Tuesday, September 14, 2010


I want to write a few items over upcoming posts about my experience with creating and using PDF files in AutoCAD.  What is your reason for using PDF files?  Why PDF and not DWF?  Do you put multiple types of files in a single PDF document?  Do you use AutoCAD to make your PDF files if you have a new enough version or do you use another software package to do this? 


David Robison said...

We use PDF's as a way to share our MEP engineering drawings with our clients. Everyone has a PDF viewer and knows what to do with a PDF. If we sent DWF's, we would have to explain what that is and how to download the viewer. That's not a support burden we want to take on just to share our drawings.

We create a single PDF for each drawing in the set. It is simplest that way.

We use a third-party PDF printer driver to create the PDF's, mainly because we set up our plot scripts on AutoCAD 2000.

CCDesigner said...

We use PDFs for a couple reasons:

1. (As David stated) Everyone has Adobe Acrobat. And PDF is the most common file format used. We know that our clients will have a PDF reader but very few will have access to a DWF viewer or even know how to use it.

2. Record keeping and project tracking is easier to manage. All we have to do is look through the PDF folder for a particular project to see what was changed.

David Koch said...

As previously mentioned, everyone has a PDF viewer already installed. Some clients are not permitted to install software; others are not interested in installing another viewer. The path of least resistance dictates the use of PDFs.

We are currently running ACA 2010, but everyone has the full version of Acrobat and so I print to PDF using Acrobat, rather than the built-in PDF facility. I can not say I have tried both ways to see which is better; I got used to using Acrobat when we were running 2004 and have not had a reason to change.

Rob W said...

We also use PDFs to share drawings. We use Bluebeam PDF Revu CAD Version in the office and we recommend PDF XChange Viewer to those who do not have something like Adobe Acrobat Pro or Bluebeam. It's free and It's a great tool for marking up and viewing PDFs

Sandeep.s said...

Thanks for your useful information.


David said...

PDF is a helpful file for it allows our clients and even us, employees to share and view files easily. We have a distributed file that allows everyone to view public documents in PDF form.

Aside from PDF, our company just accumulated a
CMM certification for various company software such as
3d laser scanning services and AUTOCAD. These software are a great help in our company and I hope you can also try it.

Goody said...

Hi Beth,

I work in affiliation with a school in Virginia that offer AutoCAD programs and I think they would be of interest to your readers. If you have any link opportunities please let me know!


jmcintyre said...

We use PDFs because;

1. Everyone knows what a PDF is and what to do with it.
2. No one outside of autodesk users has even heard of DWF.
3. PDF is open source so no one has a monopoly on it.
4. There are a wide selection of PDF writers available.

We use acroplot pro because it writes the smallest files and works with acad without any issues.

Tonal said...

AutoCAD and PDF both are good software but there is also a big difference b/w these two software PDF can only read the pic while AutoCAD edit, create and other many things..Custom Software Development Services
Thank you for the post..

Kuldeep said...

Nice to hear from you this. but what version of AutoCAD, you're going to use. This AutoCAD Conversion doesn't effect the file we are exporting that.

The CAD guy said...

I use AutoCad 2011 for some of my work and Alibre Design Expert for all for my 3D models. I do use PDF's with both, Primo PDF is the specific software. I do not use the 3rd party PDF module supplied by Alibre.
Scott at Centennial CAD

11x17MarketingDepartment said...

We use the pdf to be able to email it with no hassle or explanation to the graphics department. Also dropping a shameless plug to let you know that we carry professional products to meet your needs for storage and presentation of your drawings. At 11x17.com you can find many high quality products at great prices.
Give us a call if you have any questions at 903-541-0100 or email us at sales@11x17.com.
Thanks for your time and consideration.

11x17MarketingDepartment said...

Hello, just dropping a note to let you know that we carry many professional products to meet your office needs for storage and presentation of your drawings. At 11x17.com you can find many high quality products at great prices.
Give us a call if you have any questions at 903-541-0100 or email us at sales@11x17.com.
Thanks for your time and consideration.

DraftingCAD said...

Simplemente por que el trabajo es de uno, y me parece (si es que no me equivoco) que aun no hay programa que transforme de pdf a dwg, por tanto es mas difícil la piratería de nuestros trabajos. Y además también las cosas detalladas por los otros usuarios

Dua Mairaj said...

Do more like that very nice sharing guys for for Autocad tutorials http://www.tutorialsworkshop.com

Dua Mairaj said...

Very nice guys such a informative blog for more http://www.tutorialsworkshop.com

Purushothaman Munusamy said...

I always use pdf to convert cad files and never feel to use anything rather than "cutepdf"

Cad service provider

Kuldeep said...

PDF is a supportive file. it allows us to share and view files easily. we can easily convert PDF to AutoCAD files online to make it more soft.

Brooke Davis said...

Thanks for this insightful article. I actually chose ZW Soft as my Autocad Alternative and it worked out great. I used it to draw up interior designs for my home. It was cool because I could build 3d and 2d designs on the computer, instead of on paper. Check out Autocad Alternative for top quality work and have some fun with it!

sonia taleja said...

Both are vector document that are used for document sharing via email or website. These days, both of them become a familiar file format we receive, because people don’t want us to get their original DWG.
PDF is a general format, while DWF is used by Autodesk products. These two formats are smaller than sending the drawing or model file. And the most important thing is your design can’t be modified easily except by your company. Sure they can redraw it and use your design, but at least we don’t make it easy.

Brandon said...

At our very large consulting firm we use pdf for all of our final cad files. clients almost never have a need for an autocad file and I've only talked to a hand full that have even heard of a dwf.

Pdf's are easily the most common format in the industry for delivering a finished drawing to a non CAD user.
It just becomes routine to make a pdf when a drawing is finished, just like using a standard AutoCAD drawing template or a company title block. Just second nature.

Better at Everything

Neil Todd said...

I think most people have covered it but the main reason I use pdf's as opposed to dwf's is everybody has access to a pdf reader.

I have tried in the past to get my clients to install a DWF reader but this lead to far too many complications.

PDF all the way for me.

Jenice said...

PDF signature
The information shared about Autocad and Pdf is useful. PDF files are easy to create and manage. Even this file format supports multiple platforms.

Olga said...

PDF files are widely supported and can be viewed on almost any computer or laptop. You can't say the same about DWF files. That's why we convert AutoCAD files to PDF with the help of Total CAD Converter from CoolUtils.