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Exporting PDF from ArcMap

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#1
DeepWild

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Here's what I'm using (the problem will follow):
ESRI ArcMap 9.3.1 Build 3000
ArcGIS Desktop 9.3.1 Build 3000
Windows XP Pro V2002 SP3
Dell Precision PWS380
Intel Pentium® 4 CPU 3.00GHz
2.99GHz, 2.00 GB of RAM
Physical Address Extension
3069Mb virtual memory

So, I spent most of my day (seven of eight hours) on Friday trying to export a PDF from ArcMap, using the "Export Map" function.

The standard options I use while doing this are:
Resolution: 300 dpi
Resample Ratio: 1:1
Colourspace: RGB
Compress Vector Graphics: On
Image Compression: LZW
Picture Symbol: Rasterize layers with any picture marker/fill
Convert Marker Symbols to Polygons: On
Embed All Document Fonts: On
Layers and Attributes: Export PDF layers and Feature Attributes

In the end, I was able to generate a PDF of around 120Mb (typical size for my maps). I had to drop the resample ratio to 1:2 and boost ArcMap's process priority in Windows Task Manager to "High." It took 45 minutes to export the PDF (after countless re-boots and many failed attempts that each took 45min to an hour). The map cache wouldn't work . . . there was too much data and the program would crash every time I tried to use it.

Is there anything I can do, anywhere in my settings, to improve the situation (exporting to PDF) when dealing with huge amounts of data (which is stored in geodatabases)? Using less data isn't an option. I have to meet my clients expectations, or they'll take their mapping somewhere else.

#2
johnnyh

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One thing I do to quickly optimize the PDFs is a program called PrimoPDF. Which generates PDFs by acting as a physical printer.

Basically, I export the map out of Arc pretty huge -like you did... I let it run overnight if it's say 300 dpi on a ANSI E.

Once you have the PDF you can print to PrimoPDF and set all your size and DPI and you end up with a product that is much better looking (and a fraction of the MB) than if you have tried those settings as your ArcMap export.

#3
matt

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We use plain old Adobe Acrobat. From ArcMap, I use File -> Print and select Acrobat as the printer. File sizes are smaller and the process is more efficient - although the layers from the TOC don't come through as they do when you export through ArcMap.

Let me know if you are going to use Acrobat - there are some settings you need to tweak to balance quality / file size.

#4
DeepWild

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Thanks, guys. I'm testing PrimoPDF right now (on Friday's map). After I'm done with PrimoPDF I'll test Acrobat, too. I've got Acrobat 7.0 standard.

#5
Nicholas_C

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Maybe you already know this, but if you're exporting for print you can lose the "Export PDF layers and Feature Attributes" option which should reduce the size considerably.

Or, if you need that option to make the map an interactive PDF, so to speak, then try clipping the data to to slightly larger area than the extent of the map.

#6
Mapgeek

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I was having issues with a map that I was trying to print from ArcMap, so I tried exporting it to PDF to print. This would cause my computer to hang and I'd have to re-boot. After futzing with it off and on for about 6 months, I finally figured out that it wasn't the exporting or printing that was the problem, it was the data. I had two feature classes with broken geometry. I ran check on all of my layers and repair on the two that were badly broken and that fixed the problem. The map now prints without any difficulty. (Except of course when I went to print it for the first time and the yellow ink ran out and then the paper on the next try...)

#7
Robert2009

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Since this is for ArcGIS 9.3, I don't know if this will work, but I have good luck export complex or large file map size to PDF file. The thing you need to press Pause at the bottom of ArcMap. I have had success it. Just remember be patient as it make take a while for PDF to finish the hard work. Here's what I drew it.

I use ArcGIS 9.2 SP6 and it works regarding how you set but here is the attachment. Try it.

Attached File  pause.PNG   101.92KB   60 downloads

#8
Matthew Hampton

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A couple of things.

Get another stick of memory, or get a few and upgrade to 64bit XP so you can address more memory. Before exporting turn all your data frames into "draft mode." If you have lots of labeling this will help significantly (this accomplishes what Robert suggested above).

What size file are you exporting? I stopped trying to export ANSI E files a bit ago. Now if I want to print ANSI E, I create the file at ANSI C, open in Acrobat and scale to an E-sized sheet during the print routine. Arc chugs pretty hard on large exports that contain transparent rasters and complex vectors. You can build yourself into a real predicament if you're not careful.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#9
pfyfield

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Is there any particular reason you're choosing to rasterize layers with picture marker/fill? That creates one huge raster out of that layer and any layers beneath. Transparency does the same thing, and can really gum things up. The result is not the best either. Perhaps if you choose vectorize it would go faster.
ArcMap has to interpret all the cell values for the raster image from the vector data, and that can take a while.
Paul Fyfield
Cartographer, Bureau of Land Management
Oregon State Office
Portland, Oregon
pfyfield@blm.gov

#10
s hubbard

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this is all good info that i need too.
i've run into the same problems for a long time - exported pdf's crashing when they are too big.

what are the best selctions for the [rasterize layers/convert vectors to polygons/compress vector graphics] window you get when choosing to export from ArcMap?

i'd like to try/learn more about the "draft mode" thing for layers too - how do you do that?
s hubbard
www.hubbardmapworks.com
2539'

#11
Lori Martin

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We use plain old Adobe Acrobat. From ArcMap, I use File -> Print and select Acrobat as the printer. File sizes are smaller and the process is more efficient - although the layers from the TOC don't come through as they do when you export through ArcMap.

Let me know if you are going to use Acrobat - there are some settings you need to tweak to balance quality / file size.



I agree. I stopped exporting to pdf and now print to pdf. I haven't had any problems.

Good luck.
Lori Anne Martin,
St. Catharines, Ontario
Canada

#12
aug_aug

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That's funny because all of my problems (artifacts/slow printing/etc.) were solved by switching from printing to exporting. Who knows?

Anyway, I think turning off the layers and rasterize symbols should help out a lot, unless you need them specifically. I use the same settings basically 300 dpi / LZW compression and get reasonably sized plots in a fair amount of time (10-15 min). Good luck.

#13
ez_duce

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Some things I would recommend:
1. Compact the geodatabase before you do the export using ArcCatalog.

2. In 'AdvancedArcmapSettings' (Program Files\ArcGIS\Utilities\) set the Temporary metafile size to around 50MB in the Print/Export tab. (Arc needs to be closed when you're messing with those settings)

3. Move any polygons using picture fill symbology to the bottom of your table of contents.(Yes, this does make a difference strangely!)

4. Use the settings you had, but change these two:
Convert Marker Symbols to Polygons: On Should be OFF
Layers and Attributes: Export PDF layers and Feature Attributes Export PDF Layers Only

Good Luck!

#14
Matthew Hampton

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What would compacting the DB have anything to do with exporting an image?

Convert Marker symbols to Polygons: ON - Should be on or else you'll have font problems down the road b/c Marker Symbols are based on ESRI Font sets and no one has them but Esri users.

co-cartographic creator of boringmaps.com


#15
ez_duce

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What would compacting the DB have anything to do with exporting an image?

Perhaps nothing, but I don't see how it would hurt either. I've seen many things work smoother in ArcMap after compacting, and just thought I'd mention it. Having databases go from 90+ MB to 40 MB may help.




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