Export Layout to pdf version 1.7 on Mac

For the new Belgium digital building permission we need to deliver our plans in pdf version 1.7 format or higher. Exporting my LayOut file to pfd (on mac) creates a pdf version 1.4. The windows version of LayOut export to pdf version 1.7. How can I export my LayOut to pdf version 1.7?

What happens if you print the file to PDF instead of exporting? Is the older PDF format perhaps built-in to the MacOS?


yes it looks like the os create pdf version 1.4

I would take it up with the building permit authorities. I don’t think that they have decided to discriminate against a largish group of computer uses using the Mac platform. What would @Barry say?


Adobe Support Community is probably the preferred way.

Then there’s this sad little one-liner in Perl embedded in this thread… conversion - Batch convert PDF versions? - Super User but I’m not sure I could recommend that behavior. :-/

Quartz PDF creation displays the lowest version number needed to view the file…

try exporting a simple SU model and it will show as being version 1.3…

add an xls table in layout and it will show as 1.5 or higher…

maybe you could add a 1.7 feature to your watermark and then all your exports will show as 1.7…


1 Like

ps, I tried the latter method for 1.8, and Preview.app now says (note the PDF version):

1 Like

cool, I just guessed it might work, so there ya go…


What did you do to get 1.8?

That article has a Perl script, that I pasted this in Terminal (or a bash shell in Windows), where my file was named foo.pdf:

_perl -pi_orig.pdf -e ‘s/%PDF-1.3/%PDF-1.8/’ foo.pdf

Now this is totally bad to edit binaries… you could do the same thing (on Mac) with an app like Hex Fiend… but you have NO idea what badness can happen… but it convinced Preview.app that my LayOut exported pdf is a 1.8 file. SketchUp changes it’s file format a little bit each version, so I in no way endorse or encourage this action, I’m merely deferring to a link that someone put on superuser.com.

Fudging the version stamp on any file is risky. Unless you are an expert on that file type, you can’t be certain what was changed or whether the new version is even backward compatible. It might work, but it might also fail in strange ways! Would you fudge a SU 2017 file to say SU 2015?

1 Like