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Exporting Raster Images From ZWCAD

March 02, 2009

There may be cases where you might need to export DWG drawings as raster images so that others can only view them, but not edit them. Formats like JPEG and TIFF are used in this case.

ZWCAD allows you to convert drawings to raster images easily enough with the Export command. We might not, however, find it sufficient when special settings are required. For instance, when you print drawings, we typically set the plot area, plot style, drawing orientation, and so on; these parameters contribute to professional-look printouts. If you want to make exported raster images take on the same appearance, how do you manage it? The answer is to plot it in the same way.

In the Plot dialog box, click the Printer/Plotter Name droplist, and then notice the entry named “Add-A-Plotter Wizard.” This guides you through the steps in setting up specific printer configuration.

There are two types of printers available with the wizard, virtual printers and physical ones. The virtual printers are what you need, because they are capable of exporting drawings as raster files in any of the following formats: JPEG, TIFF, PNG, BMP, GIF, MNG, ICOCUR, TGA, PCX, WBMP, JP2, JPC, PGX, RAS, PNM, and SKA.
Some of the more commonly-used formats include the following:
•JPEG – used by digital cameras and for images in Web sites.
•TIFF – used in desktop publishing.
•PNG – royalty-free replacement for JPEG files.
•BMP – Windows format used for icons and desktop backgrounds.
•GIF – used for creating simple animations in Web sites.

If you just need to create JPEG images, then you only need to configure a JPEG virtual printer. Its configuration will be added into the Printer/Plotter Name droplist and then can be used whenever you need it. In a similar manner, any other available type of raster format can be configured as a virtual printer for exporting drawings.

Remember: Printing CAD drawings doesn’t just mean “exporting” them to pieces of paper, but also means converting them to raster images for viewing on the screen. In addition to the Export command integrated into ZWCAD, you can also try printing CAD drawings with virtual printers as raster images.

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