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AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems


We just upgraded from AutoCAD 2007 to 2011 and have a problem with the output of the default DWG to PDF plotter.  The PDF files it creates look horrible in the Adobe reader compared to the 2007 version. When you print it out it looks ok but visually on the screen it is almost unreadable unless you zoom in.  See the attachment.  Has anyone had similar problems with versions 2008 to 2011?  Is there a fix?

Steve Smith  

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

I would guess that you've printed it on a full size sheet seeing as you're viewing it at a 30% zoom, hence the decline in visible quality. If you want to view it on screen, print it on 8.5" x 11". The problem is not the pdf that AutoCAD created, but rather the way that Adobe Reader is displaying the large file.  

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

I have seen this as well.  It does not bother me because drawings are usually printed, and like you say, zooming in fixes the issues.  It is not just Adobe reader - if you have the full Adobe version and print using the Adobe driver the drawings look better on the screen (but, the Adobe driver does not do as well for me in other respects).  Francesca has an idea - print to a smaller paper size for the screen.  Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems


I tried printing to an A size, 8.5" x 11", sheet and got pretty much the same results.  Slightly better but not by much.  

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

the pdf driver that autocad uses isn't very good, I use adobe for better clarity.  Supposedly 2011 they were going to have a great autocad based pdf'er...guess not   

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

The answers I got from Autodesk were less than helpful.  Basically they told me to download some free PDF writers because this is an issue they really don't care about because it was something they put in because of customer demand, not something they feel that was needed.  So much for the customer is #1.

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

Yes, I'm having the same problem. We just installed 2011, and I had to close and reopen the drawing file when the drawing orientation and the sheet orientation got crosswise. Can't imagine how it happenned, but no matter what I did, it just wouldn't correct. Whew ! I reloaded, tho and all's well.

My image quality using the ADOBE Printer is VERY GOOD, however, but I PDF to 11x17 sheet size, or 8-1/2x11 when appropriate.

I've used PDF995 with great results for years. We have the full ADOBE Acrobat editor with our new AutoCAD, and I was looking for gread things ! When I found the ADOBE printer on my list, I thought I was using the Adobe driver. We've all (who used PDF) either used the free PDF'er that came with READER or a free-ware like PDF995 (I paid for the license, tho- their entire product line makes it worth it !) with great results. Its possible that with 2011, A-DESK realized PDF'ing was competing with their own broad-publishing file formats.

I'll install my PDF995 along side my ACAD-2011 and post back here with the results.

Good Luck !

C. Fee


RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

I have gone around and around on this issue over the years.  The best solution I have seen posted yet is to first print to a DWF (i.e. publish) and then use AutoDesk Design Reviewer to convert the DWF to PDF using PDF995 or similar.

Conversion is much faster and do not get all the bugs of AutoCAD.

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

Are you plotting to PDF a smaller than normal sheet size?  If so you probably want to use some kind of half .ctb file.

I know if we size down a larger sheet to 8.5x11 that we need a half type of ctb to work.

Civil Development Group, LLC
Los Angeles Civil Engineering specializing in Hillside Grading

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

Line widths by color and out to ADOBE PDF and I get great results from A-Size to A-Size, B-Size to A or B Size and any size larger to any size smaller. I installed the PDF995 with the same results. Line widths stay zero, and are plotted to widths by color. There are settings to apply line widths to PDF plots, but I set all my widths to default, and if I need widths I apply the width to the pen color. I have to guess this is still a pretty standard approach, but with other options available, I've found returning to this one most effective in most applications. Half-type CTB settings ? Whew! You guys are able to go way deeper than I'm willing to explore ! I look forward to further posts here !  

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

We plot our PDF to the same size sheet as the drawing, I.E. D=D, C=C....  I have tried changing the line widths in the plot style settings but the resulting plots showed no difference.  I also tried plotting only to A or B size files with no improvement.

I downloaded and switched to the CutePDF printer and everything was looking great until a salesman with an older version of the Adobe reader said that the screen views are looking just like the ones created with the DWG to PDF drivers.  After testing various cumputer systems in the office I discovered the following:

If you are using any version older than Adobe Reader 9 your get the poor screen view symptom, version 9 however looks fine.  But if you have any version of the full Adobe Acrobat, (we tested versions 6, 7 and 8) the screen views also look fine.

So as long as we tell everyone to use version 9 of the reader or any full version of Acrobat, they can screen view the PDF files created with CutePDF just fine.  Go figure.  

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

I've noticed the same thing as the OP.  However,  I don't understand what the big deal is if it prints out fine.

However, on a related note, I would recommend using the Adope PDF pc3 file.  I have found that the DWG to PDF pc3 file tends to cut off part of the title block.   

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

We have troubles with the Acrobat pc3 driver not keeping mtext with background masks above the objects below, and some title block issues.  Mostly do to with shading.  We find dwg to pdf works better most of the time although when publishing to pdf every drawing has to be scrutinized for missing information.  It's an imperfect world!

RE: AutoCAD 2011 DWG to PDF plotting problems

Find unchecking the smooth line art box in the Adobe reader preferences helps with the on screen visual.

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