Print PDF with scale and units information


Maybe this question is answered before and if so please put me to the right link.
is there possibility to print a layout to PDF and have it containing the scale and unit information?

The reason for it is that we don’t print out any specific scale in our layouts. (we scale the part that needs to be printed to fit the document best) And we would like to be able to measure details in the PDF afterwards.

Is this even possible?

I found this text on adobe page:
“Use Scales And Units From Document (When Present)
When enabled, measurements based on the units generated from the original document, if present, are used. Deselect this option to specify the units of measurements manually.”

Link to page:

Thanks in advance for any input to this issue.

You could probably place a piece of annotation text that uses a “TextField” to show the DetailScale, and another one with a TextField showing ModelUnits on the Layout:

Dear God don’t measure dimensions off of PDFs! This is what CAD is FOR.

That said, the most practical way to do this is to include a scale in the drawing with known dimensions. Otherwise…are you measuring off a printout that wasn’t actually printed 1:1? Or wasn’t virtually printed to the PDF at 1:1? You have no idea if you can trust it or not.

Hi John,

Yes I tried it, but it seams that there should be some way to hardcode the scale into the PDF so that, for example Adobe reader, can find the scale when opening the document as a PDF.
Or maybe I have totaly missunderstood the link I just posted.

Thanks for the info

I think what to do and not to do is up to each and every one.

Production can only handle PDF and therefor we have to put out allot of dimensions that most of the time is not needed. I want them to be able to take the measures they need when they need it instead.

And I might not understand you answer but we have a layout and using detailview to zoom in on objects as big as possible fitting A4 or A3 sizes.
Therefor the scale can be different every time.

Best regards

It was pointed out that you can get the scale of the detail. Problem is, there’s a whole layer of possibility of error generating the PDF and printing it, unless the correct 1:1 settings are used at both stages it’ll be wrong, and there’s almost nothing you can do about that. Plus if you use these arbitrary scales, how is anyone supposed to know if they were generated correctly? Whether the scale is right or wrong, the numbers will make no sense until you multiply them by some odd number.

That is a terrible production workflow. You think Toyota works that way? You’re basically throwing all responsibility on to the guys in the shop, saying “I don’t know what to make of this, do whatever you want.” You’re not going to make any friends or maintain any sort of quality control that way. No one wants to pull their own measurements off a drawing. Making paper 1:1 templates, that’s fine, having to take your own measurements off a PDF, NO! Figure out what dimensions they actually want and give those to them!

I would make a bigger drawing with real scale details and adding a scale ( not a text but a drawn scale of one meter or 10cm regarding the scale of the view) This you can print 1/1 and measure it using the PDF-Xchange Pro reader ( the measurement feature is included in the free version )
I use this PDF software all the time and it’s working fine even for not to scale document that I got from other companies. I never print not to scale or creat not to scale detail views in order to avoid manufacturing mistakes.

Thanks Wolfius,
I’ll look into this option.
seams to be a way forward.

Best regards

Please JimCarruthers just stop with the accusations.
I asked the forum for help with an issue.
I can’t see that you have made anything else then trying to change the way we work on, and that’s not what I asked for.
I’m quite sure that I have allot more knowledge than you in terms of my job and how to handle it.
If you can give me a better solution than @Wolfius I will gladly listen, otherwise please leave this thread open for people that wants to help me with my problem.

Best regards

Although this is a little at a tangent, it would be worth looking at the 3D PDF format. The Simlab Rhino exporter plugin is inexpensive and works well.

I know for certain that the 3D PDF format supports dimension interrogation and does so quite accurately. I have used this in work flows with other companies and it’s ok. Because the format converts NURBS to a mesh, the interpretation of arcs and splines can go a little astray, but the model respects the scale of the original Rhino file so can be ‘full sized’. Adobe Reader has a full set of measuring and dimensioning tools built in, even on the free version. Reader also makes it possible to dynamically section models and set orthographic views so it can mimic a normal 2D PDF.