March 23, 2012

Revit to PDF

First thing, if possible, use DWF.  I could end the post there, but for those that find themselves having to produce PDFs, read on.  For years I have used CutePDF and thought it was the best driver out there.  However, the weakness in CutePDF shows up when you try to use the Print Range feature in Revit to create a batch job of multiple prints.  CutePDF just fails miserably when it is fed multiple views to process.  So, I took to Google looking for free PDF print drivers.  I limited myself to FREE rather than trials.  Why you may ask?  Well, the FREE is the right price for everyone, right!?!

Drivers Evaluated: 1) BullzipPDF, 2) CutePDF, 3) PrimoPDF, 4) GIRDAC, 5) NitroPDF, 6) PDF995

My official findings:
  1. All PDF creators are your standard Print Driver type of process. 
  2. They each have their own printer icon in the Devices and Printer dialog. 
  3. Each supports the Print Range batch process with the exception of CutePDF.  (I did get a message from the CutePDF folks that they are working on an update that will fix this issue.)
  4. Most all do require the support of Ghostwriter, which will need to be installed prior to the PDF driver.
  5. All but one, you will need to babysit the process because they force the user to respond to their SAVE dialog box for each view selected. 
    1. BullzipPDF is the only driver configurable to turn off the SAVE dialog.  It will use the default naming conventions.
  6. Naming of the PDF: 
    1. CutePDF and BullzipPDF will append the name of the PDF as: PATH_PROJECTNAME_VIEWNAME.  So you will have an ugly, long name like: C_MyPDFsFolder_Project Name_View Name.pdf. 
    2. PrimoPDF and PDF995 will append the name a bit better: PROJECTNAME_VIEWNAME.  Nicer in that you don't have all PATH data included. 
    3. GIRDAC's PDF Creator actually forces you to name each PDF processed as you go.
    4. NitroPDF is the nicest for naming in that it just grabs the VIEWNAME.
  7. Aggravations:
    1. GIRDAC's PDF Creator and PrimoPDF want to install other apps, so watch your prompting interface as you go through.
    2. PDF995 will throw-up (yeah, I meant to use that word cuz that is what it looks like on my screen) "Sponsor Commercials" with each PDF SAVE that you do. Ever hit somewhere on the web and all-of-the-sudden all these pop-ups take over your screen?  Yeah, it looks like that.  Complete 'show-stopper' for me.
Overall, I would find myself leaning toward NitroPDF with its simplest naming convention and clean install -or- BullzipPDF with it's Ok naming convention, clean install and because you can turn off the SAVE dialog, which is nice for that workflow that entails "set in motion" then go to lunch while your workstation creates PDFs.



  1. You might also want to check out PDF Creator.

  2. Nice work, thanks for this review. I too have been stuck on CutePDF for many years...

    Did you consider PDFCreator for batch printing?

    Check out my post:
    What Revit Wants: How to Print a large set of drawings to individual PDFs with automatic naming

  3. Addendum Comment:
    Bradon and Luke, y'all both pointed me to the same PDFCreator. Seems several products out there use the name "PDFCreator". I did take a look at the PDFForge/PDFCreator and I agree, it installs cleanly, it has a nice interface, good access to settings and keeps the naming straight. It would be good for either batch printing or one-ups.

  4. Thank you to tell us so much useful information. So nice sharing. I’m glad to read it.printing services


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