Acrobat Pro DC: export problem with multiple layered Visio pages to multiple layered PDF pages

New Here ,
Jul 11, 2018 Jul 11, 2018

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Hi All,

A brief background:

I am an Audiovisual Designer working for an AV Integration company which provides a variety of services for the corporate/education/government sectors.

I am currently working on a project with the in-house AV Design team of one of our primary customers to create a range of standard audiovisual system design schematics using Visio, their preferred platform. These standard system designs start of as masters with all optional components and cabling connections available in their own layers.

Our customer needs to be able to send out multi-page PDFs displaying various system configurations setup as pre-configured starting points for their own in-house customers to select from for their specific purposes, such as a meeting room, or teaching space, or...

The Visio master has multiple pages. The first page is the overall master with all available option layers visible as a reference.

The following pages are copies of the first master page, but with the appropriate optional layers turned off to produce the pre-configured starting points.

For example, the first two pre-configured pages might simply be two versions of a videoconference room setup, but one is using a projector with ceiling mics, and the other has an LCD display with table mics. The customer can then choose the option they're after, and if needed add or remove optional components by turning layers on or off.

The problem:

The above sounds simple enough, but this is a significant customer of ours with their own significant number of in-house customers, which means a lot of options, lots of layers, and more importantly, must be available to the in-house customers as a multi-layered PDF so they can select sub-options.

The Acrobat Create PDF plugin for Visio works fine for exporting the first layered Visio page, but not any of the additional pages which have exactly the same set of layers, but are using a different layer configuration where only the layers needed are visible. When exporting any of the pages after the first page, the layers in those subsequent pages are displayed as per the settings of the first page in the Visio document.

For example:

Visio page 1 has all 330 layers visible (yes 330!), page 2 has 100 layers visible, page 3 has 30 layers visible.

The exported PDF has all layers visible on all 3 exported pages.

The visible layer configuration of page 1 is copied to all following pages in the export; they all look identical.

The only way around this is to first move the required pre-configured Visio page to position 1 and tell Acrobat to only print one page at a time, then combine the exported pages afterwards.

Note: this problem only occurs when multiple Visio pages are using exactly the same sets of layers. If two different Visio pages are using uniques layer sets then Acorbat exports those two pages correctly, with the layer visibility following the Visio configuration for each page.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated here as this is a show stopper for the current project if we can't find a workaround.

Thank you,

Craig

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Create PDFs, Windows

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Guide ,
Jul 12, 2018 Jul 12, 2018

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Are you comfortable with InDesign?

Take the first page of your PDF, the one with all layers, and place it into your InDesign master page. Create the desired number of InDesign pages using the master page. Select all pages and override the master page.

Go to page one, select the placed PDF and go to Object> Layer options and turn off the unwanted layers, repeat for each page, then export to PDF.

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New Here ,
Jul 12, 2018 Jul 12, 2018

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Thanks for looking at this, Luke, and coming up with a workaround.

Our customer is the in-house AV Design Team for a large educational institution and has the entire Adobe suite available, so I'll talk to them about your suggestion, but I doubt they'll take it on for this particular series of schematics because of the number of layers involved which will have already been configured in the Visio masters, and I expect they won't want to reconfigure the layers a second time for their own customers, as there's too much chance of missing something when so many layers are involved.

This is their smallest series of standard schematics which require layered PDFs for their customers. Once this process has been sorted out efficiently, we have been engaged to do the same with their medium and large system drawings which have around 800-1000 layers to cover all equipment and optional system configurations.

I'm about to start looking through the Acrobat SDK to see if there's a way I can automate the export process using Visio VBA.

Thanks again for your suggestion about using InDesign, as this has prompted me to think about another customer of ours who has similar but smaller needs for which InDesign might be well suited the more I think about it.

Craig

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New Here ,
Aug 06, 2018 Aug 06, 2018

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Hi All,

Just a quick note to say that in between my other work commitments I am making some progress and will be back with a viable workaround.

Craig

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New Here ,
Jan 14, 2021 Jan 14, 2021

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I know it's been over 2 years...any chance you remember what you ended up doing?

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