PDF printing with layers


CARMELHILL
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've come across, but rarely, a CAD drawing in pdf format that has the ability to turn of individual layers. Does anyone know if Chief can do this? Or is it a specific PDF print driver? 

 

I tried it a few times with an ADOBE printer driver but no go.

 

I thought it might be useful in the field on a 2 in 1 folding Chromebook. My Samsung Chromebook Plus is a life saver and I find new uses for it all the time.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, CARMELHILL said:

I've come across, but rarely, a CAD drawing in pdf format that has the ability to turn of individual layers. Does anyone know if Chief can do this? Or is it a specific PDF print driver? 

 

I tried it a few times with an ADOBE printer driver but no go.

 

I thought it might be useful in the field on a 2 in 1 folding Chromebook. My Samsung Chromebook Plus is a life saver and I find new uses for it all the time.

No easy way to do it..I added it to the suggestions forum a couple of weeks ago for the second time.

Easiest method for me is to setup anno/layer sets to have all layers off 'cept the layer you wish to print. Send one sheet to the layout and print to PDF. Then switch anno/layer sets and print to PDF again. The using a PDF software like acrobat pro, You can combine and properly switch off layers(tutorials are on the web)

Here's an example one I did real quick:

Fell Street Electrical Reference.pdf

Note that without inserting buttons(HTML etc) to manage layers, web viewers don't typically allow you to turn them on and off. Making it an added layer of complication

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Rene,  When you have some time could you provide a link to a good tutorial or give a few more details on how you do it with Chief and Acrobat Pro.  I saw a great one of these a while back and have wondered how it was done for a long time.  The more people that are using this the more attention it will get from the chief.  Good place to also put a link back to your suggestion.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think there may be a way to do it.  First export to an autocad file, then from autocad save as a PDF with layers.

 

Then Acrobat will have a layer set that can be turned on or off at least I think so.  I will give this a try tomorrow and let you know how it works out.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's also worth noting that layer support must be available in the program you are viewing the PDF in. For example, if you are viewing the PDF in a web browser, you will not see any layer controls like you do in Adobe Reader. So, if you are hoping to embed this in a website so that people can view the drawing, they will not have any indication that they can toggle layers on or off.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 hours ago, Chopsaw said:

a few more details on how you do it with Chief and

this is with Bluebeam not Acrobat Pro but I'd guess they are similar.

The work is the original PDFs as Rene noted. A slightly simpler method might be to send each set to a layout page and print the whole thing to PDF. Then explode that into pages, then combine as layered PDF. The issue with that is you would  want to rename each file before combining to get layer names correct.

I love it when I get layered PDFs from architects but rarely go through the effort to make them. OTOH.

10 hours ago, CARMELHILL said:

I thought it might be useful in the field on a 2 in 1

Since I started using the HP Spectre I've started to add hyperlinks to a few PDFs using Bluebeam.

I add a link to each page, on the first page, at it's entry in the layout page table, then add a link back to the first page in the bottom corner of each page. Still a bit of work but I've found it handy and saves screen real estate so I don't need the navigation side bar on the little 13" screen.

 

It looks as if BB has added a simpler way to do that in newer versions. When I get some time I'm going to give it a test run to see if I want to upgrade one of my seats. I sent one done this way off to a contractor that I know uses an iPad and he liked it. I began offering it with drafting services so it may be something worth the upgrade. Example attached (first one I could find- currently have this stuff in a bit of disarray ;0

L_Sample.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK it works, and here is how to do it.

 

1)  Export from CA to a DWG file.  I used a 2017 version dwg file including all the layers that you need.

2) Open the drawing in AutoCad.

3) Export the file to a PDF file with layers 

 

Attached is the file in PDF with switchable visibility layers along with the original CA file, and the exported AutoCad file

MAYNARD_TUTTLE_.dwg

MAYNARD_TUTTLE_.pdf

MAYNARD_TUTTLE_.plan

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 4/18/2018 at 5:15 PM, Doug_N said:

OK it works, and here is how to do it.

 

Thanks Doug, 

 

For those of you who may have been interested in this but do not have a copy of AutoCad, it all appears to function as Doug describes above using the free version of Autodesk DWG TrueView.  https://www.autodesk.com/products/dwg/viewers

 

I will be doing some more experimenting with this in the near future.  Seems promising.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

I know this is an older thread, but of interest to me. I don't use AutoCad but do have TrueView. I've tried what Doug said, as well as more to what I have, Chopsaw's method. Easy enough to export out of Chief as DWG, but from TrueView I can't "export". Is there even an export option in TrueView, or is it just Plot?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

keith. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, keithhe said:

Chopsaw's method. Easy enough to export out of Chief as DWG, but from TrueView I can't "export". Is there even an export option in TrueView, or is it just Plot?

