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AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

  • 1.  AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-14-2019 09:15 AM
    Can anyone enlighten me as to how to transform an AutoCAD 14 file into a PDF?  My local commercial printer can't print out a .dwg file, and says they need a .pdf.    Thanks.
    William Post Thomas, EAIA

  • 2.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-15-2019 05:24 PM
      |   view attached
    I believe that you can create a PDF from your print dialog box...   Initiate starting to print, then in the lower left corner of the dialog box there is a pdf button that lets you make a PDF, once the pdf, opens you can "Save as"  a pdf that your print shop can use.

    Mark Domiteaux AIA
    Domiteaux Architects
    Dallas TX

  • 3.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-15-2019 05:36 PM

    Thu. 8/15/2019  1735
    Thank you very much, Mark.  I'll give that a try.
    --  Bill Thomas.
    (Retired from William Post Architects, Philadelphia, PA)

  • 4.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-15-2019 05:46 PM

    Let me know if that works....

    Mark Domiteaux AIA
    Domiteaux Architects
    Dallas TX

  • 5.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-29-2019 10:27 AM
    A free way we used to do it is to print to PDF with the free CutePDF printer.

    Christopher DiSunno AIA
    DiSunno Architecture, P.C.
    Sag Harbor NY

  • 6.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-30-2019 09:28 PM
    I recall solving the issue pdf's in the late '90's. How is this still an issue? Why not just hit print then save or email as a pdf? 

    Thomas Nychay AIA
    Gant Nychay Architecture
    Seattle WA

  • 7.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-02-2019 08:01 PM
    Didn't that version of AutoCad already allow you to print to a pdf when you set up your printer options there should be several possible "pdf printers" available. I use  DWG to pdf.pc3 because for some reason the Adobe pdf or one of the others does not seem to work as well if at all. I have never had a problem. also my local (blue) printer prefers that the plot files come as a pdf and not as a plot file such as one of the old default HP plotters It also makes it very easy to print out a sample or test of the plot because I just send the pdf directly to my printer and get 11x17 plots immediately

    You might not get the line weights quite right depending upon your setup, but it should work

    Elliott Dudnik FAIA
    Elliott Dudnik + Associates
    Evanston IL

  • 8.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-03-2019 09:39 AM

    First, thanks to all that replied to my question about plotting pdf files. But I'm afraid I might not have made myself clear; I apologize. Let me try to clarify...

    The problem is not in creating a pdf file. That's easy, just select that option from the AutoCAD print screen. The problem is that when you try to get somebody else, say a service bureau who does NOT have AutoCAD on THEIR computer, to print out that pdf file in black & white (monochrome) it does not look "right", as it does when you plot a dwg file directly. The AutoCAD lineweights do not transfer to the pdf file.

    Instead, the colors that AutoCAD uses to represent lineweights in your workspace are what get printed from that pdf file. And since you're printing it in B&W (monochrome), some of those lines are dark, some are light, and some (like text yellow) are basically invisible when plotted out. And they are all the same thickness, just as they are when you create the drawing in AutoCAD's model space. You seem to lose the actual lineweight information in the process of creating the pdf file.

    So the question is (and was), how do you plot out a pdf file so that it looks identical to the (monochrome) dwg file when printed on paper, with lineweight thicknesses intact and all the lines being the same black level?

    [Rich] [German]
    [RG3 Architecture PLLC]
    [Lake Wylie] [SC]

  • 9.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-04-2019 05:36 PM
    Edited by Robert Larsen 09-04-2019 05:48 PM
    In "AutoCad Architecture" I can get line weights to plot properly by setting up the line thicknesses in the "Layer Properties" for the "Construct" and "View" drawing files and then changing the color of ALL layers to black in the "Layer Properties" for the "Sheet".  By printing the "Sheet" to PDF I get a PDF with the correct line thicknesses and black line color for a black and white final print.  I'm assuming there must be a similar way to do this in basic "AutoCad". (NOTE:  AutoCad Architecture Xref's the "Construct" and "View" files into the final "Sheet" file  - you might explore a similar process by setting up your final file for printing with your title block, etc. and then Xref your basic drawing file into it. Then change all the line colors to black in the file to be plotted. )  'hope this helps - I haven't used basic AutoCad for years so this is the best I can offer.

    Robert Larsen AIA
    Robert R. Larsen, A.I.A.
    Denver CO

  • 10.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-04-2019 05:51 PM
    I have set up a plot style named "PDF" where all the ink colors/line weights are set to plot in black for this very purpose. 

