How to plot multi-sheet PDFs from Vault in the original layout order

July 5, 2023 Bob Felton


When an AutoCAD drawing has many layouts created in a specific order, it can be handy to plot such a drawing to a PDF in the Vault client and have all layouts appear in a multi-sheet PDF in the same order as they appear in the drawing.

But, the resulting PDF has just one layout sheet, when printed to a specific PDF printer driver from the Vault client.

Or, when plotted with a sheet list with 'Multi-sheet file' checked in the AutoCAD Publish, the sheets are produced in alphabetical order, rather than in the original order.


Autodesk states, "Since each sheet is a different print job [in Vault], it will not automatically append to the same PDF by default.  However, if you use a print driver, such as PDF-XChange, you can have the print job append to the existing PDF."


So, to leverage Autodesk's suggestion, download and test the free version of the PDF-XChange Editor to determine if that will fulfill your needs.

Note: The free PDF-XChange Editor places a watermark in the PDF. 
The paid version of PDF-XChange Editor removes the watermark with a purchase price of $56, according to their web page at the link above.

Other PDF creators may also be able to produce multi-sheet PDFs, such as Acrobat Pro and possibly Bluebeam Revu.

As the AutoCAD drawing with multiple sheets is selected in Vault and the Plot icon is clicked, the layouts are detected and processed. It is at this stage that the drawing layouts are being alphabetized.

In the Plot Manager in the Vault client,  you can manually move the sheets to their original order when compared to the order of sheets in AutoCAD or when compared to a multi-sheet PDF published from AutoCAD, as shown.

Once the sheets are in the preferred order, then set all sheets to plot to the 'PDF-XChange' PDF plot device. (Note: the free 'PDF-XChange Lite' version is shown).

Lastly, after the first sheet is printed to a PDF, whose name and location you choose, then set all subsequent PDFs to be appended to that same location. In  PDF-XChange, the best options are to uncheck 'Run Viewer Application After Saving' and check 'Append To Existing PDF'.

Acrobat Pro and Bluebeam Revu will have similar, but different save options.


About the Author

Bob Felton

Sr. Technical Support Specialist, Manufacturing<br><br>Bob Felton has been supporting Autodesk products for over 25 years including core AutoCAD, P&ID, Plant 3D, AutoCAD for Mac, AutoCAD Mechanical, and Vault. His background is in graphics with an Applied Sciences degree and ten years manufacturing experience drafting, as well as technical illustration, image editing, and even patent drafting.

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