While Design Web Format (DWF) is better for drawings, and models, you sometimes still do need to make PDFs.
If you already have the DWF the simplest way to do this is ‘print’ to PDF from the DWF file. Many machines already have PDF writers, installed by other software, but if not get the excellent free CutePDF Writer.
This works really well, often better than direct PDF output from the apps, with one little hitch. Some mark-up tools, like area measure, in Autodesk Design Review use transparency (below left) and some PDF writers output it as solid (below right).
The solution lies in a well hidden area of the Autodesk Design Review print dialog. Before you hit print to the PDF Writer enable the Advanced > Pre-Process Bitmaps > Turn data into a bitmap before printing option.
The resulting PDF will look just like the DWF (below) but takes longer to make and can be slower to zoom, regenerate and print depending on the reader application used.
While you can have transparency in the PDF first suggest the recipient tries DWF. Often people don’t know the many advantages this free format & viewer offers:
- 2D/3D mark-up (even of PDFs opened with Autodesk Design Review which are converted to DWF!).
- File merge/collation of any document printed with the free DWF Writer. Collate drawings, text, spread sheets, images etc. in a single DWF file package.
- Simple space planning with real world measure tools
- It even does a better job of displaying a Revit model structure (output as 3D DWF) than Revit does!