Disabling AutoCAD Layer Output when Plotting to PDF

As the near ubiquitous electronic plotting format, chances are more than one client has asked you for a PDF version of your drawing. Although more robust PDF tools certainly exist, the DWG to PDF.pc3 driver that’s included with AutoCAD is more than sufficient for many users. By default, the out-of-the-box PDF driver includes the layer information from your drawing. When the resulting PDF is opened in an application like Adobe Reader, users see a list of layers as shown below, which also allows the viewer of your PDF to turn layers on or off.

Autodesk Reader Layers
List of layers displayed within Adobe Reader.

Although the default PDF driver includes this information, creating a custom PC3 file provides the ability to disable this feature if you prefer. Here’s how:

  1. Choose Manage Plotters from the Application Menu. This will open the Plotters directory on your computer.
    Manage Plotters
  2. Click the Add-A-Plotter Wizard shortcut within the Plotter directory. The Add Plotter dialog opens.
    Add Plotter
  3. Click Next from the Add Plotter – Instruction Page to begin the wizard.
  4. The Begin page of the wizard allows you to designate where to install the new plotter from. The default PDF driver included with AutoCAD is available by selecting My Computer. Click Next to continue to the Plotter Model page.
  5. From the Plotter Model page of the wizard select Autodesk ePlot (PDF) as the Manufacturer, and DWF to PDF as the Model.
    AutoCAD PDF Driver
  6. Click Next three times to advance to the Plotter Name page. From this page, enter a name for your plotter. In the example below I’ve used the name DWG to PDF no Layers.
    Plotter Name
  7. Click Next to advance to the Finish page. From the Finish page, click the Edit Plotter Configuration button. The Plotter Configuration Editor dialog opens.
    Add Plotter Finish
  8. Navigate to the Custom Properties node within the Plotter Configuration editor, and then select the Custom Properties button. The DWG to PDF Properties dialog opens.
    Custom Plotter Configuration
  9. Uncheck the Include Layer Information checkbox under the Additional Output Setting group. Click OK to save your changes. The DWG to PDF Properties dialog is dismissed, and the Plotter Configuration dialog displays.
    PDF Properties
  10. Click OK to dismiss the Plotter Configuration dialog, and then click the Finish button within the Add Plotter dialog.

At this point you have created a new PC3 configuration that will allow you to generate PDF’s from AutoCAD without layer information. To use this plotter, simply open the PLOT command, and select your newly created from the list of Printers/Plotters.

Donnie Gladfelter
Donnie Gladfelter

Donnie is author of the book and Autodesk Official Press, AutoCAD and AutoCAD LT: No Experience Required, a columnist for AUGIWorld Magazine, Autodesk University speaker, and former member of the AUGI Board of Directors.

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