WinLine - Plotting that works
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General

  1. Q: What hardware devices does WinLINE support?

    WinLINE works with pen plotters, raster plotters including inkjet, laserjet and electrostatic, vinyl cutters, flatbed cutters and other vector devices.The results that are possible depend on the capabilities of the program you are print from and your output device.
  2. Q: What versions of Windows does WinLINE work with?

    WinLINE Version 9 works with 32 and 64 bit versions of Windows 8, 7, Vista, XP and 2000.

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Applications Specific Questions

  1. Q: What applications does WinLINE work with?

    WinLINE works with standard Windows programs that print via the system printer interface. The results that are possible depend on the capabilities of the program and your output device. These are some of the Windows applications that WinLINE has been shown to work with in the past. For information about a specific requirement please ask a WinLINE representative.
  2. Q: I installed WinLINE but still get incorrect results with AutoCAD. What can I do?

    AutoCAD provides you with the option of using either their ADI printing system or the standard Windows systems driver. To use WinLINE with AutoCAD, you have to make configure AutoCAD to use the Windows system printer driver. Do this by configuring your plotter in AutoCAD, and choosing the option:

    ADI System Printer Version X.x.
    This tells AutoCAD to send output to the system printer. When you have WinLINE selected as your system printer in Control Panel/Printers AutoCAD output will be rendered by WinLINE.

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  3. Q: How do I configure AutoCAD LT to work with WinLINE?

    A: For the best results with AutoCAD LT, leave AutoCAD LT's Pen Settings dialog box unchanged from the factory defaults. Configure the pen carousel settings in WinLINE's SetUp dialog to correspond to the physical pens you have loaded in your plotter's carousel.
    Make sure you configure AutoCAD LT to use the System Printer. In earlier version of LT you achieve this by setting HPGL OFF.

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  4. Q: Why can't I get fills from EasyCAD?

    A: EasyCAD for Windows Version 1 did not support fills on non-raster devices.

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  5. Q: Why can't I plot from Visio?

    Visio versions from 2002 onwards do not generate output for vector-only devices. Overcome this limitation by using SVGmaker to generate output from Visio that you can print to a pen plotter using the SVGHardCopy utility that is included with SVGmaker.

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  6. Q: How can I plot mapping symbols from my GIS application on my plotter?

    GIS applications such as MapInfo and Atlas GIS implement mapping symbols as TrueType fonts. Configure WinLINE to plot TrueType outlines and fills.

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  7. Q: Why can't I plot from PaintBrush?

    A: Paintbrush is a bitmap graphics program. Drawings in PaintBrush are composed of colored dots or pixels. WinLINE does not support the rendering of pixels on vector devices like pen plotters, only on raster devices such as inkjet plotters.

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  8. Q: When I plot from ERWin the entity boxes and connecting lines appear to be incorrectly positioned. How can I correct this problem?

    A. Configure ERWin to use a proportional typeface (such as Modern or Courier) for all output text, or use WinLINE Plus with WYSIWYG TrueType font support.

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  9. Q: Why does Corel Draw Version 5 print text ok, but no standard geometry?

    A: Corel Draw Version 5 contained a bug in its first release which prevented it from operating correctly with vector drivers. Check your version of Corel Draw 5 by looking in Corel Draw's About box to see if you have an early Version 5 release. If the minor version is "D" or earlier, contact Corel Systems for an upgrade to release "E" or later to obtain correct results with WinLINE. A second consideration for all versions of Corel Draw is to ensure that the page size you set from Corel Draw's Page Setup dialog exactly matches the pages size you have set in WinLINE's SetUp dialog.

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  10. Q: Why does Corel Draw 6 print standard geometry ok, but no text?

    A: Corel Draw Version 6 may not print text if you have no outline set. You can configure Corel Draw 6 so that it always draws text with WinLINE:
    Open the file Corel\Config\corelapp.ini and find a line that says
    FontRasterizer=1
    change the 1 to 0 so that the line reads
    FontRasterizer=0

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  11. Q: I am trying to print to a D size sheet from OrCAD Schematic Capture. The outside rectangle of the border prints correctly, but then all other ouput is squashed into the top left corner. How can I get correctly sized output?

    A: Print from outside of your schematic, using OrCAD's Design Manager.

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    Top of Application Specific Questions

Serial Communications

  1. Q: How do I configure my serial cable?

    A: Hewlett Packard publishes the following guide to serial cabling for pen plotters:
                
    Cable Pin-Outs for Hewlett-Packard Plotters
    ===========================================
    
    The following RS-232 Cable Pin-Outs are for IBM PC Compatibles and
    the Hewlett-Packard Desktop and Large Format Plotters.
    