 

Have a look at the "Batch Plot" options > Publish Options > Include Layer Information.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow !! It had not dawned on me to use the Batch Plot option, but works great with my BlueBeam PDF (which I love and have been using now for decades). 

 

Only issue I see, and a common one for all PDF's in Chief, is line weights pretty much all need to be 1, or they are crazy looking in PDF version (way too "fat"). What works fine within Chief, or even DWG fails in PDF with any higher line weights. Never understood why that was, but with mechanical drawings I do all the time, on commercial projects, has always been that way. 

 

Otherwise, awesome to find your method and I thank you very much !!!!!

 

Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

30 minutes ago, keithhe said:

Only issue I see, and a common one for all PDF's in Chief, is line weights pretty much all need to be 1, or they are crazy looking in PDF version (way too "fat"). What works fine within Chief, or even DWG fails in PDF with any higher line weights. Never understood why that was, but with mechanical drawings I do all the time, on commercial projects, has always been that way. 

 

That should not be happening. Are you currently using X7 ?  You might want to post a plan file Backed Up from Layout... "Backup Plan Files and All Referenced Files"  ( Layout and settings )

 

Something is definitely messed up in your setup with the plan and layout sync.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think, but not certain, it has to do mostly with the DWG base files I use of a bunch of medical facilities we serve. They use a LOT of CAD blocks, and I have never been able to change the line weights, or any attributes, within those CAD blocks without exploding them. My experiment with your method showed some, but not all, of the text also seems to have issues. 

 

Give me a minute and I'll upload the "original DWG" i use as the floorplan baseline, *plan file, with layers I add, as well as the PDF where I'm seeing some issues with method you advised on. Would love to figure this out, because it has been a monumental PITA for me for a long time. I'm even more than willing to pay for your time if you have a suggestion to avoid the tedious "exploding" of their CAD Blocks. 

 

I'm currently on X11 as I only update every few versions.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think, but not certain, it has to do mostly with the DWG base files I use of a bunch of medical facilities we serve. They use a LOT of CAD blocks, and I have never been able to change the line weights, or any attributes, within those CAD blocks without exploding them. My experiment with your method showed some, but not all, of the text also seems to have issues. 

 

Give me a minute and I'll upload the "original DWG" i use as the floorplan baseline, *plan file, with layers I add, as well as the PDF where I'm seeing some issues with method you advised on. Would love to figure this out, because it has been a monumental PITA for me for a long time. I'm even more than willing to pay for your time if you have a suggestion to avoid the tedious "exploding" of their CAD Blocks. 

 

I'm currently on X11 as I only update every few versions.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, keithhe said:

Give me a minute and I'll upload the "original DWG" i use as the floorplan baseline, *plan file, with layers I add, as well as the PDF where I'm seeing some issues with method you advised on. Would love to figure this out, because it has been a monumental PITA for me for a long time.

 

If you like you can PM that to me or if it is not private info you can post it here so others with the same issues may learn something as well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doug,

 

Thanks but I don't have or use AutoCAD. I've found that for the most part CA has served my purposes, for commercial mechanical work we do.

 

But changing the DWG floor plan files to use as a "base line" for my mechanical added layers has been problematic. Not with what I create, but the available CAD drawings they have, which beats redrawing the entire facility. So that part is good, but changing colors, or line weights of the blocks that come in with their DWG has never worked without first exploding their blocks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, keithhe said:

Doug,

 

Thanks but I don't have or use AutoCAD. I've found that for the most part CA has served my purposes, for commercial mechanical work we do.

 

 

CA Blocks can also be edited without exploding since X13.  Just saying.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So tried to upload 3 of 4 files here, and forum after trying for a minute says "unknown error" and they turn red. So this didn't happen >>> Attached are 3 of 4 files I can upload without issue as they have no identifying information for my customer on them.

 

The one I can't (shouldn't) upload is the baseline floor plan I have not done anything with, that contains their title block, which I immediately remove and use my own in Layout. 

 

I can email them, as a DM here does not seem to have an attachment option??

 

Thanks, Keith

Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, Doug_N said:

CA Blocks can also be edited without exploding since X13.  Just saying.

 

Wow, that's good to know Doug !! Looks like it's time for my every few version update. I will do that over the weekend.

