Space Management Specialist Mitchell Hirschklau shares a tip about plotting to PDF natively in AutoCAD.
"I would suggest that users make the AutoCAD 2010 Plot to PDF function their default plot routine (except for in-house 'check' plots). The disadvantage of an extra step — i.e., having to create the PDF rather than plot directly from AutoCAD — is more than made up for by the following advantages:
- The user now has a ready-made file that can be exchanged or exported to other users (even non–CAD users).
- Users have a 'plot file' whereby they can, using the retained AutoCAD layer controls, plot multiple versions without opening AutoCAD or loading up the requisite file. For example, a floor plan with furniture can be quickly accessed and re-plotted with the furniture turned off.
- The ability of non–CAD users to manipulate this file is not to be underestimated! Whether they are in-house or around the world, they can plot and re-plot the file, with or without various layers.
- Also, Plot to PDF files generated in AutoCAD 2010 (and newer) have a much smaller data file footprint than those generated with previous versions — we're talking KB instead of MB! Before, only a single PDF could be e-mailed, at most; now you can e-mail a complete drawing set!"
Notes from Cadalyst Tip Patrol: It is good practice to create a static archive file of all drawings that are submitted to a client, vendor, or state agency. That way there is a historical record of what was done.
Plotting to PDF in AutoCAD is done in the same way any file is plotted. Select PDF instead of your plotter or printer. If you use the Plot to PDF setting that comes with AutoCAD, you don't need to purchase third-party software, and it retains the layers. When a PDF that was created with Autodesk's PDF option is xref'd, AutoCAD can snap to the linework.
I would also suggest you consider DWF or DWFx files as an alternative to PDF files. They are easier to handle and can do more with the markup manager in AutoCAD.