Trouble printing from layout sheet with pdfs inserted

I inserted several pdfs of details I had drawn in AutoCad into Layout. Only one sheet in this document. I am working on a mac. When I tried to print it, the system hung up for a long time. But eventually I got a print popup and then selected make pdf and again it hung for a long time, ten minutes or more both times. But I waited. And in the end the PDF was beautiful and the paper print from it was sharp and clear. A very nice result, but way too much time for production use.

I then edited each pdf ( there are 6 of them) and saved them as jpgs. Better speed, but crude fuzzy results in the pdf and the paper print. Then I remade the jpgs from the pdfs these are the individual details from ACAD. But now set the resolution to 400 pixels/inch instead of 200 pixels/inch. Better resolution but still not as good as the pdf and I have to process each details through photoshop.

Is there a way to use the pdf details and get the beautiful results with out constipating my computer and Layout?

The attached file is my layout sheet with the pdf details

Detail Sheet.layout (1.5 MB)

Few ideas…

A) Try exporting a pdf of your LO page at the highest res. Once created print from the PDF reader. How is your print quality & speed ? I have attached a pdf that I generated which took a few seconds. Detail Sheet.pdf (2.3 MB)

B) When you bring the pdf into LO, I believe LO converts the image into a high res PNG. The delay in export you were experiencing might have been the large allocation of memory to work with the high res PNGs.

You might want try to save each pdf as a PNG manually with an image editor like photoshop and see if there is a lower resolution you will maintain the crisp linework you need while speeding up the export process.

Detail Sheet su forum test export.pdf (552.1 KB)

Your pdf came out pretty good, a bit dark, but good. Mine exported quickly, a big plus, but is not as clear. See the attachment.

Still the best result is printing not exporting. It is very good but very slow.

Did you try it my way printing and having the print routine create a pdf. This may work differently on a PC than it does on my MacBook. This machine is a wee bit old. Built in 2008.
mostly reliable, with max memory for this box. But the print thing should be instant, and takes several minutes, maybe ten, an eternity if you need to create 20 sheets. Export would be great if I could get
better resolution.

I did a ‘straight up’ export pdf on my 2007 iMac…

is the quality any better?

Detail Sheet.pdf (1.7 MB)

if so, I tell you a trick I used, if not I’ll keep quite…



The pdf you made is pretty much perfect.

How did you do it?


have LayOut ready to export, but before you click, open TextEdit [or other relatively inactive app]

go back to Layout and move the window so you can see the some of the TextEdit window…

as soon as you click to export to pdf, click the TextEdit document and bring it to the foreground…

on my humble iMac, the export took seconds if LayOut runs in the background…

no idea why, but I do a similar thing in SU on occasion…



for me the issue isn’t time for export. It is lightning fast, but the resolution is nowhere as crisp as yours.

Detail Sheet john.pdf (552.1 KB)

The above is just muddy in resolution.

When I use the print routine instead, it takes a realllllllllly reaaaaaaallllllllyyyyyyyy long time, but I get a finished pdf that looks like yours. I just timed it, over 5 minutes to get the print pop-up. So even if I just want to print directly to my plotter it takes that long, plus more delays.

When I convert the pdf elements, the individual details done in autocad, into jpgs at 400 pix/in. I get almost the same resolution as your good export.

so, the question is how can i insert pdf elements into my layout sheets then export to a pdf quickly and get the same brilliant resolution you achieved.


To me it looks like that John has used Hybrid rendering, and has his Output Resolution set to High.


last nights was on medium, I didn’t change any settings…

my specs are very low so I normally get rubbish PDF’s very slowly…

I just did another pdf, without the ‘trick’ and it took a minute or so [not too bad]…

I turned off the jpeg compression and set it for High res output…

I don’t even know where to set hybrid…

Detail Sheet_high_no_jpg.pdf (1.8 MB)

I also tried a Print >> Save as PDF and it was disastrously slow…

UNTIL, I copy pasted the page content into a new document and it saved to pdf instantly…

it looks like raster which I don’t like myself, but it isn’t washed out like your example was…

Detail Sheet_copy_paste_test.pdf (415.5 KB)

Aside: I can’t believe there’s no tiff export…

Tiff is computationally optimised on a mac as it’s a mainstay for all the high end graphics apps available…

the file will be bigger but often processes much faster and a far higher quality…

jpg is about the worst format for non photographic images…


I just had to guess as on a PC all the views in the original file are empty.

PNG should usually be OK. A good FR would be to include images to the PDF export in the PNG format. JPG images display unbearably ugly artifacts on flat coloured surfaces especially when the compression option is on.


Anssi and John,

I think I have it figured out. I disabled the image compression option in the PDF Export Options pop-up.
With this setting changed and other output resolution setting on “High”, I got instant results and great clarity.

Detail Sheet high res 2.pdf (1.8 MB)

It is a large file, but the detail sheet.layout file is much smaller with the pdfs (1.6 MB) than the one with 400 px/in jpg’s. (6.1MB)

This seems like the correct answer for my needs.

Thank you for your help and pointing me in the direction of a real solution.