    9 Pin Hewlett-Packard part-numbers HP 24542G Female to Male HP 24542H Female to Female* *(Use with the 7550 Plotters) Plotter ------------------------ Computer (9 pin) =================================================================== Request to Send 4 ----------- 1 Rec'd Line Signal Detect Transmit Data 2 ----------- 2 Receive Data Receive Data 3 ----------- 3 Transmit Data Clear to Send 5 --|-------- 4 Data Terminal Ready Data Set Ready 6 --| Signal Ground 7 ----------- 5 Signal Ground Data Terminal Ready 20 --------|-- 6 Clear to Send |-- 8 Data Set Ready Data Carrier Detect 8 ----------- 7 Request to Send

    25 Pin Hewlett-Packard part-numbers HP 17255D Female to Male HP 17255F Female to Female* *(Use with the 7550 Plotters) Plotter --------------------- Computer (25 pin) ==================================================================== Signal Ground 1 ----------- 1 Signal Ground Transmit Data 2 ----------- 3 Receive Data Receive Data 3 ----------- 2 Transmit Data Signal Ground 7 ----------- 7 Signal Ground Data Terminal Ready 20 --------|-- 5 Clear to Send |-- 6 Data Set Ready Clear to Send 5 --|--------20 Data Terminal Ready Data Set Ready 6 --| Copyright Hewlett-Packard Co. 1993 The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. Hewlett-Packard shall not be liable for incidental or consequential damages in connection with the use of this material.

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  2. Q: How do I configure my system for serial communications?

      A: Get the right cable for your output device. Your WinLINE help shows you cabling diagrams for Hewlett Packard and other manufacturers.

      Find out your plotter's DIP switch or front panel settings for serial communications, or set them to a known configuration such as:

      9600 baud, no parity, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit

      Configure your serial port in Windows to match the same communications settings: e.g. 9600 baud, no parity, 8 data bita, 1 stop bit, Hardware Flow Control, FIFO buffers disabled.

      Follow these detailed instructions for your version of Windows:

      • Windows XP
        Click Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Hardware > Device Manager > Ports, right-click on the port that is connected to the plotter, select Properties > Port Settings tab, [Configure your communications settings and set Flow Control to Hardware], click Advanced, uncheck FIFO Buffers Enabled, Click OK OK Close.
      • Windows 2000 and NT4
        Click Start > Settings > Control Panel > Ports. Select the port that is connected to the plotter and click Settings, [Configure your communications settings and set Flow Control to Hardware], click Advanced, uncheck FIFO Buffers Enabled, Click OK OK Close.
      • Windows 98 and Me
        Click Start > Settings > Control Panel > System > Device Manager > Ports, right-click on the port that is connected to the plotter, select Properties > Port Settings tab, [Configure your communications settings and set Flow Control to Hardware], click Advanced, uncheck FIFO Buffers Enabled, Click OK OK Close.


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  3. Q: I am not getting any output from my plotter. What should I do?

    A: If you experience problems plotting with WinLINE after performing the above configuration, perform this test:
    (a). In Windows Control Panel, Connect your plotter to the port called FILE: instead of the serial port.
    (b). Launch Notepad. Type a line of text e.g. "This is a test." Select File/Print and print to your WinLINE plotter. You will be prompted for an output filename. Type in a filename
    e.g. C:\TEST1.PLT
    (c). After the plot is complete, launch a Command Prompt (some people call this MS-DOS).
    For all versions of Windows except Windows XP, initialise your plotter's serial port using the MS-DOS mode command.
    e.g. MODE COM2 9600,n,8,1,p
    (d). Make sure your plotter is ready (turn it off then on) and copy the test file to the plotter using the MS-DOS command:
    COPY TEST1.PLT COM2
    If the test file plots correctly then repeat the test using your application instead of the word processor. If you get output from your application by sending the file to the plotter from MS-DOS, WinLINE is operating successfully with your application. If you are unable to get output directly from your application you may have a Windows communications problem. Check the configuration and cabling information specified above.
    If cannot get a test file to plot from MS-DOS and you are using the correct cable and communications setting, ask a hardware technician to check your computer's serial port.

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  4. Q: I can plot small drawings, but larger drawings fail with spurious lines after a few minutes. What is going wrong?

    A: It sounds like the input buffer on your serial plotter may be overflowing, resulting in lost data from WinLINE.

    If you are using a serial cable attached to your computer:

    1. Go back to Serial Communications Answer #1. Get the right cable for your plotter.

    2. Then go back to Serial Communications Answer #2. Configure Windows to use hardware Flow Control.

    If you are using some other transport such as a network, ask your system administrator to ensure that your communications setup is configured to stop transmitting data while the buffer on your plotter is full or while your plotter is in a busy state.

    If hardware flow control isn't working because your cable is too simple (like three wires) and your plotter supports XON/XOFF flow control, and you are adventurous and you like following instructions, you can configure Windows and WinLINE to use XON/XOFF Flow Control. For this to work you need to set XON/XOFF both in Windows and on your plotter. For HP pen plotters, you can configure WinLINE to switch the plotter into XON/XOFF mode by software alone. In Control Panel, right-click on the WinLINE plotter and select Properties > Device Settings Tab, Job Control > Initiate Plotter Handshake Control to XON/XOFF.

