Page T1.1 . 09 October 2002                     
ArchitectureWeek - Tools Department
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    PDF Workout

    by Evan H. Shu, FAIA

    Anyone who uses a computer these days should probably be familiar with the Portable Document Format (PDF). Developed by the software company Adobe, Inc., PDF is used for viewing digital documents such as tax forms or brochures that look just like their paper equivalents. PDF files can be viewed and printed with the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.

    Less well known, perhaps, is that architects can convert their own work into PDF files and send visually accurate, read-only versions of drawings to their clients and consultants. Some CAD systems, such as DataCAD 10, offer direct export to PDF, while AutoCAD and others can work with third-party utilities such as Jaws PDF Creator or ePrinter for Macintosh users. Mac OS X users can "Save As PDF" directly from the standard print dialog box.

    In addition, by purchasing the full version of Adobe Acrobat, architects can further enhance these CAD PDF files with some valuable extra features that may make it well worth the expense, especially for collaborative work.

    Linking PDF Files

    After you enjoy the positive feedback from a client who can view one of your drawing sheets on their computer screen, you may eagerly anticipate the next step: sending out a whole job set of drawings as PDFs. So you might painstakingly export each plot sheet from your CAD system to PDF, digitally compress it, and send it off.   >>>



    ArchWeek Image

    Ground floor plan showing bookmarks and "Post-It" notes.
    Image: Edward Wolfstein, AIA

    ArchWeek Image

    Thumbnails linked to large drawing sheets allow you to see the full set at a glance.
    Image: Edward Wolfstein, AIA


    Click on thumbnail images
    to view full-size pictures.

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