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Why will an ArtiosCAD PDF output scale down when opened in Illustrator®?


Adobe® originally imposed a maximum of 200" (5080mm) for a PDF page size.  When asked to increase that limit, the solution Adobe® implemented was to introduce a transformation as an additional parameter. The Esko PDF implemented this Adobe-solution in its ODL library by using a starting point of 190" (4826mm) and an internal transformation. So to get a 236" (5994mm) page, the PDF driver must pass in two parameters behind the scenes: 190", 1.24. It simply cannot pass anything > 190".  Remember, this is the Adobe solution.

When Illustrator® opens a PDF file it does not seem to honor this internal transformation. It uses only the starting point, so PDFs appear to get cut-off at 190" and the data is scaled down to fit the page size.

ArtiosCAD 12.1 used to limit its page sizes to 200", because that was the PDF limit. When asked to allow larger sizes, ArtiosCAD used the PDF/ODL implementation with a starting point of 190" + a transformation.  So there are cases where the PDF page size may be > 190" but < 200" and it seems like it is scaling down and also seems like a regression. But the real issue is that Illustrator® does not honor the Adobe solution with the additional transformation. 

A followup question could be that if we can at least use a starting point of 200". It may be possible, but no determination as to the reliability of the algorithm has been made. Even it were, PDF page sizes > 200" would run into the above problem, and also note that Illustrator® has a max artboard size of 227" (5766mm). So the problem exists today with PDF sizes > 227". Such PDF files would be cut to 227" and scaled down to fit the artboard and nothing can be done at that point.


If you wish to preserve the size of your design within the Illustrator® artboard, be sure to set the ArtiosCAD scale factor to 1 so that the design size is preserved within the PDF. Also use a PDF page size that is large enough to accommodate the design but does not violate the artboard max size. 

Article information
Applies to

ArtiosCAD 14 and newer

Last revised13-Aug-15
CW Number