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wvayens109 post(s)
#14-Mar-23 15:58

One of the features that has made M9 really useful for me is using the Microsoft Print to PDF to create a PDF from a layout. The PDF retains the ability to zoom in on an area and keep the resolution sharp. I often print to a tabloid size document to take advantage of this, letting me keep my output on a single document, rather than breaking it up into smaller documents.

However, perhaps I'm pushing the envelope too much, because I've found that often what I have in my layout is not making it through to the PDF. It seems that a very complicated layout, with several layers and lots of shapes, lines and points in those layers, will simply omit layers in the final PDF output. Attached are two screen shots that show what I'm getting. In the PDF screenshot, the label layer for my streets and the label layer for my points don't come through.

If I reduce the size of my layout considerably (breaking it down to about 1/6th the size), then all of my layers will come through in the PDF.

Wondering if I'm missing something that's causing this or am I just sending too much to be converted to the PDF?


Screenshot 2023-03-14 at 11.47.15 AM.png
Screenshot 2023-03-14 at 11.48.02 AM.png

186 post(s)
#14-Mar-23 17:21

Hi wvayens, it may have to do with the pdf output resolution setting of Microsoft Print to PDF or it can be related to the scale of the layout you're trying to export. I found out (as discussed some time ago in the forum - I didn't find the exact topic) that you can use other pdf printers rather than the Microsoft option with better results, such as Bullzip printer ( or CutePDf printer ( I ended up having better results with these ones.

wvayens109 post(s)
#14-Mar-23 18:03

Thanks, I did check out another PDF printer (think I found it in the M9 help docs) but didn't have much success. Will look at your suggestions....

186 post(s)
#14-Mar-23 18:30

Meanwhile, I found the topic: MR 9 - Print output to SVG (

I hope you find it useful.

1,012 post(s)
#16-Mar-23 07:22

What I liked about Manifold and Acrobat back almost 20 years ago was exporting PDF layers and using the version of Acrobat which allowed editing the layers. Specifically the Manifold export defaulted to opening with all the layers visible, but with Acrobat I could reset the defaults to just the background and open layers as necessary for the audience of a presentation.

10,094 post(s)
#14-Mar-23 17:26

Or is Microsoft just the wrong company to be trying to rectify the complexities of PDF.

Prediction: PDF will soon go Flash (I suppose within a year).

Who has the incentive to make PDF work (and keep it almost secure)?

OK the UN.

204 post(s)
#15-Mar-23 00:08

Just a differing point of view of the viability of PDF. Adobe has dropped the ball with Acrobat. Other programs, such as Bluebeam Revu, are far more capable of modern presentations. PDFs that were drawn to a scale can have that scale associated with it in Revu. During conference calls, one can outline areas and make measurements as if one were working in CAD. Microsoft appears to have broken their own PDF export ability. I was able to export a Word document to PDF and have all the headings available for navigation. This does not happen anymore.

Flash was a niche application for creating web content. It was canceled because other applications supplanted it using drivers that were incompatible with the Flash format. PDF is ubiquitous. I don't know if the format is open source or public domain now, but it is widely supported on most all platforms.

I haven't thought about the security issues around PDFs. They can be set up so that the end user can only look at the PDF, not modify, export, or print.

wvayens109 post(s)
#16-Mar-23 12:33

I forgot about the M8 ability to export a PDF and retain the layers which, as you said, made using a PDF for presentation quite spectacular, being able to turn layers on an off for your audience.

I primarily use M9 to create output for my audiences. The ability in M9 to use the Microsoft to PDF print option and retain resolution as you zoom in has been great.

Unfortunately, the more complex the layout the more likely I am to run up against what appear to be the limitations of the Microsoft to PDF print option, as outlined above and in a previous post where it would actually change the shape of symbols. And I haven't found any viable PDF output options that work in ARM based Windows.

So my options are to limit what I can put in my layouts and create a single PDF or spend considerable time reducing the scope of what I'm printing and creating multiple PDF's to cover the whole layout.


7,449 post(s)
#16-Mar-23 13:12

You could use a different print-to-PDF option. See the discussion in the File - Print topic.

wvayens109 post(s)
#16-Mar-23 16:18

Thanks. Have gone through the topic mentioned and looked at several alternatives, but unfortunately none seem to work on Windows 11 ARM.

The best option at the moment seems to be the wonky Windows print to PDF


10,447 post(s)
#17-Mar-23 14:28

Wait, wait, wait. Are you using Windows 11 ARM? Can you try printing on Windows 11 x64 just as a test?


10,447 post(s)
#17-Mar-23 14:25

If you send example data to tech support, they will be happy to look at what's going on.

(It looks to me like there is a resolution downgrade, as in the other thread. But I am unsure as to why it would happen. Maybe it is the driver doing that - eg, the driver looks at the size of the page you are trying to produce, gets scared, decides it won't be able to render the page at full resolution and reduces it internally.)

wvayens109 post(s)
#18-Mar-23 16:52

I sure looks to me like I'm just pushing too much data to the driver as you said, it "gets scared".

I'm afraid I've been spoiled by the ability to create PDFs and have them maintain the resolution as you zoom in. As a result (and to avoid having to produce output in smaller sections) I've been playing with sending a ton of data to the PDF driver. I've played with using render scales and not but it does appear it reaches the point where it gives up and either doesn't produce all of the layer information or as in the other thread, renders symbols incorrectly. Added to that the fact that I'm using Windows 11 ARM (which has only been recently supported) and don't have access to Win x64, leads me to believe I'm just pushing the envelope too much.

For example, I typically create a PDF in tabloid size with minimal margins. The map that I was trying to output in a single PDF has 92,000+ points that were thematically themed, overlaid on a road network of 16,000+ lines.

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