Friday, November 14, 2008


AutoCAD learns PDF

Yes, I know. You think AutoCAD 2009 doesn't need to learn PDF - it is already there. But the results of its PDF printing/publishing were less than perfect in many situations.

With the release of "AutoCAD 2009 Subscription Bonus Pack 2" AutoCAD is much more fluent in PDF. This bonus pack (available to subscription users only, and - strange enough - only for the plain AutoCAD) adds new functionality in PDF publishing and in attaching PDF files.

The published PDFs are now smaller and faster to transfer - the TrueType texts are represented by true fonts, not just graphics. You can include layer information in PDFs and control line merging.

More important is the PDF import functionality. No, you cannot perform true import of PDF files. Just like with DWF files, you can only attach PDF files as underlays of your DWG drawings. But it is enough for most situations, especially when you can now osnap to the underlaying geometry in PDF (just like in DWF) files. Similarly to DWF you can also Clip and Adjust the referenced PDF files, suppress their layers and select specific page numbers from multipage PDF files.

Many disadvantages of PDF (vs. DWF) are now gone but DWF/DWFx is still a preferred format for CAD data.

If you do not hold a Subscription, hold on - AutoCAD 2010 should bring this functionality also for the rest of us.

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