Install a pdf printer and use print to pdf, you will get better results. Try pdf redirect.
I have CutePDF, and this does work quickly.
I still have the problem of checking into the vualt, as we require PDFs to be generated as it does this. I had one drawing which took 20 mins.
I agree with Greg. You can print to pdf then save that print file and check that into the vault.
Curious, since the PDM has a pretty good viewer why do you need to check pdf's into the vault as well?
Solidworks can automatically generate a PDF on check in which 'hides' behind the actual drawing. You right click on the drawing in the vault and select 'view as PDF'
This makes it easy to view a drawing without dragging the part and drawing out of the vault.
I also would not like to manually manage a PDF as you suggest as it is more work.
It has been a year since I have seen the PDM vault, but from what I remember the viewing
of the drawings in SW Explorer was never an issue. Now maybe this setting that you speak of was set already and I
was not aware of it, but being a former administrator I clearly don't remember such a setting. I would try unchecking it
and see if the viewer (which I think is e-drawing viewer) works that way you need it to and will do the trick.
Just my 2 cents for what it's worth.
We also create a PDF for every drawing we have but we place them in a network folder for any person to view.
Every time a revision is made we place the old rev into a separate archive folder and replace it with the new PDF.
By storing the PDF's in the vault you limit the accessibility/visibility of them. Our PDF's are stamped as
"uncontrolled". What is controlled is the actual SolidWorks dwg file and it is only accessed by appropriate
engineering personnel responsible for maintaining/revising them.
I understand this won't work for everyone but it works great for us. Hope this helps.
ps. like others we use a separate PDF maker not the SolidWorks one.
After checking someone elses settings I can see that mine are set to maximum 600 DPI, and his are at 96DPI and still produces good quality PDF's.
Suddenly I'm OK after I change to the same settings, can't think why....