Converting an AutoCAD Drawing into PDF File

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1 Tutorial Created by Brijesh Bhatha, Updated 2006 by Corinne Stewart

2 CP-208 Plan Preparation Studio - Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald 2 In this tutorial we will learn to create a PDF File from an AutoCAD drawing. There are four possible methods to bring an AutoCAD drawing into an Adobe Illustrator file. Method 1. To directly place an AutoCAD drawing in the Illustrator file. Method 2. Converting an AutoCAD drawing into a PDF format and placing the PDF in the Illustrator file. Method 3. Copy and paste (only to be used if 1 and 2 are not successful) Method 4. Save as an EPS Method 1 is the simplest, as one can simply place the AutoCAD drawing in the Illustrator file by using the place command. However in this method the drawing is not at any particular scale and needs to be scaled manually using a scale bar as a reference. This process can be tedious and not highly accurate. Method 2 involves one extra step of making a PDF file out of the autocad drawing. The advantage in using this method is that the output PDF can be at the required scale. Thus when we place the PDF into the Illustrator file it is at the required scale and requires no further adjustments in terms of scale. Creating a PDF: Note: Adobe PDF writer / Acrobat distiller are required to be able to convert a drawing from AutoCAD to a PDF. Creating a PDF is similar to printing from AutoCAD, the only difference is to selection of the Adobe PDF writer or Acrobat distiller as the printer. STEP - I. Selecting the Printer: 1. Open AutoCAD and open the footprint map created in the TUTORIAL # B1 2. Type plot in command line. From the File menu select Plot.. 3. A Plot dialog box will appear. 4. Click on the Plot Device tab if it is not already active. 5. Under the Plotter Configuration select the printer which is the PDF writer OR Acrobat distiller. Printer/Plotter Pulldown Select Plot Style Manager

3 CP-208 Plan Preparation Studio - Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald 3 STEP - II. Selecting the Print Area: 1. In the Plot Settings, under the Plot Area section click on window button. Click on Window to select the plot area 2. In the AutoCAD command line specify window for printing, Specify the first point will appear. 3. Select a point on one corner of the area to be printed. 4. The AutoCAD command line will prompt specify the other corner. Select the other corner which is diagonally opposite to the first selected point. For this tutorial, select the approximate area shown in the diagram below. Selected first point Selected Area Selected second point

4 CP-208 Plan Preparation Studio - Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald 4 STEP - III. Setting up the Plot Scale: Note: The scale at which you plot the footprint map to a pdf file is the scale at which it will be in when imported to Adobe Illustrator, so you need to make the scale decision at this point. Typical scales for footprint maps are 1 =20, 1 =50, 1 =100, 1 =200, 1 =400 etc. 1. In the Plot Settings change to custom in the Plot Scale section in the scale tab. 2. Type in the required scale. The drawing is at 1:1 scale which is the real scale in the model space in AutoCAD. If the drawing is in inches as the basic units, inches has to be selected in the printable area section as shown above. For example, to print the drawing at 1 =100 type the unit, which is 1 inch and type 1200 for drawing units. To print the drawing at 1 = 200 type the unit, which is 1 inch and type 2400 for the drawing units. 1. Pull down custom page size 2. Type in 1 inch equals 1200 units For this tutorial, select 1 =100 as the scale. Plot menu STEP IV. Selecting the Paper size: 1. Click on the Plot Settings tab. Under the Paper size and paper units select a paper size from the available options. 2. If the required paper size is not available in the list, a custom paper size can be made using the following steps: 3. To set the custom paper size, go to the Paper size pulldown menu, and select Post Script Custom Page Size. 3. Go to Paper size menu, pull down and select Post Script custom page size from the menu

5 4. Click on the Custom Properties Button. GRAPHICS TUTORIAL # B2 CP-208 Plan Preparation Studio - Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald 5 5. Click on the Paper/Quality Tab, Select Color, then hit the Advanced button. 6. Then Click on Paper/Quality 5. Click on Custom Properties Button 7. Click on Color 8. Click on Advanced 6. Click on the Paper Size window, which will open a pop-up window. Select the PostScript Custom Page Size. 7. Type in 48 and 36 in the width and height boxes. Click Inches. 8. Create a temporary PC3 file for the plot. Click OK. PostScript Custom Page Size Definition Box 11. Type in 48 and 36 in the Page size boxes 12. Select Inch for Units 9. Click on the Paper Size Pulldown 13. Click OK 10. Select Post- Script Custom Page Size 14. Create a temporary PC3 file 15. Click OK

