About Generating PDF Files from Drawings

About Generating PDF Files from Drawings

The Adobeآ® Portable Document Format (PDF) is an electronic document format that can
be viewed on multiple platforms.

AutoCAD extends the ability of plotting drawings to paper to plot drawings to PDF
files. This ability makes a PDF file the digital equivalent of a plotted drawing sheet
that you can distribute electronically.

PDF Files Generating Mechanisms

Because there are several mechanisms to plot drawings, there are many ways to create
PDF files.

To… Use…
Export model space or a single layout to a PDF file The PLOT or EXPORTPDF command
Export all layouts of a drawing to a PDF file The EXPORTPDF or PUBLISH command
Export selected layouts of a drawing to a PDF file The PUBLISH command
Export a sheet set to a PDF file The Publish to PDF option in the Sheet Set Manager

PDF Presets

AutoCAD provides several options to trade off the file size of a PDF file with its
quality and functionality. In order to simplify the configuration process and save
you the trouble of dealing with multiple options, we created several presets. Each
preset is preconfigured to have the functionality and quality required for a specific
purpose, while keeping the file size to a minimum. We used plotter configuration files
to implement PDF presets.

Plotter configuration files (*.PC3) let you configure a plotter and save the settings
for later use. You can set up multiple configuration files for the same plotter, where
each one is configured to produce outputs of varying quality. We extended this concept
to create multiple configuration files for plotting to PDF, and use them as PDF presets.
Each preset is a configuration file preconfigured for a specific purpose. For example,
the PDF preset AutoCAD PDF (Web and Mobile) is configured to generate PDF files for
viewing on mobile devices and Web browsers.

For a complete list of the PDF Presets and their default settings, refer to the topic
PDF Preset Reference.

Plotting to Paper Versus Plotting to PDF

In an ideal world, PDF files should be identical to the corresponding paper plot.
However, in a reality there can be differences. For example, if the PDF drawing uses
fonts that are not available in a PDF viewer, the PDF viewer uses a substitute font.
As a result the PDF drawing might look different from the paper plot. You can minimize
such differences by capturing the fonts and embedding them into the PDF file. Fonts
that cannot be distributed because of legal restrictions are not captured, even though
you enable capture fonts.

PDF files come with capabilities that are typically not possible with paper plots.
For example, you can search for text in a PDF file, even if you choose to convert
the text to geometry. At the time you generate the PDF file, you can enable the capability
to turn layers on or off in the PDF viewer. You can also quickly navigate to sheets
or named views using bookmarks and hyperlinks.


3D Visual Styles

Viewports that have a 3D Visual style applied to them are converted to raster images
when you generate a PDF file from a drawing sheet. As a result, in the PDF file, the
information about the layers within the viewport is lost. Furthermore, text within
the viewport is not searchable, and hyperlinks are removed.

Printing PDF Files

On the Adobe Acrobat Reader, if you use the default printer settings to print a PDF
drawing, transparent objects and wipeouts might not print correctly. If the PDF file
contains transparent objects, you may need to adjust some settings in Adobe Acrobat.
Set Transparency Flattening to or reduce the Raster/Vector Balance in Adobe Acrobat.
Refer to the Adobe documentation for more information.

Learning AutoCad

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