Email my entire drawing as a PDF file


How do I send my PowerCADD drawing as a PDF? file attached to an email message?


PowerCADD v7 and Mac OS? X Tiger recommended


Adobe Acrobats PDF file format has been around for a long time and it's a great cross platform format to use when sending drawings by email. Because the PDF format is based on Postscript, you can be assured it will be a high quality reproduction of your PowerCADD drawings. In fact, using PDF files is a great way to issue drawings for review and coordination and when sending content to reprographic service bureaus for color or black and white printing.

Prior to Mac OS X, creating PDF files required purchasing Adobe Acrobat Pro. With Mac OS X Apple has included built in support for the PDF File? format which makes it as easy as choosing Print... to get the job done. We'd be remiss if we didn't point out there are differences between the version of PDF that Apple implements and the one used by Adobe; you can review this article for some additional information and search this site for additional information on PDF and PowerCADD.

What to do:

We'll explore two basic methods of generating a PDF file of your drawing and attaching it as an email method; one method uses Adobe's Acrobat Pro to do the task, another uses Apple's built in support for PDF. There are also other third party applications on the market that allow you to create PDF files, one in particular we like is PStill by Stone Studio XTNL URL and we recommend visiting their website for additional information (when time permits we'll try to create a tutorial on PStill and PowerCADD as it really is a wonderful workflow tool!).

Method: Use Adobe Acrobat to create a PDF
This method presumes you've paid for and correctly installed Adobe Acrobat Pro on your computer.

Do This:

  1. Open the PowerCADD drawing you'd like to email as a PDF
  2. Perform a Page Setup for the correct sheet size
  3. Choose File menu > Print...
  4. Select Adobe Acrobat from the Printer menu and press Print
  5. Choose Standard from the Adobe Print Options popup menu
  6. Specify a location to save your PDF file in the dialog box and press Save
  7. Result: the PDF file is saved to your hard drive
  8. Open our email application and attach the PDF file from (7) and send it

Adobe provides a whole variety of options you can select when creating the PDF file using the above method. They range from the type of document security you might want to the level of compression and how fonts are embedded with the file. We encourage you to take a look at Adobe Distiller which is the core application used to create the PDF files. IT's installed in your Adobe Acrobat Pro folder. There is a wide range of options and settings that help you manage the quality and file size of your PDF output.

quicktime watch this demo movie (18MB - 7 minute tutorial) to see the above process in action and learn more.

Method: Use Apple's Print to PDF option
This method is essentially the same as using Adobe's PDF printer with one twist. Rather than pressing the Print button you choose PDF > Save as PDF. Rather than writing out all the steps we've just tossed together this quick demonstration movie

quicktime watch this demo movie (6MB - 2 minute tutorial) to see the above process in action and learn more.

Method: Use Apple's PDF Services to immediately create the PDF and email it
Here's a case where saved the best method for the end Smile If you've read this tutorial you've already seen how easy it is to use PDF Services to send just one part of your drawing as a PDF file. Well, it's even faster to do the same thing for the entire drawing, here's how:

Do This:

  1. Open the PowerCADD drawing you'd like to email as a PDF
  2. Perform a Page Setup for the correct sheet size (that was likely already done when you started the drawing but it's worth double checking)
  3. Choose File menu > Print...
  4. From the PDF menu choose Email PDF.workflow (if you don't see that option read this article on how to correctly setup PDF Services and add that item to the PDF Workflow)
  5. The drawing is processed and a new email message is created in Apple's with your PDF in the body of the message window
  6. Compose the message and send it

quicktime watch this demo movie (14MB - 5 minute tutorial) to see the above process in action and learn more. This tutorial also has a little extra on how to create custom sheets sizes in Mac OS X Cool

Not only is the PDF Services process very convenient -- it also does not write (save) a PDF to your hard drive. It simply creates the PDF and attaches it directly to the email message. While there's a temporary file written to the hard drive which is typical of many Mac OS X operations but you don't have to do the housekeeping so we're not counting that file Cool

As you can see there are plenty of methods to get the job done -- each has a specific place in the drawing production workflow so it's worth knowing about all of them Smile

We hope that helps

If you found this article or the website in general to be helpful, educational or a time and money saver you can show your support. Thank you ~ Brian (huc) Huculak

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