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Issues with Backstage Viewer when you view ArtPro files with external images.


In Backstage Pilot, when you click ArtPro files which have external references which are located somewhere else, you get the following error:

Cannot read image parameters for example.ap

Cannot retrieve image parameters because: Failed to load Brix instance for file:


Error converting ArtPro file <...\...\example.ap>



When Backstage Viewer tries to open an ArtPro (.ap) file, it does a hidden Export ArtPro to Normalized PDF file task in the background. So, if Backstage Viewer fails to open the ArtPro file, it's better you first run the ArtPro file with this task.

In the default Export ArtPro to Normalized PDF file task, there is no "Folder mapping" defined. You need to define the folder mapping. To find the path translation where the external images can be found, open the ArtPro file in a Wordpad. You can find the path of the external image(s), for e.g.:

An example of folder mapping could be:


Or typically at customer environment, it could look like:


Save this ticket and in the Backstage Configure > Viewer, select this ticket for your ArtPro to PDF ticket.

In the Backstage 7 Release 4, there is a bug that even if you select the correct ArtPro to PDF ticket, click View of the ArtPro file still fails with the same error, this was solved in Backstage 7 Release 5.

Workaround for Release 4: use Prepare for Backstage Viewer task to first prepare the view data for your ArtPro file (unfortunately in Backstage Viewer, if you zoom in the file too deep, deeper than the prepared view data, the same error will appear).

For file written in ArtPro 12.1 or higher and viewed in Automation Engine 12.1 or higher, it is no longer needed to setup folder mapping. The path will no longer be written in a typical Windows syntax (for example: Z:\MDATEST\file.ap) or a typical Mac Syntax (for example: PPC-Server:MDATEST:file.ap), but it is now written in a generic URL (for example: file://PPC-Server/MDATEST/file.ap). This format is understandable by both Windows and Mac.
Article information
Applies to

BackStage 7.0

Automation Engine 12.0

Automation Engine 10.1

Automation Engine 10.0

Last revised 
CW Number