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Original Article Date: Oct 1, 2002
How can I make a PDF from my DGN? You know, this has got to be the most frequently asked question of all time! So, with a little surfing - I've put together the following information.
2004-01-14 Include information regarding MicroStation V8.
Developed by Adobe Systems, the PDF (Portable Document Format)format is the world-wide de facto standard for distributing and sharing electronic documents - including your MicroStation design data.
In October of 2003, Bentley teamed with Adobe to be able to integrate PDF creation directly into Bentley technology. As a result of this relationship, you can now create PDF's directing from within MicroStation by selecting the PDF.PLT driver during the plotting process. This new driver is available with MicroStation 08.05.00.25 and later.
The typical method of creating a PDF file with MicroStation V7 is by converting a MicroStation postscript plotfile to the PDF format with some sort of third-party software. Question is, which software? Well, there are dozens of products that will do the job. The following list are just some of those that are being used by other MicroStation users and have been given positive review. The rest is up to you.
Invest in a copy of Adobe Acrobat. Then just go to the Print/Plot dialog in MicroStation, use PRINTER.PLT and select Adobe PDFwriter as the printer. It will create the PDF directly, honours attached raster images, pentables and can be utilized in MicroStation's BatchPlot utility.
Plot your file using MicroStation's PSCRIPT.PLT plot driver which will create a postscript file. Then use Acrobat's Distiller to convert the postscript file to PDF. What's neat about this is that Distiller can be set up to auto-convert the postscript files as they are created.
CAD2PDF is a server-based product designed specifically for outputing PDF's from both AutoCAD and MicroStation.
FinePrint PDF Factory
This product is also popular among MicroStation and AutoCAD users and installs as a Windows printer. When needing to create a PDF from MicroStation, simply use PRINTER.PLT and then select the FinePrint PdfFactory printer.
Geotech SA, a company in France, have developed a MicroStation PDF plot driver that allows users to create PDF plots directly without intermediate steps. The PDF plot driver was developed as part of thier Viecon Publisher-based environment for geoengineering but can also be used directly from any MicroStation workstation. The PDF driver includes a number of features that may not be available with postscript-to-PDF workflows such as better integration with raster graphics, better text clipping and in the ability to include hyperlinks. The GeoPDF plot driver is a commercial product available directly from Geotech and there is also an evaluation version available. For more information please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Many folks use a product called GhostScript to generate PDF's. Although a tad difficult to set up you may find the following snippet to be helpful....it is authored by Thomas Voghera and posted on one of Bentley's NG's in the fall of 2002:
How to convert a postscript file to PDF using Ghostscript:
Use a PostScript print driver and fire off Ghostscript to convert the postscript output file to a PDF file. This method automatically fires off Ghostscript to do the conversion. You can use this postscript driver. If you already have a postscript driver of your own, all you need to do is add the last line; that is - everything from program to $(MS_PLTOUT)
This can be used for batch plotting as well.
Jaws PDF Creator
Again, using the PSCRIPT.PLT driver, create a postscript plotfile of your DGN and use Jaws PDF Creator to create the PDF file. All you need to do is drag and drop the plotfile onto the Jaws icon on your desktop and that's it!
A nice feature of this product is that it will also allow you to place multiple "sheets" onto one PDF. The following little workflow is shared by Jason Engle and allows him to plot over 80 cross-sections on one PDF is less than three minutes!
By the way, if you have been using a PDF creator and would like to share your success with others, just drop me a line and I'll add it to this list. Thanks!