PDF output from Autodesk products appears inconsistent

March 30, 2022 Heath White


When viewing PDF files that have been generated from Autodesk products like AutoCAD and its verticals or from the Vault Job Processor, for example, users complain that the display of the linework appears inconsistent or faded. The appearance problems persist regardless of the PDF publish settings that are used to create the file.



This problem occurs when viewing the PDF in Adobe Acrobat Reader and is due to a setting called “Smooth line art.”  This setting will create the display seen in the image above. This issue appears to be specifically related to Adobe Acrobat Reader. The same files do not exhibit the issue when viewed in other applications, such as Foxit PDF Reader.


To correct this issue, in the Acrobat Reader, click the Edit menu and choose Preferences.
Under Page Display, uncheck Smooth line art. (See image below)

Note: In some versions, Smooth line art may be grayed out while 2D graphics acceleration is enabled.



Once that option is unchecked, the results will be seen as soon as the preferences are saved.


Below is an image from the same PDF with the “Smooth line art” option turned off:



If you have the option to use an alternate PDF reader, you may avoid the need to make any settings changes. Below is an image of the same file when viewed with Foxit PDF Reader in a default configuration:



These suggestions may not resolve all PDF display issues but do provide a good starting point and for some users may be the simplest solution to implement.


For other PDF quality troubleshooting resources, please reference the links below:






About the Author

Heath White

Sr. Technical Support Specialist, Manufacturing

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