Creating PDFs with the AutoCAD DWG to PDF Driver

More and more often, the deliverables from our production work are PDFs, as opposed to paper plots.  They are easy to share and virtually everyone can view them, with so many free PDF readers available.

There are also many drivers available to produce PDFs, some that come with Adobe products, and others from third-party developers.  I have had great success using the free one that comes with AutoCAD: DWG to PDF.pc3.

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The AutoCAD DWG to PDF.pc3  is a virtual plotter driver that adds some useful features to the PDFs it creates.  For instance, the PDF will have the same layers as the source AutoCAD drawing file.  This allows the recipient to turn layers on and off; to view and print them selectively.  Additionally, the paper size choices are more familiar to most CAD users.

One of the more powerful, but lesser known features that this driver creates in the PDF, is the ability to search through the text in the PDF using the standard Adobe Acrobat search tool.  However, the Adobe search tool will not work on text created using AutoCAD SHX fonts.  It only works on text created using TTF (Windows True Type fonts).

Searchable text in the PDF can be very useful.  It can be used to find specific objects, based on their unique lables, or to sequence through a series of objects.  It can also be helpful for proof-reading and plan-checking.

If you haven’t, give this driver a try and experiment with the results using your PDF reader.

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