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With the release of ArtiosCAD 14.0.1, the PDF Export Tuning has been upgraded to support the ability to map ArtiosCAD line types to PDF layers. The existing ability to create PDF Technical Inks per line type is still available. However, the PDF tuning file will need to be updated as described below.


The tuning file is an XML file and must be properly formatted as described at

A sample tuning file is shown below:

Sample PDF Tuning
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
				<PDF_RGB_COLOR RED="0.0" GREEN="0.0" BLUE="1.0"/>
			<PDF_LAYER NAME="Other"/>

			<PDF_LAYER NAME="Cuts"/>

					<DASH LENGTH="50"/>
					<DASH LENGTH="5"/>
					<DASH LENGTH="5"/>
					<DASH LENGTH="5"/>
				<PDF_RGB_COLOR RED="0.0" GREEN="1.0" BLUE="0.0"/>
			<PDF_LAYER NAME="Creases"/>

 The PDF tuning file must contain the main document node <PDF_TUNNING_FILE>. Within this node there are two optional nodes namely, <TECHNICAL_INK_DEF> and <PDF_LINE_TYPE_MAPPING>.

  • The <TECHNICAL_INK_DEF> node specifies the file containing the Technical Ink names and line definition for each ArtiosCAD line type.


Refer to file "PDFSpotColorMap.xml" (in InstLib) as an example for the format for this file type.

Note also that Technical Ink/Spot Colors are always defined in terms of CMYK colors when output to a PDF file.  An automatic conversion from RGB to CMYK is performed in this case.

  • The <PDF_LINE_TYPE_MAPPING> node contains a list of mappings which can define a destination layer and a line definition for each ArtiosCAD line type.

To specify a destination layer, use the PDF_LAYER node.


There are three ways to define a line definition:

    • Specify <USE_PLOTTING_STYLE/> to use the current plotting style to render the line.
    • Specify <USE_TECHNICAL_INK/> to use the line definition from the TECHNICAL_INK_DEF file
    • Specify <USE_LINE_DEF/> to supply a custom definition. A custom definition may optionally include:
      • A Stroke Width in points using the PDF_STROKE_WIDTH tag


      • A line style via a Dash pattern. The Dash pattern is a series of On/Off lengths in points as shown below:


              <DASH LENGTH="50"/>

              <DASH LENGTH="5"/>

              <DASH LENGTH="5"/>

              <DASH LENGTH="5"/>

              <DASH LENGTH="5"/>

              <DASH LENGTH="5"/>


      • A color definition - which can be defined as either an RGB color or (since version 21.03) a CMYK color or both:  
        • An RGB Color defined using the PDF_RGB_COLOR tag

<PDF_RGB_COLOR RED="0.0" GREEN="0.0" BLUE="1.0"/>

        • A CMYK Color defined using the PDF_CMYK_COLOR tag



Note on colors - Prior to version 22.07, colors output using the USE_PLOTTING_STYLE or USE_LINE_DEF were output in RGB format into the PDF file.  From version 22.07-23.03,  these colors were output in CMYK format into the PDF file.   Starting in version 23.07 a new PDF export option "Export using RGB color scheme" (under Defaults→Startup defaults→PDF Options) allows the user to choose between outputting RGB or CMYK colors into the PDF file.  In all cases an automation color conversion between RGB↔CMYK is performed when necessary.

Technical inks will always use an underlying CMYK color regardless of the aforementioned default setting.

The PDF_LINE_TYPE_MAPPING node can also contain a DEFAULT_MAP definition. This node contains the default destination layer and a line definition when not specifically included in any individual map.

Please note that with version 14.0.1, two new example PDF Exports were added to Outputs > Artios > Export to Common File Formats:

  • PDF with Layers - creates a PDF with layers.
  • PDF with Technical Inks - creates a PDF with technical inks.

In addition, four new example tuning files were also added under Instlib:

  • Tune.PDF.UsePlottingStyle.xml - shows how to use the current plotting style to render to PDF. This is default if no tuning is specified or not found.
  • Tune.PDF.UseSpotColors.xml - shows how to setup the tuning to create the Technical Inks in the PDF.
  • Tune.PDF.Layered.xml - shows how to setup tuning to map particular ArtiosCAD line types to PDF layers.
  • Tune.PDF.Example.xml - shows an example tuning using a combination of layers and rendering options.

Multi linetype annotations

Annotations that are comprised of multiple lines types like Hatch, Detail, Artwork Panels and Dynamic Art have its constituent lines types mapped to different layers according to tuning.  For eg, a detail which is typically comprised of print images, text and some specific detail like a cut will all go to separate layers rather than a single layer.

Graphic items

Graphic elements like images, strokes, fills and print images lines are all considered line type 14 and can be mapped to a different layer according to tuning.  However, images, strokes and fills are considered graphic elements in ArtiosCAD and can not be configured to use technical inks.  The process color will be used in the PDF.


 A hatch may also be comprised of strokes and fills.   Being graphic items, these can not be configured to use technical inks.  The process color will be used instead. 


Text, Dimension, Arrow and Line type label (Annotations) using the ArtiosCAD plotting style color are all considered line type 20 and will all be mapped to the same PDF layer. Using line type 20, they can also be specified with a technical ink.

Colored annotations

However, colored Annotations are considered graphic elements.  They can be mapped to PDF layers according to tuning as but can not be configured to use technical inks.  The process color will be used in the PDF.

Article information
Applies to

 ArtiosCAD 14.0.1 and newer

Created 03-Jul-14
Last revised 08-Apr-21
Author MRAN
CW Number

1 Comment

  1. Layers in the layered pdf will only be shown in Adobe Acrobat®, not in Adobe Illustrator®.