8 Replies Latest reply on Nov 14, 2011 10:41 AM by Denny Metcalf

    Print PDF vs Save PDF

    Terry Raymond

      I spent some time trying to make a good PDF of a drawings with both wireframe and shaded views.  Thought I would share what I found here as this information is hard to find on the forum.

       

      What I learned:

      Use print to PDF for wireframe drawings.

      Use save as PDF for drawings with shaded views.

      High quality print setting in Solidworks is useless.

      An option for a good render instead of using TIFF - use Save to PDF with a 600 DPI, then convert the PDF to PNG with PDFXchange.

       

       

      Some of what I tried below...

       

      Using Print to PDF:

      The printed PDF without the shaded view is 250kb.

      By default, the wireframe views look great (vector lines I think), but the shaded view has ~100dpi and looks like crap.  400kb file.

      If I select "high quality" inside solidworks, & "standard quality" (600dpi), inside Adobe distiller, the whole sheet is pixelated to 300dpi. 700kb.

      If I select "high quality" inside solidworks & "high quality" (2400dpi) inside Adobe distiller, the whole sheet is still 300pdi. 2200kb.

      Couldn't get better results with PDF reDirect.

       

      Using Save to PDF:

      The saved PDF without the shaded view is 430kb.

      By default, the "Shaded/Draft geometry DPI" is set to 96.  Looks identical to the default PDF print.  560kb.

      If I set the "Shaded/Draft geometry DPI" 300, the PDF looks exactly how I want it to with vector wireframe lines, 300dpi image.  1400kb.

       

      Can't figure out how to get the "Shaded/Draft geometry DPI" setting to apply to printing, would be ideal.

       

      The image when saved as a lossless PNG is 4000x2500 pixels and has a file size of 200kb.

      So the ideal file size should be 450kb PDF.

      But PDF's don't seem to compress pictures very well.. guess that is not SW's fault. =)

       

       

      If I'm overlooking something please let me know...

        • Re: Print PDF vs Save PDF
          Denny Metcalf

          These are two distinctly different things.

           

          Printing to Adobe PDF uses the distiller to do the work where as saving to Adobe PDF users the translator. Major differences include bookmarks, color correction, layers and rasterizing.

           

          Try this:

           

          When I want to print anything I don't actually go [File] > [Print]. In fact, I have this hidden so you don't even see it without expanding. I go to [File] > [Page Setup...] and have set my keyboard shortcut accordingly.

           

          This isn't exactly an apples to apples comparison because I used different settings but see these examples:

           

          Save As PDF:

          SaveAsPDF.png

           

          Print PDF with Distiller:

          PrintAsPDF.png

          Notice that not just color profiles are different, as well as quality, but also the absense of goodies that come with the SolidWorks translator.

          • Re: Print PDF vs Save PDF
            Russell Saari

            Terry,

             

            The thing I do is Save to PDF (via Solidworks) but I increase the Line Font size in Solidworks Options to .0197" or higher to make the line definition a bit more clear (it looks really bad in solidworks until it is saved to pdf). It also allows you to put into catalogs or user manuals and fully edit the pdf using Adobe Illustrator. This is an example of one of the diagrams in pdf.

            (Click Image to View Full Size)

            PDF Sample.JPG

              • Re: Print PDF vs Save PDF
                Terry Raymond

                Russel,

                Wow those would be fat lines.. mine are set to 0.007.  Are your pdfs raster or vector?  I can't tell from your ss.  What is the advantage using save instead of print for wireframe views?  The only difference I am seeing is a larger file size for the saved PDFs.

                  • Re: Print PDF vs Save PDF
                    Russell Saari

                    Terry,

                     

                    My PDF's are Vector. I don't really think there is advantage or disadvantage. I just seem to have a bit more luck saving through Solidworks and using the Options Button to change DPI etc. I think the main difference and the reason for files being larger is the options to later edit in Illustrator, or another program after the fact. I noticed printing to pdf sometimes groups sections of notes/dimensions and sometimes views, while saving in solidworks lets you select any note/dimension or views seperately. The reason I need to make my lines so big is scaling down to fit in the catalog and user manuals, but they look really crisp and professional when completed.

                      • Re: Print PDF vs Save PDF
                        Terry Raymond

                        Ah ok, so your sheet size is something really big that you scale down?  Something like 34x44 that you scale down to 8.5x11?

                        Yes I've noticed the text is hard to edit in the printed pdfs.  Which is actually a plus for us; we don't want people editing our mfr drawings.

                        • Re: Print PDF vs Save PDF
                          Denny Metcalf

                          Russell Saari wrote:

                           

                          I don't really think there is advantage or disadvantage. I just seem to have a bit more luck saving through Solidworks and using the Options Button to change DPI etc. I think the main difference and the reason for files being larger is the options to later edit in Illustrator, or another program after the fact. I noticed printing to pdf sometimes groups sections of notes/dimensions and sometimes views, while saving in solidworks lets you select any note/dimension or views seperately. The reason I need to make my lines so big is scaling down to fit in the catalog and user manuals, but they look really crisp and professional when completed.

                           

                          Just comparing the two screenshots I posted earlier you can see on the leftside some of what the translator is doing when you run a Save As. Inventor, by default, exports layers as well which is pretty useful.

                           

                          Your screenshot looks very nice, you have your settings dialed in very well for what you do.