 

Also, suddenly last few responses on this thread have been VERY slow to post. Not sure if that is on CA or my end, but everything else seems to be working with my internet. 

 

Thanks !!

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
 Share

  • Member Statistics

    32626
    Total Members
    9156
    Most Online
    kbuilddesign
    Newest Member
    kbuilddesign
    Joined
  • Similar Content

    • By JKEdmo
      One useful feature from the Autocad world is a "line merge" setting for the PDF print driver.  In a nutshell, it forces dark (black) line types to always print over lighter line types.  Just like real life drafting.
       
      Here's sample output below from Chief with no line merge.
       
      Does Chief have a line merge setting?
       
      Thanks again,
       
      Jim
       

       
       
       
       
    • By MollyNDG
      I am having issues getting any PBR to send to layout and then export to PDF clearly. It will get pretty close to clear when I am in the camera view itself, but it will not resolve fully when sent to layout or exported to PDF. This is still a new feature for me and am trying to figure it out, so this last step really has me stumped. Not sure if it is my computer (also having the lovely crashing issue on a regular basis, but that is another topic altogether). I cannot load the plan file I am currently having an issue with as it is a client file (I understand this is not helpful), but here is an image of what I am getting. Any ideas of where to start are greatly appreciated.
       
       
      X13
      AMD Radeon RX 6700XT
      TEST.pdf
    • By SMB2021
      Since upgrading to x14 at least 2 of my co-workers in my department are having a text issue when saving as a PDF. I have not had the issue they're having but it's becoming an "inconvenience" that if they need something sent to PDF, those of us not having the issue will have to open the file and do it for them.
       
      I've attached some pictures of the issue vs what it's supposed to look like.
       
      Is anyone else having this issue and knew the solution to fix it?
       
      How it looks when they send to PDF


       
      vs how it looks when I send to PDF

    • By creatrix
      I have dragged a PDF of a rug to my elevation but as you can see, I'm not able to have the rug show up on the wall. What do I need to do?

    • By Doug_N
      My projects are increasingly moving into the digital submission world.  In digital format, various municipalities are setting up criteria for acceptable submission standards that are divergent.  That is to say, each municipality is reinventing the wheel.  So far as I can tell, no two municipalities have adopted the same submission standards, and so submission has become a major task up from a simple formality.
       
      The Province of Ontaria adopted a standard method for submission of paper documents.
       
      1) Fill out the mandated building permit form (mandated by the Ontario Building Code Act) that all municipalities had to accept.
      2) Provide at least 2 copies of the drawings in whatever scale is shown on the drawing. 
      3) Pay the fee by cash or cheque
       
      Simple and pretty much the same everywhere.
       
      Electronic Submission Nightmare
       
      Easiest. 
      1) Same as 1 above in PDF
      2) Same as 2 above except one PDF file (PDF must not exceed 5meg. Limit for most email servers)
      3) Same as 3 above but email Interac transfer
      4) Reply to comments from the plan examiner sent by email.  Send revised pages to the examiner in PDF
       
      Hardest:
      1) Create an on-line account with the municipality
      2) Fill out an on- line application form
      3) Register all parties (Owner and Agent at a minimum) and these people also have to participate in the on-line experience.
      4) Create individual PDF files for each drawing page to be submitted
            a) Each page to have proscribed blank area (2" x 5") for municipal stamps and comments,
            b) Each page to have a name that corresponds to the title block name
            c) Each PDF to be in vector format.  Raster format is not acceptable. (CA does not support vector PDF)  I suspect the vector PDF would be much smaller than a raster PDF)
            e) Each page has to be a flattened file, no layers
            d) Each page must not have any security features that would prevent editing or commenting (try to convince an Engineer who has stamped the drawing to do this!)
            f)  PDF file size must not exceed (put in some arbitrary limit here.)   
      5) Pay the fees as required, usually on line,
      6) Try to understand the matrix of comments that contain examiner's comments.
      7) Upload revised drawing.
      8) Comment on the examiner's matrix table. 
       
      As a result of all of this I have been experimenting with PDF print drivers, and Winzip PDF Compressor.
       

       
      My hat is off to the programmers at CA!   The PDF print driver included with CA out performs all of the other print drivers that I have installed on my computer for file size.  
       
      Now if only I could automatically print, as a batch, all drawing files with an automatic link to the layout page title and page number or label.  That would be amazing.  
      I wonder if some of that might be achieved in Ruby?  If CA made a printing template that allowed for individual pages as a batch print?