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PDF Plotting with Layers in ZWCAD

February 21, 2011

By Cora Maureen, an architecture designer and CAD software user

I am excited that PDF plotting has finally come true in ZWCAD 2011, something which I have expecting for many years. It helps me a lot when I need to share designs with customers and bosses.

During the design cycle, I usually need to send several drafts of my drawings to project leaders and customers, so that they can check and confirm whether the design meets their needs. It is not possible to install CAD software on each of their computers just to check my work.

Older versions of ZWCAD provide some file formats that I could use for drawing reviews, such as JPEG. But now I can print drawing files to PDF file. It has these advantages over the other formats:

a) PDF (portable document format) is a commonly used file format, and there are many free readers for viewing it.

b) With PDF plotting, I can choose the plot area I want, which is not supported by “Export” command.

c) With PDF plotting, I can set many properties, such as DPI (dot per inch), which makes the PDF image clearer with higher resolution. In addition, PDF plotting includes layer support, which is also not supported by “Export” command.

The PDF printer is automated installed after the installation of ZWCAD 2011, it can be found in the dropdown list in plot dialog box like below:



To enhance the quality and readability of PDF file, make the settings as shown in the following figure. To get to the Custom Options dialog box, follow these steps:

1) Select PDF plotter.

2) Click Properties.

3) Click the Custom Properties button in the dialog box.

In the settings, you can find that the maximum resolution can reach up to 4800. This is enough for ordinary images and displaying hatches. I often use the default settings, which have met my needs so far.



One more thing I want to share is that all user-defined layers in drawing files can be transferred to PDF files. This is the most important feature that caught my eye.
Here is an example of the result from PDF plotting. Notice that it supports all entities in drawings.





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