Tips & Tricks: How to Create Multi-page PDFs Directly from MicroStation!

MicroStation PDF

Rick Sewell, MicroStation Customer Service

Rick Sewell, beloved CAD ace, lives to help CAD users get their projects done on time. He really lives for this stuff. Give him a call and put him to the test.

By Rick Sewell, Axiom Director of Customer Services
Here in Axiom Support Land, people regularly ask us if we have a tool that will perform some specific task in MicroStation. Usually, the answer is “Yes” and we show them the tool and how it works to save them time. But sometimes we give a different answer. One question that comes up quite often is “Does Axiom have a tool that will allow you to print multiple MicroStation files to a single PDF file?” My answer, “Nope, no need. You can already do that in MicroStation V8i.”

The fact is, not everyone realizes that this feature already exists. It’s available through the MicroStation “Print Organizer”. I think the reason that not everyone realizes that the feature exists is because the Print Organizer can look a little scary if you’re not familiar with it. And why bother getting into the “Print Organizer” when you can just keep printing from the old standard “Print” dialog box, which MicroStation retained from previous versions?

Anyway, we didn’t feel it was necessary to create a tool to do something that MicroStation already does and does well. It’s surprisingly easy to do, too! Here’s how...

  1. Go to File | Print Organizer.
  2. Click the {Add Files to Set} button (Figure 1). This will load the dialog box "Create Print Definitions".MicroStation PDF

    Figure 1. The MicroStation V8i Print Organizer is where you’ll get way more control over your printing than just the standard “Print” dialog box can give you.

  3. Press the {Add} button, then navigate to and select all the files that you would like to print to your PDF and press {Done}.
    MicroStation PDF

    Figure 2. The “Create Print Definitions” dialog box is poised for selecting files and allows you to apply pre-defined print settings to your job or manually apply print settings on the fly!

  4. Press {OK} in the "Create Print Definitions" dialog box to return to the "Print Organizer" dialog box.
  5. Press the "Print" icon (Figure 3) and the Print dialog box will open. On the Print dialog box, Press the {Printer Setup...} button to open the Printer Setup dialog box.
    MicroStation PDF

    Figure 3. The Print Organizer dialog box makes it totally clear which files are going to be printed in this job.

  6. The field labeled "File Name:" will be empty. Press the "Browse" icon. (See Figure 4.) This should open to default to the location where all of your installed plot configuration files are stored. (If not, just navigate to: "C:\{Your MicroStation base directory}\Workspace\System\pltcfg\".) Select the file named "pdf.pltcfg" and press {Open}. Then press {OK} to return to the "Print" dialog box.
    MicroStation Tips & Tricks, Figure 4

    Figure 4. All of the MicroStation plot configuration files are usually stored in the same place for easy access.

  7. Find the field labeled "Submit as:" and set the value to "Single print job". (See Figure 5.)MicroStation PDF

    Figure 5. The “Print” dialog box has a few simple but important and powerful options.

  8. There's one final setting that isn't required but that I like to use. Toggle on the option labeled "Open print file after creation". This will cause the PDF to open after the plot is complete so that you can see your completed product.
  9. Press {OK} and your print job will start processing all of your files.

When the job is complete, your Adobe reader will automatically load and open your newly created multi-page PDF!

MicroStation PDF

Figure 6. Your beautiful, multi-page PDF!

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