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Revit 2017 fails to print to PDF

218 REPLIES 218
Message 1 of 219
93899 Views, 218 Replies

Revit 2017 fails to print to PDF

When i try to print to PDF the loading bar either freezes or doesn't start up at all, no pdf's being made. I mainly use "multiple selected views/sheets into a single file" option.

I tried the long route by creating seperate pdf files to combine after, but even some single pdf sheets aren't being made! I've lowered the resolution and all that as well with no solution. SOO FRUSTRATING, i can't send drawing sets to clients...


Every new version of Revit comes with new bugs and issues its very frustrating....


Please help.

218 REPLIES 218
Message 141 of 219
in reply to: Anonymous

Thanks @Anonymous, could you send me journal from your machine and your coworkers' machine with the following steps:


1. Open Revit

2. Open file (same file if you can for the sake of an apples to apples comparison)

3. Batch print 

Sasha Crotty
Director, AEC Design Data

Message 142 of 219
in reply to: MattFried



I had the same issue with Revit 2017 using the same option you mentioned. I found that if I click "Preview" before I print, this doesn't happen. If I try to print without previewing however, I get the same failure - the PDF bar freezes and it never generates the file. It's very strange. I hope this helps someone looking for a quick fix to try.



Message 143 of 219
in reply to: MattFried

A co-worker of mine mentioned that he has noticed a dialogue box was located behind his Revit application window when he was trying to create pdf files and he thought it froze.  I wonder if that is what is happening to some of you.  I forget what the dialogue box was.  Perhaps file overwrite warning or file location? I'm not sure. Once he addressed the dialogue box, the pdf was created.

Message 144 of 219
in reply to: rick.kremer

it doesn't work, it's really frustrating

Message 145 of 219
in reply to: Anonymous

This is Autodesks' workaround
Workaround Option 1: Follow these instructions:
1) Open the printing preferences for the Adobe PDF printer. See "Adobe PDF
printing preferences (Windows)" in the Adobe Acrobat Help article Using the
Adobe PDF printer.
2) In the printing preferences dialog box, click the Adobe PDF Settings tab.
3) For Adobe PDF Output Folder, choose or browse to a specific folder. Do
not choose "Prompt for Adobe PDF filename."
4) Do not choose "Rely on System Fonts"
5) Click OK.
Message 146 of 219
in reply to: MattFried

This may sound weird, but it works on all machines in our firm.  

If we print from the Revit menu, it will hang most of the time, but if we use the CTRL+P shortcut, it works.


Message 147 of 219
in reply to: mchristop

yepp.  print command. preview.  i don't even try setting up a PDF.  i just go straight to preview with the default printer, go back to print dialog box, and go about setting up PDF.  ten second detour to rid myself of ten minute/hour/day hangup.  print is done.


even better, after that, as long as Revit stays open, i don't need to do another preview.

Message 148 of 219
in reply to: arthur

I don't even need to do a preview. Just CTRL-P and straight to adobe.  For some reason going to the print from the file menu makes it hang and CTRL-P doesn't

Message 149 of 219
in reply to: chris

This method also worked for me. I go directly to Print/Print Preview/Print then review my settings and voila!

Message 150 of 219
in reply to: MattFried

What's worse is when you are trying to read a support forum and you have to scan through people complaining instead of people trying to actually get a solution. (Yes, I realize the irony in complaining about complaining.)

Message 151 of 219
in reply to: Anonymous

OK, now I am going to complain about people who complain about people that

Complaints in a support forum are good-they provide a measure of how serious
a problem is and how many people are affected by it. They let you know
whether the problem is truly with the software, or just in your methods of
using the software. Most importantly, they carry a message to the people
that can actually fix the problem.

The end product of an architect's or an engineer's efforts has historically
been paper prints. Now, it is most likely a PDF file. Contractors use PDFs
for estimating and bidding, now that they have the software for making
takeoffs from PDF files. States are beginning to take PDF submissions for
review, and PDFs will undoubtedly become the preferred format for

PDFs save trees.

This thread is probably 2 years old. When I first posted my complaint, I had
no idea it would strike such a chord. It describes a serious problem, one
that costs designers-although it does seem to have produced a number of 3rd
party products that do work.

