PDF export, vector & Raster


I often print to PDF with rhino, and use the Vector output setting.

I also often have reference images which I insert as pictureframe with informations on them related to my design works

wondering if there is a possible work around to export / print a pdf in vector, but somehow to keep the images viewable.

similar function to how .ai works.


PDF should be able to print pictures in vector output mode. Do you have a sample file that doesn’t work?


please see attached one raster PDF [which shows the picture frames] and a Vector PDF, which does not show the pictureframes,

If you know a way to show the images would be great!

BSMNT _ RASTER.pdf (670.5 KB) BSMNT _ VECTOR.pdf (126.0 KB)

i am guessing you should post your original rhino file, i dont believe it is possible to distinguish the problem from the output pdfs.

Hello Andrew,
I had the same problem, your picture frames aren’t probably picture frames anymore but surfaces with a texture attached. Check if that is the case this problem has already been discus here RH-52353

i can remember having similar issues. the problem as you explained is that acting any kind of changes on the picture frame, will turn the “plane surface” into a higher degree “nurbs surface” with textures. the same is troubling other kind of exports (dwg/dxf and ai) from what i remember

I would need a rhino model to try and repeat the bug.


Thanks Steve for the link. I checked your link, however my issue with not being able to see the picture in Vector print to PDF continues.

Here I have attached 2 PDF’s one in vector [no image] and one in Raster, with image, but obviously raster line work and text as well.

My process is this, I select what I want to prin in my top view. I do not use the layout function.

I then proceed to print, and save as a PDF.

the same situation occurs every time, even if I insert a picture frame without any modification.
picture frame test.3dm (87.2 KB) picture frame test _ Raster.pdf (534.1 KB) picture frame test _ Vector.pdf (26.7 KB)


auditing your file it reveals that you are actually using Mac Rhino 5.5.3, which does not print or export images when set to vector at all. i recategorized it for you. maybe check out the wip 6 i think its possible there to print images when set to vector.

Ahh, OK, That will be it then,

thats a shame, was hoping there may have been away to sort that out.

I have worked with rhino wip 6 a few times and come across quite a few bugs so unable to migrate over to that yet…

Hi Andrew - note that Rhino 6 for Mac will ship shortly. I would recommend that you try the current BETA and let us know if there is still something stopping you from using that.

HI Wim,

I have just tested on rhino WIP 6, and this now can print vector and raster image, so that is great news!

I have another question here. Maybe you can help.

When printing to PDF, I would like to set some lines / hatches behind others so that when it prints it is behind other objects. Do you know how to achieve this?



hi Andrew, that is a bug which has not been solved yet, the issue is known and there are a few topics on this problem here one for example

generally if you are just asking how to change the draw order you can use SendBackward and SendToBack and the other direction BringForward and BringToFront to clear all use ClearDrawOrder note that this only works for curves and hatches but not for any surfaces or other geometry.

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Hi There, this is actually what I was after, being able to set things to the front and back.

however as you mentioned, this does not seem to work when you send it to print in vector. it only works in raster…

I have also noticed that the same issue persists in Beta V6 on Mac. I trust that this can get resolved on the final release, as I see it as quite an important feature.

Thanks again,


Hi Andrew - as Steve wrote in the other thread, if he can fix it in Rhino 6 without breaking other functionality, he will do so.

HI Wim,

Yes - I saw that… : ] Fingers crossed Steve can find away!!