Automatically Creating PDF's with Autodesk Vault Professional

September 26, 2018 Joe Hedrick, LS, EIT

As mentioned in last weeks post, automated PDF creation was added to Vault Professional beginning with the 2018 release.  Let’s face it, most of us ultimately create PDF’s of our plans for submittal purposes, archival purposes, or to just have the ability to disseminate the design to a larger audience.  Depending on the size of the plan set, this potentially could take quite a bit of time for someone to manually create.

Vault now has the ability to create PDF’s in an automated fashion but there are a few caveats to keep in mind:

  1. The functionality requires a job processor to exist within the environment.
  2. Out of the box, PDF’s are created based on lifecycle changes. There is no right click, “create PDF” command.  If you would like this type of functionality, please explore IMAGINiT Utilities for Vault Client.  We provide these utilities free of charge to all of our clients with Vault on subscription with us and for a low fee for everyone else.

The main secret to getting Vault to automatically generate PDF’s is found within the lifecycle transition editor.  Simply find a transition (i.e. Submitted for Review -> Approved) and edit its actions.  Select one of the two PDF creation options based upon your specific circumstances.


That is really all there is to it.  From this point forward, when a drawing assigned that particular lifecycle undergoes the lifecycle change, a job will automatically be submitted to the job processor.


One important note regarding security and permissions.  Depending on how restrictive your Vault environment is, make sure that the account utilized by the job processor has modify permissions to the destination lifecycle state so that everything can synchronize appropriately.


I guess I would be remiss if I didn’t talk about a few additional settings.  Under the “Files” tab of Vault Settings, you will find an area to configure PDF options.  There isn’t much inside of this dialog box, but it is similar to configuring visualization options for DWF files.


What really makes this great is if you have multiple sheets to do at one time.  Just imagine if you had a 50 sheet project.  This method can automatically create the PDF without tying up resources on a production user’s machine.  While the job processor is off creating the PDF’s, that user can move on to the next task at hand.

If you would like additional information, a great AKN reference can be found here.

Happy PDF’ing

About the Author

Joe Hedrick, LS, EIT

Solutions Architect<br><br>As a Solutions Architect, Joe assists clients in developing implementation plans for Autodesk Infrastructure products as well as provides consulting services. <br><br>Joe has over 25 years of experience in land surveying and civil engineering encompassing field-data collection, site design and layout, residential subdivision design, and land planning. He is an EIT and a licensed land surveyor in Virginia, and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering Technology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. <br><br>

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