6 CP-208 Plan Preparation Studio - Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald 6 9. The window below shows how the settings should look. The PostScript Custom Page Size should be selected. The Plot scale should be 1 to 1200 units. 1. In Plot window, select the PostScript Custom Page Size 2. Center the plot 3. Plot scale should be at 1 inch = 1200 units STEP -VI. Viewing the Print Preview: Note: It is good practice to generate a preview of the plotted drawing before sending the drawing to the printer or plotter. Generating a preview saves time as you can be sure of the end product. You can generate a preview from the Plot dialog box that shows exactly how the drawing will look when plotted, including lineweights, fill patterns, and other plot style options. 1. To create a full preview click on Preview at the bottom left corner of the Plot-Model window.

7 CP-208 Plan Preparation Studio - Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald 7 Paper Size Full preview showing how the drawing will print Note: The preview shows the same colors as used in the drawing and same thickness for all lines. However most often we need to print the drawing only in black lines and different line thicknesses for different layer. To change this we need to make a new plot style.

8 STEP -VII. Making a new Plot style: GRAPHICS TUTORIAL # B2 CP-208 Plan Preparation Studio - Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald 8 1. Select File...Plot Style Manager 2. Double Click on the Add A Plot Style Table Wizard. 3. Click Next. 4. Select Start from scratch and Select Next 5. Select the Color-Dependent Plot Style Table. 6. Type in the File name.

9 CP-208 Plan Preparation Studio - Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald 9 7. Click on the Plot Style Table Editor 8. Use this plot style table STEP - VIII. Changing the Output Color: 1. Click on the Plot Style Table Editor. A dialog box will now appear. Select all 256 colors by pressing the shift key and selecting all in the Plot styles under General tab. 2. In the Properties section, select Black instead of Use object color which appears. This will change all the colors to print as black. When placing a drawing into Adobe Illustrator, it is best if all lines in the AutoCAD drawing are in individual colors so that they can be pulled into individual layers using the select by color tool. Select all the colors you require to change the output color Selecting the output color

10 CP-208 Plan Preparation Studio - Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald 10 STEP - IX. Assigning Line Weight to Various Lines Based on Color: Note: One advantage of using different colors for different AutoCAD layers is that you can assign different line weights to each color and then every line drawn in a particular layer will print at the assigned line weight. 1. Select the color whose line weight you want to change, and click on lineweight and select the weight from the various available options. 2. This process can be repeated for any number of colors whose lineweight you want to change. 3. You will be able to see the line thickness change in effect when you see the full preview again. 4. Click on Save and Close button to finish the Plot style editor session. Note: How to Identify the colors used for different layers is explained in TUTORIAL # B1 - Creating a Footprint map using AutoCAD and an Aerial Photograph. For the purpose of the tutorial select the following lineweights for different layers. These are the two layers that need to be printed. Curb - Yellow mm Footprint- Green mm Parcel - Cyan mm These lineweights will ensure that the building footprints will stand out from the curb lines, and the parcel lines will be the lightest. Select the Color to change its lineweight Select the lineweight from the available options

11 CP-208 Plan Preparation Studio - Prof. Elizabeth Macdonald 11 STEP - IX. Checking the print preview and printing a PDF: 1. To check the various color and lineweight changes click on the Full preview to see the preview. You can zoom close to check it closely by clicking on the right click of the mouse. If the drawing looks as required hit plot in the pop up menu or hit exit and click on OK to print. Note: If the results are not satisfactory in the preview, you can go back to editing the plot style by clicking on the Edit button in the Plot style Editor section before making the pdf. 1 Save PDF file As dialog box will now appear. Plot Preview Use the right click of the mouse to get this menu 2 Type an appropriate name for the file, select the location where you want to save it and hit Save. 3 A PDF file will be saved on the selected location. Note: When this file is placed in Adobe Illustrator the drawing will be at the scale it was plotted to Acrobat distiller in.

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