Layout PDF: Unwanted Black Background Appearing in Printout = Catastrophic Failure (Mac Related?)

So, I am being threatened with a workflow reversion back to Revit if this cannot be addressed successfully…

On the left are PDFs generated in Layout on a PC printed from a Mac, on the right are the same PDFs printed from the PC that generated the PDFs in Layout

This is not an isolated event, PDFs printed on Mac’s across the world (both in New Zealand and North America) are producing the same problem…

What is going on here?

Tried multiple fixes, plotting with “Print Paper Color” both on and off in Document Setup, creating a “Failsafe” white filled rectangle beneath all other layers, modifying export settings to either use or not use JPEG compression (and the varying quality levels), not using Layout Layering in the generated PDFs… none of which solved the issue…

1 Like

can you add the pdf for inspection on my mac…

john

Having this exact same issue, any Trimple staff want to address this issue?

Have you tried exporting an hi res jpg from your layout and then print from there?

It wouldn’t be a fix, but a workaround.

1 Like

Macs have something called a “color profile” setting that can cause this, if I remember right.

1 Like

El-Wobbo, your profile shows you to be using 2020, but you do have a 2021 license. Do you see black areas when using LayOut 2021.0.1? Could you show a small example file?

Which version of LayOut was being used? The color profile issues that Anssi mentioned were fixed a few releases ago.

I have yet to fully transition to SU/LO 2021 and so I am predominantly using 2020, but I have tried a test by exporting PDF from layout 2021 and have encountered the same black boxes when printing.

We have narrowed the problem down to printing from the default PDF viewer ‘Preview’ on Mac OS. I personally use Windows and have not encountered this problem when printing from PDF using MS Edge/Foxit/Acrobat.
The issue first occurred when I had sent a PDF exported from Layout to a colleague using Mac OS to print for me. We worked out that if the Mac OS user re-saves the file on their device or uses a different PDF viewer to print from, the file prints fine.

This workaround is fine in-house, but asking clients using Mac OS to try re-saving the file and/or using a different PDF viewer in order to print a physical copy (Which I’ve had to do) isn’t the best look. I don’t want to create the impression that my software doesn’t perform the way it should and I don’t want to make out that my client’s software is the issue. I think you can see the predicament here.

On the face of it, it does seem to be an issue with Preview and not Layout, but I have only encountered this issue when sending PDFs generated by my Windows version of Layout that has been sent on to somebody using Mac’s Preview to print.

The same problem definitely occurs from exporting PDFs from Layout 2021 as it does with 2020.
It’s not likely I can share files, as they contain sensitive information, but it has occurred with more than one file. When I have time, I will create a test file to try to recreate the issue that I can share.
In the meantime, I would appreciate it if SketchUp/Trimble could be proactive in helping me figure this out. I have provided the criteria in which this issue seems to happen. I have faith in you guys to try to replicate this yourself:slight_smile:

I will look into this, thank you.

I suspect this has to do with the alpha of the raster layers that Layout stacks while composing the pdf file. It’s like stacking png images on top of each other. This is what happens when you use raster or hybrid rendering and export to pdf.

If the software you’re using isn’t able to read those kind of pdf files, Trimble can’t do much.

However, this is an issue that doesn’t affect only pdf exports. It affects me a lot on dwg exports too. If I have more than one hybrid viewport on my stacked viewports workflow, DWG exports produce more than one image per viewport and these are overlayed in the CAD file.

In the CAD software I use, these png files are rendered without transparency and the final result is a mess.

If Layout would merge all raster info from a page to create a single raster background, instead of exporting several images for each viewport, the final file, either for DWG or PDF would be way simpler, easier to understand in CAD and easily read in more software.

I’d love that to happen.

1 Like