    Elizabeth Craver, AIA
    CRAVER Architects, LLC

    P: 703-765-2780
    F: 703-765-2747

  • 11.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-04-2019 06:22 PM
    not an AutoCAD user here, but -

    1.  Sounds like you are selecting "plot to pdf" directly from an AutoCAD screen icon.
    2.  Can you change settings for how  AutoCAD sends that out - so that it is "monochrome" and gives only black, no color?
    3.  Can you not send your printing request to a pdf printer, and have that pdf printer setup do monochrome only?

    Joel Niemi AIA
    Joel Niemi Architect
    Snohomish, WA

  • 12.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-04-2019 06:27 PM

    Rich, have you tried sending your line weight/type file to your printer?  It is a .ctb file and tells the printer what to do with all those colors.

    Another option is to look for that setting (I believe it is under Output) that tells your computer to include line weights and line types when making pdf's.

    Try both of these and good luck!


    Suzie Van Cleave, AIA



    4421 N Oakland Ave #200                 O 414.204.8917 

    Milwaukee, WI 53211                        C 847.778.1625




  • 13.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-04-2019 06:53 PM

    I believe you select PDF as your Printer, but keep your Plot Style Pen Assignments the same as you do when plotting, DO NOT PICK MONOCHROME.


    Your PDF then should be just as you intended, unless your pen assignments are to print in color.





    Jeffrey E. Flemming AIA, LEED AP, NCARB



    ADM Group, Inc.

    2100 West 15th Street, Tempe, Arizona 85281

    d. 480.285.3828  c. 602.329.8879

    Send large files here



    2014 AIA National Board of Directors Member

    2015/2016 AIA National Strategic Council Representative



  • 14.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-04-2019 07:19 PM
    Rich, I'm not sure this will answer your question, but I had the same problem.  I solved it by creating my own plot style table where every color, all 256 or however many there are, print black.  They don't display black on my screen, so I can still see my line weights quickly (which I organize by color) but  then I print in color, not monochrome, they all print equally black and hence the line weights show.  I'm self taught on CADD, so there is no doubt a more efficient way to do this process. but this works for me.

    Laura Kawa AIA
    Kawa Architects
    Rockville MD

  • 15.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-05-2019 08:00 AM
    You probably know that plot styles convert cad color to line weights of your choosing.
    I"ve always used plot configuration to plot, not matter if it goes to a printer or pdf.
    I end up with a black and white pdf with proper line weights.
    Not sure why your system is different.

    E Michael Shackley AIA
    Beta Design Group, P.C.
    Stone Mountain GA

  • 16.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-05-2019 11:19 AM
    Rich -

    Try this - When you go to write your pdf file in AutoCAD, expand the plot box so that you can see "Plot Options"....  then make sure that Plot Object Lineweights and Plot with Plot Styles are both checked.

    Hope that works.


    Norbert Langlinais AIA
    AIA South Louisiana
    Lafayette LA

  • 17.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-07-2019 11:17 AM
    Richard and others, always double-check when printing to PDF that your setup uses the same ctb you would have used to your plotter. 
    Ideally, a PDF should be a snapshot of your drawing as it would have looked printed on paper.  
    True, not everything translates perfectly - you may observe quality differences in grays or hatches, however...  
    If you see colors in the PDF where you expected black lines of different width - check that ctb!
    Also, when printing a PDF to paper, please double-check the printing scale, because PDF software often defaults to "fit to page."  I've had clients complain I didn't draw to scale, because they did not know, when printing out, to set their PDF software's setting to Scale: None.
    Leslie Levy 

  • 18.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-09-2019 08:48 PM
    Thank you Leslie. That's good info.

    Bryant Silliman AIA
    Tahoma CA

  • 19.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-15-2019 05:27 PM
    Before we got Bluebeam Revu for working with pdfs (Adobe acrobat writer would be similar), we used a free PDF writer called PRIMOpdf. It shows up in your printer control box as an available "printer", set your paper size and print to 100% for 1:1 and then you'll get a pdf.
    Just search on internet for "PrimoPDF" to download and install software on your computer.

    Good luck!

    Margaret Godolphin AIA
    Bjerke Architects, Pllc
    Helena MT

  • 20.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-16-2019 08:59 PM
    Thanks, Margaret
    I asked the question because my old version of AutoCAD 14 seems to have no dialog box that addresses PDF printing.  I will take your suggestions and a couple of other and investigate once I return from the wilds of Romania mid-September.
    -- Bill Thomas

  • 21.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-16-2019 12:52 PM
    You should be able to export the drawing sheets as .pdf, jpeg or dwg. Select pdf and forward to your printer.
    Hope this helps!

