Saturday, December 20, 2008

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How do I make a PDF drawing?

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A common misconception about PDF

Portable Document Format - a file format created by Adobe and intended to be a common transferable file format.'); return false">PDF
drawings is that the process is to convert a DWG file format to a PDF file format. A PDF file is a digital 'paper' plot of the drawing, not an actual hardcopy paper plot of the drawing. Since a PDF file is generally a raster image file, it can be modifed by any clipart application, and because of that a PDF file should never be considered unalterable and should be handled and distrubuted with caution.

A PDF file is created via a PDF printer which works like an ordinary printer or plotter, the only difference being that the drawing is not sent to a printer to obtain a hard copy of the drawing, but is instead 'printed' to a PDF file. The PDF file can then easily be distributed via e-mail to be plotted to hardcopy elsewhere.

This file can be opened in Adobe software (or similiar free software) from where it can be produced as a hard copy print as required.

If there is no PDF printer installed on the computer, there are a few websites that offer a free install. Some of the more popular ones are:

After installation, the PDF printer will show up in the AutoCAD Printer/Plotter selection. Just select the PDF printer in the Plot Dialog Box and a prompt will appear requesting a location to save the PDF file to.

If a more feature rich PDF is required, and funds are available, there are a few options. Among them are:

bluebeam This software enables the creation of markup drawings within AutoCAD.

AutoCAD 2008 and 2007 are packaged with a PDF printer. With the inbuilt AutoCAD PDF printer, a script file can be created which will run without waiting for a resultant file name.

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