PDF File Size - Methods Reviewed


Doug_N
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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.

 

1725382054_PrintingResults.thumb.png.ba179d65386422ada452fcd426f0330f.png

 

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?

 

 

 

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not sure I understand, if a normal layout has say 10 pages, and each has a page title such as front elevation, rear elevation, etc, you want  10 different PDFs, each with a filename of the page layout tittle? front elevation.pdf, rear elevation.pdf etc

 

Assuming there is a utility to create individual pdfs from a single pdf (probably comes out as page 1, page 2, etc and then you need to change the filename), then yes I believe this could be done with some scripting

 

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1 hour ago, jasonn1234 said:

not sure I understand, if a normal layout has say 10 pages, and each has a page title such as front elevation, rear elevation, etc, you want  10 different PDFs, each with a filename of the page layout tittle? front elevation.pdf, rear elevation.pdf etc

 

Assuming there is a utility to create individual pdfs from a single pdf (probably comes out as page 1, page 2, etc and then you need to change the filename), then yes I believe this could be done with some scripting

 

Yes that is what I am looking for.  

 

For an entire custom house plan typically, there are around 30 - 40 sheets.  Printing the pages one at a time and renaming them all is very time consuming, and prone to errors in naming.  

 

For example, here is what would be an acceptable filename. 

A-5 Gound Floor Plan View.pdf

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2 hours ago, Doug_N said:

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. 

Don't know about Ruby but it does not have access to the API in Chief so I don't see how but then someone smarter than me may know a way.

 

What I do know works is using Bluebeam review. I do this for most files- set automatic bookmarks based on page regions - like label area with page number, space, page title. Takes a couple of minutes.

(I don't have this part as my version is older but may upgrade just to get it ) In current and newer versions you can then create a PDF table of contents from all the bookmarks, again a few minutes, then insert that back into the original file. You then have a table of contents that are bookmarks as well as individual bookmarks. The last thing is you can add a hyperlink set to All pages that goes back to the table of contents.

I don't know if any other PDF program does this, I don't see it in TurboPDF or Foxit, PDF Exchange Pro (cheaper than BB) might do at least some of it.

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3 hours ago, Doug_N said:

      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)

If you print a view with just CAD in it, you should generally get a vector PDF. There are some things that will add raster elements to the PDF, such as:

  • Embedded raster images
  • Other PDFs embedded in the plan/layout
  • Camera/elevation views (except for plot-line views without color fill)
  • CAD with transparent lines/fills (when not using Chief Architect Print to PDF)
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12 minutes ago, BenMerritt said:

If you print a view with just CAD in it, you should generally get a vector PDF. There are some things that will add raster elements to the PDF, such as:

  • Embedded raster images
  • Other PDFs embedded in the plan/layout
  • Camera/elevation views (except for plot-line views without color fill)
  • CAD with transparent lines/fills (when not using Chief Architect Print to PDF)

Ben, can you imagine doing that 40 times?   One for each page?   

What I am hoping to find is a path to automating this process.  Because each page is handled in an identical way, this is something that should lend itself to the wizards of bits and bytes to concoct a solution.  

 

Keeping my fingers crossed

Doug

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On 3/30/2022 at 7:29 AM, Doug_N said:

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.

 

that is a turn around....No sure if it is now done in-house but it used to be the only part of Modern chief , done by a 3rd Party.

 

*most email severs can handle 25mb, not 5 mb but I can see how 5 would be a major issue if that's what the municipality has sets theirs too.

 

M.

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