By Jason Vander Griendt

January 11, 2018 at 7:07 am

AutoCAD files are helpful when it comes to drafting and design, but they also can be a little tricky to use on certain online platforms. If you want to stay away from trouble, you can convert AutoCAD files into a PDF format. This article will explain more about these files and how you can convert them on your own, as well as giving you an option to outsource the process.

What are AutoCAD Files?

AutoCAD is a software package that was created back in 1982 as a way to help with computer design and drafting systems. This was one of the first programs used for drafting purposes and it is still often used today.

Common AutoCAD File Problems

While these files are still used, they do tend to have some problems. For instance, sometimes when you click on a certain part of the file’s drawing the selection can be lost. Also, the system variables can occasionally be stuck on 0, which can make using the Hatch patterns difficult.

Additionally, AutoCAD files can often be susceptible to programming bugs, maybe incorrectly inverting layers, or make it’s text formatting look a bit off.

Why Convert AutoCAD to PDF?

PDF (Portable Document Format) files are used in basically all online platforms today because they are easy to use and can be easily viewed on all online platforms thanks to their cross-platform compatibility. These files are also often able to be protected by a password so if you have sensitive information in them you can set up protection with a unique security code.  

PDFs also are much smaller than AutoCAD files, so they won’t take up much space on your computer’s hard drive, which is ideal if you have many files to convert. These files are also able to correctly format images so the text and pictures in them don’t cause problems with the formatting when converted.

Learn more: Should you use an online CAD file converter?

How to Convert AutoCAD Files Into PDF Format

Converting AutoCAD files into PDF format might seem like a hard task to do, but surprisingly it isn’t. Below are step-by-step instructions explaining how you can do the conversion.

  • Open Your AutoCAD System

    The first step is to open your AutoCAD system and select a drawing you saved on it.

  • Click on the File Tab

    After selecting a document, click on the “file” tab at the top of the screen. Once you do so, click “print”.

  • Choose a Printer

    After clicking “print” you will then be asked to choose a printer. You should see a virtual PDF printer option which is the printer you should select. Once you select the printer click “ok”.

  • Save the PDF File to Your Computer

    Once you click “ok” a PDF file will be made and you will then be asked to save the file. You can rename the document and save it to a certain folder on your computer.

As you can see, converting AutoCAD files into a PDF format isn’t difficult at all, but it does require some time. If you prefer to have someone else take the time to do your AutoCAD file conversions for you — whether you want to convert to PDF, or to a different file type that can be used in an alternate CAD program — consider writing to us at JCAD-Inc. We’ll be able to have these files converted quickly and affordably, saving you plenty of stress and time.

If you have any question regarding AutoCAD file management, or need help with your AutoCAD drafting, feel free to check out our Cad Design and Drafting section, Email or call 1.888.202.2052.

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Jason Vander Griendt

Jason Vander Griendt is a Mechanical Engineering Technician with years of experience working at major companies such as SNC Lavalin Inc, Hatch Ltd. Siemens and Gerdau Ameristeel. He is the CEO of JCAD – Inc., a company he started in 2006 after seeing a gap in the market for businesses who could assist clients through the entire product design and manufacturing process.

Jason has been featured in Forbes, has had his businesses analyzed and discussed in multiple start-up books, was a previous winner of the Notable8 Digital Innovator of the year award, and is a regular guest on business panels and podcasts. Email Jason at or follow him on LinkedIn.

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