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    Top of Serial Communications

Configuration Issues

  1. How do I get the colors on my screen to map to specific pen numbers on a pen plotter?

    A: In the Windows environment, applications do not pass any information about absolute pen numbers to the output driver. Pen matching is performed on the basis of color and width. By default, WinLINE for pen plotters will use the pen in the active carousel that is closest to the screen color of the line being drawn.

    WinLINE also provides controls called Color Associations for mapping screen colors to specific pen numbers.



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  2. How do I get the colors on my screen to be printed as specific colors on my raster output device?

    A: By default, WinLINE for raster plotters outputs the screen color of the line being drawn.

    WinLINE also provides controls called Color Associations for mapping screen colors to any other color with control over transparency.



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  3. How do I configure WinLINE for pen plotters to use three black pens each of different width?

    A: You could use two different types of carousel definitions in this case to achieve two different kinds of result.
    In the first case, let us assume that you care only that your output is rendered in black using the most efficient pen width for each entity. In this case, assign each of the three black pens in the WinLINE carousel with the color black. WinLINE will automatically use the pen of the closest thickness to each line in your drawing. Note that if you assign the usage of thin pens to Outline only they will not be used for fills.
    In the second case, let us assume that you want specific lines in your drawing to be rendered using specific choices from your set of three black pens. In this case, assign a unique color to each black pen in WinLINE's carousel definition dialog e.g.
    Pen #1 - Blue
    Pen #2 - Red
    Pen #3 - Green
    When you have defined your carousel this way, lines which have a screen color of blue will be drawn with (black) pen number 1; lines which have a screen color of red will be drawn with (black) pen number 2; and lines which have a screen color of green will be drawn with (black) pen number 3.

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  4. How does WinLINE's AutoColor Color Association work?

    A: The default Color Association for raster plotters (e.g. DesignJets, LaserJets, CadJets, NovaJets) is AutoColor. AutoColor works by passing the color request on to the device. AutoColor uses the minimum width specified as a minimum thickness for lines. When an application requests a thicker line AutoColor passes the width request on to the device so that it is renderd thicker.
    When you want a particular screen color to be printed with a specific width, add a new pen to the WinLINE carousel using the specific screen color and width that you want. When WinLINE sees a particular colored pen in its carousel it uses the width associated with that color to draw the line instead of passing the request on to the device through the AutoColor assocation.

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  5. How do I increase the available plotting area on the sheet?

    A: WinLINE provides two standard modes of operation, accessible through Properties > Device Settings > Coordinate System > Margins. When you select Normal, the available plotting area will be that of the standard sheet size, less standard margins. In Expand mode, margins are reduced, increasing the available area for plotting on the sheet.

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Capabilities

  1. Q: How can I draw overlapping shapes with my pen plotter?

    A: Unlike raster devices such as laser and inkjet printers which store images in volatile RAM before transfering them to the page, pen plotters draw objects by placing ink (permanently) on the paper. As a result, once an object is drawn on your page, it may bleed or show through as subsequent objects are drawn over it. To avoid this situation you should construct objects using your drawing or CAD program so that hidden or underlying portions are removed in the drawing itself, prior to plotting.

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  2. Q: Can I draw bitmaps with my plotter?

    A: WinLINE does not support the rendering of bitmaps on pen plotters. If you have data in bitmap form you must first convert it to vectors using your applications program before it can be output using WinLINE.

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  3. Q: What about TrueType fonts?

    A: WinLINE renders TrueType fonts on all supported devices. WinLINE generates vector outlines from any TrueType font, and gives you configuration options for outlines, fills, either or both.

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License Activation

  1. Q: How do I buy WinLINE licneses?

    A: Buy WinLINE licenses online from ShareIt or contact a WinLINE representative directly if you are in Australia, Italy or The Netherlands.

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  2. Q: How do I activate my WinLINE license?

    A: In your Windows Printers Folder, right-click on the icon for your WinLINE output device and select Properties > About/Help. Click on the button Enter License Details and enter the License Name and License Key you received via email. If your computer is connected to the internet, click OK to activate the software via http, otherwise click Shift-OK to activate the software manually using a web browser on another computer that is connected to the internet.
    If you are unable to activate the license because the button on the dialog box is greyed out, turn off User Account Control while you activate WinLINE.

    Control Panel > User Account and Family Safety > User Accounts > Change User Account control settings > Set slider to: Never Notify > Do you want to allow the following program to make changes to this computer? (User Account Control Settings)? > YES

    After Restart, activate WinLINE in the normal way: In your Windows Printers Folder, right-click on the icon for your plotter and select Properties > About/Help. Click the Enter License Key button and enter your license details which you received in your License Key email.


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  3. Q: How do I deactivate my WinLINE license?

    A: To deactivate your WinLINE license and obtain a license credit, in your Windows Printers Folder, right-click on the icon for your WinLINE output device and select Properties > About/Help. Ctrl-Shift-double-click on the Licensed To: name. Follow the instructions to deactivate the license and obtain a license credit by registering the deactivation code through a web browser.

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  4. Q: How do I move my WinLINE license to another computer?

    A: Deactivate the license and obtain a license credit using the procedure above, then install and activate the software on another computer.

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