we have run into a problem when printing Gantt charts with PDF Gen. They can be extremely slow and on following up with Support they have confirmed that this is an issue with Distiller and there is no fix soon. So to get around the issue we tried disabling Gannt charts in MS Project by un-checking Bars and shapes in Gantt views in 3-D' (Tools > Options, View tab) in MS Project
Now we're finding LC does not always pick up the setting. What we have noticed is that sometimes when printing to PDF with the same file, on the same server via PDF Gen, Gantt charts will appear, and sometimes not. Occasionally, the MS Project file when printing Gantt charts will stall in the Adobe Printer Queue, LC will then start to get Stuck Threads in Weblogic, and basically become unstable.
Upon further investigation we saw that LC will use the WINPROJ.exe if it is running to do the conversion, or start a new WINPROJ.exe process if none is running. Sometimes while starting the process we get the Gantt chart setting picked up, and sometimes not, and there is no particular pattern.
We did a lot of digging with PROCMON to see if we could find if LC was picking up a Windows Registry entry for MS Project perhaps with a different user which did not have the Gannt chart turned off, but could not find one. Our conclusion was that sometimes LC has submitted the job before WINPROJ.exe is fully loaded and somehow the No Gantt charts option gets lost, though this is speculation based on observation of behaviour.
We will get this issue reproduced in-house and see if we can provide a patch to address this problem. Prima facie this does not appear to be a bug in the product; rather it appears that MS Project might be "forgetting" this setting in some cases, or a similar setting (inside the file that is being converted) might override the application-wide setting.
We will try to see if we can forcibly set this flag (through MS Project COM APIs) each time a MS Project file gets converted. If this works, we might be able to provide a patch.
Meanwhile, can you let me know exactly what version of MS Office (with the service pack details, if any) that you are using?
Thanks Martin, we are looking at this issue in detail. We will get back to you with some update on this. We might be able to come up with a resolution if this does not turn out to be a bug in MS Project 2007.
I agree with your assessment, i.e. unchecking the 3D Gantt Chart option should not prevent Gantt charts from displaying, it simply changes the display from 3D to flat views, and does ensure MPP files print quicker.
However we are seeing inconsistent results after unchecking the option, in that sometimes Gantt charts disappear completely from the PDF. I guess it is this inconsistency which is troubling me. Paradoxically if I could turn off Gantt charts completely that would be helpful, but I understand that is not the behavior from this option. I do however want to know why Gantt charts intermittently disappear
Martin, try as much as we could, we have not been able to reproduce this issue in-house. Here's the details of the software that we used:
LC 8.2.1 GM
Acrobat 9 GM
Windows 2003 x64
MS Project 2007
We used the 4 unique project files (that you provided to Adobe Support) copied several times (making the total number of files to 100) and ran the tests. Finally, we verified that all PDFs that were created indeed had 2D Gantt charts inside.
Can you think of any difference in your and our environments that might be causing this disparity in results? Where do we go from here? Let me know if you have any suggestions.