Space Management Specialist Mitch Hirschklau shares a method his company uses to reduce the file size of scanned PDF files of drawings that require a signature for submittal.
"In my office, we maintain a hard copy of project floor plans because they have manual sign-off signatures on the sheet. From time to time we are asked to send an electronic copy of these files to some office or agency. Scanning the original hard copy produces, typically, an enormous PDF (data file) footprint — so big, in fact, that we couldn't e-transmit it to the requesting office.
"My 'Stupid PDF Trick' solution was to scan in only the signature portion of the title block. (Even this generated a very large data footprint TIFF file.) Then I attached the image in a viewport overlaying the appropriate TB signature area in a copy of the indicated CAD file.
"After that, I used the AutoCAD 2010 Plot-to-PDF function to generate a PDF file. To my surprise, the PDF that method generated was vastly smaller than the whole hard-copy PDF — and substantially smaller than the attached TIFF signature (image) file! I don't know if my trick will work in all cases for everyone, but it might be a useful alternative for some."
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: Signatures on drawings are an important feature. It is more difficult to physically sign drawings in an electronic format. This tip makes good use of many features in AutoCAD. The tipster created an electronic version of the signature needed, referenced it into the appropriate DWG file, and created a PDF of that drawing with the signature. AutoCAD can reference all sorts of image files: JPG, TIFF, PDF, and DWF. There are many uses for referencing image files, and this is an interesting use that stemmed from the need to reduce the file size of a scanned PDF file. PDF versions of a drawing create an archive that is easily transmitted and read.