Whoever stated that PDFs aren't meant for printing and that it should be TIFF has no idea what you're talking about. PDF is the accepted plot format for many customers. The customer and the people using the software drive the market, not the other way around. What is DWF? It's nothing... it's PDF and Adobe and Autodesk need to sit down an hash out some common issues. I can't even send a 20 MB PDF to a HP plotter because it's "flattening" and then timing out. I've tried a lot of different things, but it's really pretty lame thus far. This feature clearly needs to be refined for 2013 etc.
"flattening" is when you, the user, set the PDF to have "levels": this is done when you decie to include your layer list, or turn on Overwrite feature in the PC3 file.
"flattening" in PDFs has been around forever, you can recreate it in Photoshop (yes, it has layers too) and any other high end graphics program from all vendors that offer "layers".
Paper prints are flat.
In Photoshop, you can and must "flatten" before creating the PDF to avoid the issue: you do the same in AutoCAD by turning off the features I noted above that you (or your CAD Manager, whomever is the one in control) turned on.
So if that truely is the case, why do I turn these features "OFF" and still result in "flattening" at the time of printing the PDF? Is it issues with transparencies? I'm guessing transparency setting was a feature that was added to AutoCAD on a whim and is what ultimately has created issues plotting PDFs. Something isn't right with how AutoCAD prints files with aerial imagery, and transparencies. AutoCAD is a GIS / Mapping application the last time I checked. If multiple offices, clients, and print shops can't print a PDF generated from AutoCAD than the issue is with AutoCAD i'm affraid.
Maybe it's an issue with large image files, but I would trade 95% of every new feature introduced from R14 to 2012 for a product that could print to PDF without issues.
Yes, those add layers too: if you want to only use AutoCAD as an old-school drafting board (that would be R14 BTW), do so by never using all these features in your current AutoCAD. You can get R14 in your current version, it's not rocket science, you know exactly how to do it
Try a 3rd party "free" PDF driver if you don't want the featureset of the built-in PDF driver and almost all for-pay PDF drivers: most freeware PDF drivers totally ignore layers and layering (reason for the price), generate flat 2D PDFs all day long. Control of output is very limited, but that's all part of the price and the lack of features. Oh, and if you like the freeware you find, please do NOT buy it's for-purchase version, you will then get the featureset you want to avoid and we'll have to start all over again.
I have also read through this and other posts and changed the settings in batchplot publish print options as suggested, but am still getting the "flattening" when printing the PDF.
I agree that it must be AutoCAD's PDF converter that is causing the issue and not Adobe. Autodesk can certainly improve on this as it's a major effeciency issue and the workarounds stated in these posts just waste more time.
To compare: we mainly use MicroStation for 90% of our production work, due to state standards, and plotting the PDFs it creates (with or without level/layer information and images) is way smoother and requires no flattening. The PDF's themselves appear more clear on the screen as well.
To avoid CAD program bashing, let me say that both platforms have their strengths and room for improvement. With at least 5 years experience on each I can say that neither one is overall better than the other. They are both great products with a similar purpose, but with different approaches.
In the DWG to PDF.PC3 file, turn off Layer List creation and change from the Merge Control OverWrite feature: two features your Adobe driver does not do and why you don't see 'flattening' in PDFs created with Adobe drivers.
It's all about you creating the 'feature' and not turning it off: the two options are discussed in this thread and dozens of others related to this problem. You do the same in Adobe Photoshop/Illustrator to stop 'flattening' in PDF printing too.
Thank you Dean,
The screen shots really helped. I had been changing those settings in Publish Options (Clip1 attached), but I guess it doesn't affect the PC3 file? I changed the settings (see Clip2 and Clip3 attached) as you showed and saved them to the DWG to PDF.PC3 file. Then I published my drawings with the updated PC3 file.
Maybe I missed something, but the resulting PDF still goes through 'flattening' when printing.
Please let me know of anything else I may have missed. I read in other threads that wipeouts may have something to do with this also, I do have some wipeouts in my drawings. Please help me figure this out.
Sorry, but I cannot replicate your issue here with any PDFs I've created using the DWG to PDF.PC3 file as noted above, printing in Adobe Acrobat 9 or Foxit Reader and any printer we have. Attached is a test file that worked fine too.
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