Control PDF Layers

The ability to have control over layers while in a PDF is a cool/useful feature but there are times when you might not want to include them. Here’s how to turn OFF (or on) layers when creating PDFs.

(Below is an example of a PDF with Layers)

When the Plot dialog box is open: Select the “DWG To PDF.pc3” plotter and then click the “Properties” button that is next to where you selected the plotter.

  • Click the “Device and Settings” tab
  • Select “Custom Properties”
  • Click the “Customize Properties” button at the bottom

  • Uncheck the box next to “Incude layer Information”
  • Click OK

From the Export option:

  • Open the Application menu (Big red A)
  • Click “Export”
  • Select “PDF”
  • In the “Save as PDF” dialog: CLick the “Options” button
  • Switch the option that is next to “Layer Information” to “Include” or “Do not Include”

From the Output Tab: (quickest way)

  • Click the “Output” tab of the ribbon
  • Click on the “Export to DWF/PDF Options” button that is located in the “Export to DWF/PDF” panel
  • Switch the option that is next to “Layer Information” to “Include” or “Do not Include”


About AutoCAD Tips

This blog serves as a knowledge base for myself (and anyone else) so that I can reference tips & tricks that I have learned and also refer others to it as well. I hope that this blog helps you learn at least one tip to make your drafting/design experience better.
This entry was posted in Layers, Manage, Printing - Plotting. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Control PDF Layers

  1. Matteo says:

    Thank you! That’s the tip I was looking for!

  2. G.Raf_Designs says:

    The best… Thank you so much! Exactly what I needed :)

  3. Ad says:

    Thanks a lot. Very helpful tip. Cities in Toronto don’t accept layers in PDF files. I couldn’t find a logic reason for that, but they just want it flat file. Thanks again

  4. Adrion says:

    Very good information but i need to find how to show layers when exporting PDF of a 3D model

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      This setting is for this particular plot driver “DWG to PDF.PC3”
      I don’t think that this setting is available in other plot drivers.

      Are you trying to make a 3D PDF? If so, the setting to include or not include layers would be driven by that particular 3D PDF creator not by AutoCAD.


  5. Jonahon Steele says:

    Thanks for the info Greg. We do shop drawings for the HVAC industry utilizing AutoCad 2013 and have a lot of customers asking how to optimize the PDFs to speed up the printing process. Our problem is the it takes a while to flatten the PDFs when printing on a plotter. Is there a way to do this?

    • AutoCAD Tips says:

      I know that this might seem as a long work around but it will create smaller PDFs.

      You will need to install the free DWF viewer “Design Review”

      From AutoCAD you can print to .dwf file or you can export the drawing to as a .dwf using the EXPORTDWf command. Printing the specific layout tab to a .dwf will make sure that you have the correct page to work from…
      Open the dwf with “Design Review” and then print the .dwf to a .PDF using your PDF printer.
      The resulting PDF should be smaller and even have clearer (less pixelated) resolution than when printing straight from AutoCAD to a PDF.

      Here is a link that initially lead me to try this method.

      I am interested to see how it works for you. It might be more steps but the end results may be a better (PDF) product that you give to your customers.


  6. cesar says:

    Most excellent guide!! Thank you

  7. Pingback: manual pdf autocad 2012

  8. prolay says:

    no this is not working for me . nor in the dwf nor in the pdf. using cad 2007. not even “0” layers is showing.

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