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Plotting .plt files from consultants MAC

Anonymous
Not applicable
OK - first forays into plotflow, and I have found all graphisoft documentation woefully inadequate. Nothing says what file types plotflow is supposed to be able to open.

I have a cd full of hpgl files (.plt) from a consultant. They used this disk to send to an AutoCAD based graphics service bureau with noproblems. Can Plotflow send these files to my plotter? If so, I need a little help understanding how this works - the File... Open... dialog won't let me select any of the .plt's as "readable documents", and drag&drop ontp the plotflow window doesn't work.

TIA
Wes
HP Designjet 1055cm, TCP/IP connection
9 REPLIES 9
Djordje
Ace
Weston wrote:
OK - first forays into plotflow, and I have found all graphisoft documentation woefully inadequate. Nothing says what file types plotflow is supposed to be able to open.
PlotFlow is EXACTLY for HPGL PLTs. Depending on the plotter that they were made for, there might be a problem or two. There is a new one for the Mac OS, see http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?t=6430

You can also import PLTs into PlotMaker layouts, in the same way that you do with the views from ArchiCAD. That should be easier than PlotFlow?
Djordje



ArchiCAD since 4.55 ... 1995
HP Omen
Anonymous
Not applicable
yeah - that's what tipped me off that I should try it. I did download the new version, but as I said before, the application doesn't recognize the .plt files as readable documents.

Your tip to import them into plotmaker works though - no problems there. It gave me a few "unimplemented code" errors, but they didn't seem to make a difference. The resulting layouts could be plotted quite normally.

I'd still like to figure out the whole plotflow thing. seems like it might be a good way to log everything that goes to the plotter. It would be nice to have that log kept automatically for our office of 20+ people using the plotter and make billing for them easier on our admin staff.

any other ideas?

wes
Anonymous
Not applicable
I have not been using plotflow for a while, but in the past I have used it to plot plt files. The basic concept is that you create a folder to put your plt's in and tell plotflow where this folder is. I used the same folder I had set up for plotmaker as a spool folder. Plotflow will take the files from this folder, output them to the plotter, and delete the plt file when it completed the action. Probably not much help but maybe it will give you a start.
Anonymous
Not applicable
What a bizzare behavior...

Plotflow works fine with plt's made in plotmaker. Spool folder works when put directly there from plotmaker, and the "watch folder" correctly grabs new .plt files when they are dragged into the folder.

The original plotfiles from our consultant imported into PM fine, as I mentioned earlier. From inside PlotFlow, the original plt's are not available as readable documents through the open menu, and the plt files do not scroll through the "watch folder".

However, I just discovered that if I right-click the file in my finder, and choose "open with", selecting Plotflow for X as the weapon of choice, plotflow sends the file right off to the plotter like it is supposed to.

What the HECK is up with that?

thanks for the support - I dont think we'll be using this awkward piece of code unless the log function works.


wes
Anonymous
Not applicable
yeah... that log isn't gonna do the trick. I need a way to extract useful information, not just every possible setting for each job that rolls off my machines.

tracking plots from 20 people ought to be easier than forcing everyone to write it out by hand.
Greg Kmethy
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
The PlotFlow accepts PLT and TEXT files. Try holding down the Opt key while choosing the Open command to open files not written by Plotmaker.

It is not 'guaranteed' that all PLT's work, since the HPGL language is not a unified format, the content can depend on the driver it was written with. (The 'not implemented commands' warning is a sign of this)

You can not drag and drop onto the PlotFlow window, however, you can drag and drop to the PlotFlow icon.
Gergely Kmethy
VP, Customer Success, Graphisoft
Anonymous
Not applicable
is there anyplace that documents what drivers it is compatible with? some of my consultant's plt files are coming up as if there is no PEN_UP command in the file, so text and fills are all connected with wild swoops of lines. not terribly easy to read. I thought the whole point of the hpgl language was that it was consistent among plotters/drivers so files could be sent and exchanged with plotting service bureaus.

wes
Greg Kmethy
Graphisoft
Graphisoft
unfortunately there is no such document, since there is no way of knowing who is implementing what features. We use only standard HPGL commands, to comply with the standards, but HPGL gives freedom to use special commands only working for certain device manufacturers. We do not implement those commands, to make our files work with other softwares.
Gergely Kmethy
VP, Customer Success, Graphisoft
Anonymous
Not applicable
before sending out to the plotter and THEN cursing, or the other way, sending the plt files to the service bureau and THEN cursing, it's always a good idea to open the PLT file as a drawing in PlotMaker.

That way actually you could include consultant files into the Layout Book too, but at least SEE what supposed to go out to the plotter. Sometimes you catch orientation/ paper size prob
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