This week, we look at some of the changes to support for PDF in AutoCAD.
The Portable Document Format (PDF) has become one of the most ubiquitous file formats in the world. AutoCAD has had the ability to import and export PDF files for many years. But AutoCAD 2016 ups the ante.
PDF support has been significantly enhanced in AutoCAD 2016, offering improved performance, flexibility, and quality. Zooming and panning a drawing with a PDF underlay attached, even a large one, is considerably faster in AutoCAD 2016. The big changes, however, come when you export a PDF.
The first thing you will notice is that there are now two different sets of controls when exporting to PDF and DWF. Instead of a single Export to DWF/PDF dialog box, there are now two; one for DWG and one for PDF. Both of these dialog boxes are accessible from the Output ribbon.
The PDF options now include PDF quality and font handling controls as well as new controls for including hyperlinks and bookmarks.
The hyperlinks control enables you to include hyperlinks from the drawing in the resulting PDF file. Hyperlinks can include links to other sheets and named views within a drawing as well as links to external websites and other files. For example, you can include a list of sheets in a set of documents and create links from that list to those sheets. Or, you can add callouts in drawings and have those callouts link to the drawings, making it much easier to navigate in the resulting PDF.
The new hyperlink capabilities support links from different types of objects, such as text, images, blocks, geometry, attributes, and fields. The bookmarks control exports sheets and named views as bookmarks so that you can easily navigate between them when viewing the PDF file.
When using the Plot tool to create PDF files, you can now choose from four predefined PDF presets, offering a quick way to apply different PDF output options to meet various needs. If you select any PDF pc3 from the Printer/plotter drop-down list, a PDF options button is displayed, providing a convenient way to access the PDF Options dialog box.
Similar PDF presets and option controls are available when creating PDF files using the Export to PDF and Batch Plot tools.
The Sheet Set Manager has also been updated to support these PDF enhancements.
Regardless of which of these methods you use to create PDF files from AutoCAD 2016, viewing the resulting PDF file in a PDF viewer such as Acrobat Reader offers additional advantages. For example, layout names are now automatically displayed as page labels in the resulting PDF file, making it easy to identify sheets when viewing the PDF.
In addition, text that was created using SHX fonts in the AutoCAD drawing can now be highlighted, copied, and even searched in the Comment List in Acrobat Reader.
The new PDF capabilities are a welcome addition to AutoCAD 2016.
That’s it for this week. But there are still lots of other new features in AutoCAD 2016. And I’ll be back to show them to you and tell you how to make the best use of the many new capabilities.