Converting Autocad to PDF
The first choice for converting Autocad to PDF, if you have a business, is Adobe Acrobat Professional. There are other choices available, for a lot less money and we will try to discuss some of them here also. There are also problems you may run into converting autocad files to PDF and I hope to bring some of those up so you readers can make an informed decision when looking at Acrobat or something less expensive.
When converting Autocad to PDF, Adobe Acrobat Professional is probably the first choice if you run a business and can write of the software cost. Beyond the tax deduction advantages why would you use Adobe over cheaper alternatives ? Mostly because with a name brand software generally comes better support, which is important when you have to depend on pdf file conversion for your livelihood.
Communicate and collaborate more securely with the complete PDF solution for 3D design
Another consideration is the features Adobe provides above and beyond the cheaper pdf converters. Newer versions of Adobe allow fields to be added to pdf files for drawing archiving. This is a vastly overlooked feature when you consider how many people still search drawing files primarily on the autocad filename. A strong case can be made for converting drawing archives completely to PDF based on the better searching capabilities built into Acrobat Professional that are not available in the cheaper programs.
Acrobat Professional also allows companies to customize their PDF drawing files so that clients or customers can update, redline or modify them to varying degrees decided by you the publisher. Granted the server side licence required to do this is expensive, but some companies may find this a much more secure way of handling drawing documents than using a cheaper program and having to constantly convert back and forth.
Of the cheaper programs CutePDF and 995PDF are the ones I have the most direct experience with. Both are very inexpensive and provide drawing to PDF conversion if thats all you require. I have some problems with CutePDF not being able to handle relaible conversion of drawing files in 11x17 landscape mode. Sometimes I will try to print 11x17 and the drawing will come out rotated 90 degrees on the pdf with half of the drawing clipped off. No amount of adjusting Autocad or CutePDF's controls seems to fix this. But fortunately its something that only happens 5% of the time. Perhaps it the companies network or perhaps a software glitch.
I have 995PDF without too much problems at all. This program as its name suggests is $9.95 US. It even has a free version, albeit with a nag screen. You cant go too far wrong with a program as cheap as that, and if all you need is quick pdf conversion, PDF995 fits the bill quite nicely.