    Vincent Oles
    Vincent Oles Architect AIA, llc.
    Atascadero CA

  • 22.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-19-2019 06:28 PM
    The problem I find with plotting out a pdf file from AutoCAD is that the layer thickness information is lost in translation, and the pdf "sees" the layer colors instead. So, in a typical B&W print, some "colors" print dark, some light, some (yellow for text) are essentially invisible when printed. And all lines are the same thickness. I do not see a way to create the desired line thicknesses that mimic a plotted AutoCAD .dwg drawing in a B&W pdf print. So it just doesn't look very good. Is there a solution?

    Rich German
    RG3 Architecture, PLLC
    Lake Wylie, SC

  • 23.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-21-2019 11:29 AM

    You need Adobe Pro.  It keeps your lineweight settings and allows you to turn layers on and off.  The regular Adobe is just WYSIWYG.


    Karen S. Campbell

    Assistant Director & Architect

    LSU AgCenter Facilities Planning

    205 J. Norman Efferson Hall

    Baton Rouge, LA  70803

    (225) 578-8237  Phone

    (225) 578-7351  Fax




  • 24.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-23-2019 12:30 PM

    Thank you Karen! Just to clarify, if I upgrade to Adobe Pro to my computer and chose "DWG to PDF.pc3" from AutoCAD's printer/plotter dialog box in the printing screen, it will automatically seek out the "Pro" version of Adobe on my computer and create a file that will look like I want (proper lineweights shown as opposed to layer colors in file & print previews)? And that it can then be read by a printing service (or consultants) and plotted out in B&W with appropriate line weights? Or do they also need Adobe Pro installed on THEIR computer?

    Because that's my issue. I will be having these .pdf drawings printed by a service bureau (actually, a mail service that has a large-format plotter). This company does not have a copy of AutoCAD and can only print out .pdf's. They have Adobe Acrobat, but I am not sure if they have Adobe Pro.

    [Rich] [German]
    [RG3 Architecture PLLC]
    [Lake Wylie] [SC]

  • 25.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-27-2019 10:35 AM

    Hi Rich,

    Only you need Adobe Pro to create the pdf.  The people on the receiving end do not.  As Brad mentioned below, Bluebeam should also work.  We tried it years back and had problems with its OCR capabilities, so we stuck with Adobe Pro.  We haven't tried it recently to see if those issues have been fixed.


    Karen S. Campbell

    Assistant Director & Architect

    LSU AgCenter Facilities Planning

    205 J. Norman Efferson Hall

    Baton Rouge, LA  70803

    (225) 578-8237  Phone

    (225) 578-7351  Fax




  • 26.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-16-2019 03:49 PM

    Making a PDF file is like printing a regular drawing.
      First;       While in the drawing, click on the printer icon in the menu bar at the top of the drawing
      Second:  The Plot Layout box will open up.   Go down to where you see Printer/Plotter.   Your default printer or plotter                            should be listed there.    On the right hand side there is a downward facing arrow.    Click on the arrow                                      and a number of additional printing options will show up.    Scroll down to the one that says DWG TO PDF.pc3.
                      and click on it.    Now when you hit the print button the computer will create a PDF that should be located in
                      with your dwg's  for the project.
      Third:       Remember, like printing a drawing you have to go through all of the necessary selections  in the dialog box
                       to setup your drawing before you hit the print button.   Selections such as: color print or black and white, LT
                       scale, drawing date,  for permit, for bid etc. etc.   Then hit the preview button and if everything is OK hit the
                       print button.
      Last:         Remember who you are sending the PDF's to because anybody can print PDF's

     Good luck and hope this helps

    Michael Cullen AIA
    Michael B. Cullen AIA
    Elmhurst IL

  • 27.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 08-23-2019 02:48 PM
    Use Bluebeam Revu instead of Adobe.  It is geared toward the AE industry and I believe is less expensive than Adobe Pro.

    Brad McKenzie AIA
    Assistant Director of Business Operations
    Sapp Design Associates Architects, P.C
    Springfield MO

  • 28.  RE: AutoCAD 14 .dwg file into a PDF?

    Posted 09-10-2019 04:38 PM

    This question comes up with Vectorworks users as well, so I wanted to share the process.  When it comes to printing and exporting to PDF, Vectorworks is more accurate because of our WYSIWYG technology and true postscript application when it comes to printing.  We do not deal with line weight by color like in AutoCAD.  Line weights are assigned as an object attribute and is exported as PDF the way it is drawn or modeled. so there's no need to adjust colors etc.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Jennifer Niziolek
    Regional Account Manager
    Nemetschek Vectorworks, Inc
    Crystal Lake IL