Only Autodesk can offer a real solution. The rest of us have to be satisfied
with complaining.
Message 152 of 219
in reply to: vewright

Yes, still amazed I get responses to this thread.  Interesting to see if Revit 2018 is any better.

Message 153 of 219
in reply to: MattFried

Been using Revit 2018 for almost a year. No improvement. Same old crap, same old evasions from Autodesk. I have completely lost any hope or expectation that they either can or will provide a fix.
Message 154 of 219
in reply to: fred.sobottka

Revit 2018 is just as bad on pdf, I'm not one to complain and I love Revit which is the best in my experience at using microchips to do the grunt work although Revit 2018 edition seems to have a lazy streak in packaging with families out of the box requiring upgrade, but the pdf problem is absolutely soul destroying; after all the hours work getting your views to look good to impress your client or other authority you're left looking at your screen wondering how am I going to get this out ( I've used screen shots out of pure exasperation and I've registered several tech issues only to be told it's not Autodesk, it's other software providers fault!). Pity Autodesk can't get Revit developers talking to the CAD developers on the print to pdf options.
Message 155 of 219
in reply to: MattFried

Downloaded CutePdf and that didn't work either 😠

Message 156 of 219
in reply to: Anonymous

Hi Michael

It seems that Autodesk does not cross-pollinate technology across their different product teams -  AutoCAD plotting is fast, reliable and provides excellent pdf files. (although you have to be careful with the blacks when using Autocad plotted pdf files for Adobe artwork). Revit, on the other hand, is fragile and often crashes. In Autocad, I can plot over 8,000 pdf files over a 24 hour period, something I would not even attempt to do using Revit.


You would think that they would combine solutions across their related technology platforms? Maybe Revit 2019 will handle this better? 

Message 157 of 219
in reply to: ktaltd

They are written using different programming languages, by different programmers.  They are different platforms altogether.  There are nothing can be shared except for the logo and the stock value.


It's like you are expecting Aston Martin to share their car technology with their baby stroller manufacturing.

Message 158 of 219
in reply to: ToanDN

Hi Toan


Like the analogy but an Aston Martin and a baby stroller do not share the same racetrack. AutoCAD and Revit DO! - with very different focuses but both systems have to plot pdf files - reliably.


For me, AutoCAD does, and Revit does not.


Fundamentally, code is code, whether it is in C++, C# or what ever. Revit and AutoCAD come from very different code bases but the fundamental processes for plotting pdf files was worked out and applied years ago to many products - Revit is still not "Industrial Strength" in this area - the plotting is clumsy and time-consuming - or requires 3rd party addons to work reliably.


This aspect of Revit should not be an issue!


Message 159 of 219
in reply to: Anonymous

I use CAD & Company's PLOT MANAGER, which uses the novaPDF PDF printer. So
far, it has been reliable. Not free, but it works.
Message 160 of 219
in reply to: ToanDN

Different programming languages and different programming teams is no
excuse. The problem is more likely corporate politics.

All software is modular, consisting of subroutines, functions, Dynamic Link
Libraries (.dll), and other modules. In fact, many applications consist of
modules written in several different languages. Microsoft Visual Studio
shows you how to create such applications. There is no reason why a printing
module could not be shared among several applications.

The problem more likely can be found in the history of Revit. Autodesk did
not write Revit-they purchased it. A group of developers from PTC
(Parametric Technologies Corporation), developers of Pro/Engineer, created
Revit, using technology borrowed from PTC, which had borrowed technology
from Computervision, and so on. Revit was written in C++. AutoCAD was
originally written in C and assembly language, and later extended to C++.
Even later it incorporated AutoLISP, which was derived from XLISP, which
ultimately descended from Lisp 1.5 (1955 - 1965), Visual LISP, VBA, .NET and

Also lurking in the history of Revit is Patrick J. Hanratty, founder of
Manufacturing and Consulting Services (MCS). Hanratty developed CAD
technology that was licensed by Computervision (CADDS), Gerber Scientific
(IDS 3), and McDonnell Douglas (Unigraphics). Among Hanratty's pearls of
wisdom was "Never generate anything closely coupled to a specific
architecture. And make sure you keep things open to communicate with other
systems, even your competitors.) Sounds like good, and relevant, advice.

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