Convert AutoCAD files to PDF (Windows)

Use PDFMaker to convert AutoCAD files from within the AutoCAD application. You can also use the Batch Conversion feature to convert many AutoCAD files in one operation. Even if you don’t have AutoCAD, you can convert AutoCAD files to PDF from Acrobat.

Acrobat PDFMaker allows you to preserve selected layers and layouts when converting AutoCAD files to PDF.

Convert AutoCAD files when AutoCAD is not installed

The default Acrobat installation installs Autodesk filters. These filters allow you to convert files in DWG, DWF, DST, DWT, and DXF format into PDF, without the native application installed.

  1. In Acrobat, choose File > Create > PDF From File.
  2. (Optional) From the Files Of Type menu, select Autodesk AutoCAD, then click the Settings button and change the conversion settings as needed. The settings are the same as the AutoCAD-specific Acrobat PDFMaker settings, with the following additions:
    Configuration Preferences
    Click this button to specify resource directories for SHX font files, plot configuration files, and plot style tables for AutoCAD drawings. If an SHX Font File Search Path is not specified, all SHX fonts are replaced with MyriadCAD in converted PDFs.

    Always Show This Dialog During Conversion
    When selected, this dialog box appears during the conversion process.

  3. Locate and select the AutoCAD file.
  4. If the Adobe PDF Settings For Autodesk AutoCAD Documents dialog box appears, specify the settings as needed, and click OK.

Convert AutoCAD files when AutoCAD is installed

When converting individual AutoCAD files, you don't usually need to change page size and plotting settings. PDFMaker uses the appropriate layout page size and plotting information to create a correctly sized PDF file.

  1. To change the PDF conversion settings, choose Adobe PDF > Change Conversion Settings in AutoCAD.
  2. Do one of the following:
    • Click a button in the Adobe PDF toolbar: Convert To Adobe PDF  or Convert To Adobe PDF And Send For Review .

    • Choose Adobe PDF > Convert To Adobe PDF. 

    • Choose Adobe PDF > Convert To Adobe PDF And Email. 

    • Choose Adobe PDF > Convert To Adobe PDF And Send For Review. 

  3. In the Choose Layouts dialog box, add or remove layouts as needed. To reorder the layouts, select a layout from the Layouts In PDF list, and click Move Up or Move Down.
  4. To determine how the AutoCAD layers are converted, select one of the following, and then click Continue:
    • Flatten All Layers. When layers are flattened, only those entities belonging to layers that are not frozen and are printable appear in the converted PDF.

    • Retain All Or Some Layers. In the next dialog box, specify the layers to include in the resulting PDF.

  5. Specify a filename and location in the Save As dialog box, and click Save.

Select AutoCAD layers to convert

If you choose to retain all or some AutoCAD layers when converting to PDF, you can specify which layers are preserved in the PDF.

  1. In AutoCAD, start to convert an AutoCAD file and select the Retain All Or Some Layers option.
  2. To show specific AutoCAD layers in the Layers In Drawing list, do any of the following:
    • Choose an option from the Named Layer Filters menu to list all layers that fit that criterion.

    • Select the Invert option to list all layers except those layers that are described by the selected choice in the Named Layer Filters menu.

    • To change the sort order of the layers, click the headings.

      Note: To change the On, Frozen, or Plot properties for a layer, click Cancel, change the properties in the AutoCAD drawing, and restart the procedure.
  3. To select the AutoCAD layers to convert, do any of the following:
    • Choose a previously saved set of layers from the PDF Layer Settings menu.

    • Select one or more layers from the Layers In Drawing List.

    • To convert all of the layers in the drawing, click Add All Layers, and go to step 5.

  4. To add the selected AutoCAD layers to the Layers In PDF list, do one of the following:
    • To convert the selected AutoCAD layers to individual layers within a PDF layer set, click Create Layer Set. This action creates a folder of layers in the Layers navigation pane in Acrobat.

    • To convert the selected AutoCAD layers to individual layers, click Add Layer(s).

  5. Optionally, do any of the following in the Layers In PDF list:
    • To reorder layers, drag an item up or down in the list.

    • To include a visibility property that can be switched on or off in Acrobat, deselect Locked On for the PDF layer. To lock the resulting PDF layer’s visibility on, select Locked On.

    • To save the current list of selected AutoCAD layers, click Add PDF Setting. Later, you can retrieve this list from the PDF Layer Settings menu.

  6. Click Convert, specify a filename and location, and then click Save.

Convert AutoCAD files in batches

  1. Choose Adobe PDF > Batch Conversion.
  2. Specify your preferences for layers, page size, plot style, and output PDFs. Click Conversion Settings to specify the Acrobat PDFMaker settings.
  3. In the DWG List, do any of the following:
    • Click Add Folder or Add Files, and then specify the folder or files.

    • To load a previously saved list of files, click Append List, and then specify the list.

    • As needed, expand individual files and select or deselect the items you want, such as model space and layouts. To exclude or include all model space, click the associated buttons.

    • To exclude a file from the conversion, deselect the file box. As needed, select or deselect all of the files in the list, change the order of the files, remove files, or clear the list.

    • To show the complete file paths, select Expand File Name(s).

    • To save the DWG list for later use, click Save List. This action saves the list in its current state, including the file order and file selections. You can retrieve this list at any time by clicking Append List.

  4. Click Convert.
  5. Once the conversion is finished, you can click Save Details to save a log file of the conversion.