and 2D drawings for a little bit. Does it look acceptable with those options disabled?
    Don't forget to uninstall this build after testing.

    We're not quite done, but close - you all helping us to verify what we have done actually works on your machine / video card etc. will go a long way to confirming our fixes quickly, so we can ship this puppy as fast as possible.

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  2. domcm

    domcm Senior Member


    Does this build reduce the time it takes to create a PDF?
  3. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    I've noticed much shorter times. I can't speak to every possible PDF, but yes I think that is going to be the case.
  4. PPi

    PPi Member

    Admin edit - this response relates to PDF generation outside the Publish to PDF feature - I revised the instructions to indicate that the Publish to PDF feature is the focus of these fixes.

    Hmm, no, we are not there yet. I focused on 2D drawings only so far so my comments apply only for this.

    First what I did, was ran 20 pages drawing (no shaded views) into PDF using Adobe PDF printer. Windows version I'm using is 10.0.17134 Build 17134, running on i7-8700 @ 3.2 GHz with 32 GB of RAM. With build 57, it resulted in files as follows:
    • Legacy: 1 minute 23 sec run time, file size 1099 KB
    • HOOPS: 7 minutes 8 sec run time, file size 5 382 KB
    Now, the PDF is slightly better looking, but it still generates e.g. text "wrong way". For example, I can not select and highlight the text in Acrobat. Looking closer to this, now the text is like if a rasterized text was re-vectorized. It's still no text. Here is how it looks when disassembled (please open in full size to have a better view. Otherwise you may miss the parting lines):

    Next, I tried to see how a single page export to PDF works with HOOPS (no Adobe PDF distiller being used at all). Now, the result is slightly better compared to using Adobe PDF printer. The text has no jagged edges and can be selected, but the look is still off, some characters appearing bolder as it happens when text is vectorized and it renders differently depending on zoom level.

    Interestingly enough, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC is unable to edit this document! Hmmm..! So once more, looking how text is being created now, it appears that we have here another funky way to make it happen. I think a moving picture describes this better than a thousand words:

    So, it's not that different from the previous build(s). Only it isn't as visible as it was before. It creates a lot of overhead into the file that increases the file size, processing time and even fails to print. My other notes earlier about arrowheads, etc still apply as well. However, I notice one thing that is being fixed! Shaded views used to have multiple overlapping bitmaps (for no reason) to have that "shade". Now, this error is gone, or at least I didn't notice is. I wouldn't mind if extra white areas could get rid of as well, as then we would have nearly perfect pictures for documentation (instruction manuals etc).
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 6, 2019
  5. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    So the fixes applied here apply only to the built-in Publish to PDF. I've updated the instructions to be more clear on that. Printing to PDF using another driver etc. is a different pipeline, so for now please focus your efforts to the Gem > Publish to PDF feature.

    You have hit a known issue that TechSoft is waiting to resolve in a subsequent release, which is that for special characters such as the รค in your drawing it may appear slightly more bold. They are trying to see how early they can push that particular fix into a build to give to us.

    So, what is your experience using the Publish to PDF feature instead of printing to PDF?

  6. PPi

    PPi Member

    Well, it sort of works, but these are pitfalls I see/experience:
    • I can only export a single page at a time (can I export ALL of them? I haven't seen this option to date..)
    Due to the above:
    • It still takes almost 3 minutes to export a 20-page document page by page
    • I can accidentally skip a page (done that before)
    • I can accidentally choose "overwrite" instead of "append" (yes, I've done this too)
    • I can accidentally choose a wrong file and write over it (this is especially what I hate when being in a hurry and this happens)
    • I have drawings with twice as many pages so I risk screwing up something each time
    The file size is somewhat reasonable, but still 2 824 KB vs legacy 1 099 KB. Also, I can not make any quick edits to it with Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. It just refuses due to "unknown error". I can, however, open it in Illustrator to extract images for other documentation.

    It has to be noted, that where shaded views are being used, the built-in PDF engine occasionally can create some extra shapes compared to printing to PDF. Here is a comparison of all three pipelines:

    To be honest, at the moment I have very little reason to use nothing but legacy mode when I document stuff unless I want to have benefits of HOOPS in shaded views in order to extract that exact image to other documentation from resulting PDF.
    simonb65 likes this.
  7. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    If I understand correctly, this build fixes most of the issues you are seeing with PDF if you Publish to PDF. I hear you that the limitation of publishing a page at a time needs to be addressed, but stepping outside that issue (which is unrelated to this post), it seems like the primary issue you are seeing is some occasional errant geometry and that the other issues have been resolved. I don't think we've seen that reported before, but we'll look into it.

    The file sizes will be different - more information is put into the new PDFs. They should not be unreasonably large, but the bar should not be 'sameness' of filesize either.

    I'm not sure why Adobe Acrobat Pro DC would give you trouble when modifying a PDF doc - can you mail me a PDF that exhibits that behavior so I can try it? max@alibre.com
    Last edited: Sep 6, 2019
  8. PPi

    PPi Member

    I think the file size is large due to the text still not being text but large number of shapes as I have illustrated above. But I will e-mail you an example and we'll see more about this there.
  9. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    So you see text as shapes when using Publish to PDF, versus Print to PDF? Please do send me an example PDF file, ensuring it was created via the Publish to PDF feature. Text at this point should be selectable / text entities.
  10. jc-s

    jc-s Member

    I've only had time for a quick test of this, but I've noticed a few things.

    (1) It would be nice to have a separate option to anti-alias sketches (this seems to be part of the "design" option, so you can't currently have AA design and non-AA sketches).

    (2) Dimensions on sketches are far too small (see attached).

    (3) In Drawings, circles don't render correctly, you can see the individial segments when you zoom in.

    (4) In non-AA drawings, angled corners don't always meet correctly (see attached). However, sometimes switching between AA and non-AA makes this render correctly. So perhaps there is an internal setting somewhere that isn't being initialised correctly? I've seen this happen in AA mode too, but could not reproduce it.

    Attached Files:

  11. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    I have raised this may times before, this is because the line 'endcap' needs to be set to round. This has been done in the real line-widths on the display, but it still seems to be missing in some UI views!
  12. Max

    Max Administrator Staff Member

    Our end cap settings are set to round. This is likely the result of this build being based off a nightly dev build from Techsoft that may have a small regression in it somewhere.
    simonb65 likes this.
  13. domcm

    domcm Senior Member

    Some scaled detail views are displaying on-screen and printing to PDF with wider line widths than other views. This issue may not be unique to this build. The line widths print to PDF fine when using the "Use Legacy Display" option.

  14. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    Is Detail B the same scale as the other two? I saw an issue in the beta whereby if you increased the scale of the view, the linewidths were also scaled. It was reported to Alibre. It may or may not be the same or similar issue!
  15. domcm

    domcm Senior Member

    No, the view scales are different. It may be the same issue you reported. It's only an issue with the new Hoops graphics turned on.
  16. simonb65

    simonb65 Alibre Super User

    Sounds like it is! @Max, is this another issue your waiting on a HOOPS update for?
  17. NateLiqGrav

    NateLiqGrav Alibre Super User

    This build is definitely much worse in design sketches on my machine. Makes text tiny in design.

    Attached Files:

    simonb65 likes this.

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