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View Full Version : How do I make a multi-layered PDF for easy customization when printing?



RecklessEnthusiasm
07-07-2010, 12:53 PM
Basically, I want to have a few tic-boxes at the top of the page which, when clicked, will rotate a portion of the image, change a texture, add an overlaid grid, etc. Does anyone know what programs I could use for this, or know of any tutorials? Fat Dragon Games products on RPGnow come on multilayered PDFs which let you switch around textures, so I know it is possible--I just have no idea how to go about it!

ravells
07-07-2010, 01:18 PM
I hadn't realised that this was possible.

Looks like you need to do the original drawning in a CAD programme or illustrator which is supported by Adobe...see this link (http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/acrobat/articles/acr6layer/acr6layer.pdf) and this link. (http://www.creativepro.com/article/acrobat-how-to-working-with-layered-pdfs)

I'd love to find a way of doing this too without having to buy adobe acrobat professional a supported CAD programme or illustrator.

I've found a sample layered .pdf (http://www.centremapslive.co.uk/page/british_geological_survey_150000_geology_sample) map if anyone wants to try it. You'll need to open the document in adobe reader and Click View / Navigational Panels / Layers.

tilt
07-07-2010, 01:28 PM
don't know about the rotation - but acrobat prof supports not only layers, but also different page sizes :)

ravells
07-07-2010, 01:29 PM
And it gives you the ability to set latitude and longitude, mapping scales so the user can draw lines on the document in reader and get distances and things....very...very...tempted to buy it.....

RecklessEnthusiasm
07-07-2010, 01:51 PM
Yeah, my google-fu has yet to turn up any options other than Adobe Acrobat Pro. I guess they have a free 30-day trial, so I might DL it to fiddle around and see if it can do exactly what I want--it looks like it does.

tilt
07-07-2010, 01:58 PM
it is a rather cool program - of course its an integrated part of the "print" package CS3 I have so I don't think that much about it other than it mostly work in the background of InDesign :)

RecklessEnthusiasm
07-07-2010, 02:06 PM
Most of us hobbyists sadly don't have $500 to spend on it though. :(

tilt
07-07-2010, 02:41 PM
you gotta take some more commissions so you can save up :)

Katto
07-07-2010, 02:43 PM
With CS5 Adobe nearly doubled the prices for the student editions, but they are now allowed for commercial use and for the next update. Until now it was possible to book a weekend course in the (I don't know the word, here "Volkshochschule" or "VHS") ?evening school? to get a licence that allows you to buy the student edition. Not with CS5.

Gidde
07-07-2010, 06:47 PM
I use acrobat pro pretty regularly at work, and have no knowledge of being able to do what you're talking about. I suspect you'd need InDesign.

RecklessEnthusiasm
07-08-2010, 10:21 AM
Darn, maybe you're right, but I think it can do it with a plugin... Hm.

It's a feature right there in regular Acrobat's menu--surely it can be done!

tilt
07-08-2010, 10:27 AM
I'm sure you can do it with Acrobat alone - I think it works when importing a layered file into it, then a dialogue box appears ... just found an article about 2 non-adobe programs working with acrobat http://www.planetpdf.com/creative/article.asp?ContentID=creating_layered_pdf_documen ts&gid=6108

Katto
07-08-2010, 10:43 AM
I tried this morning to export files to layered pdfs. No problem with InDesign and Illustrator, but Photoshop doesn't work. Layered pdfs are possible since Acrobat 6/PDF 1.5.
In PS you can just select if the layers will be used for the pdf, but the result is a single one. Tried in CS3. There are a lot of psd->pdf converters in the market, perhaps one of these can do it.

RobA
07-08-2010, 01:04 PM
I checked in Acrobat Pro 6 at work, and you can't author layers in it, but it will create layers depending on the source when it converts, i.e. from visio or illustrator.

I took my "somethings cooking" map, composted it in visio using layers and rolled a pdf. Layers are icky to navigate but I found one can create booksmarks consisting of a layer view, so I have it set to open with bookmarks and the layer tab hidden.:
37975

I can see some potential here.


-Rob A>

Katto
07-08-2010, 01:53 PM
In Acrobat 9 Pro you can add layers. You can import the "usual" picture formats. I've made some screenshots.

RobA
07-08-2010, 01:58 PM
In Acrobat 9 Pro you can add layers. You can import the "usual" picture formats. I've made some screenshots.

Well that is sweet!

-Rob A>

ravells
07-08-2010, 01:59 PM
It would be absolutely brilliant for city mapping. Vector pdf output and layers...I'm salivating and finding out on the Serif boards whether we can do this on Drawplus...the lead developer says that it can, but I think he may be confusing it with something else...waiting for him to come back to me.

ravells
07-08-2010, 02:01 PM
In Acrobat 9 Pro you can add layers. You can import the "usual" picture formats. I've made some screenshots.

That settles it. If Serif can't do this then I'm buying Acrobat 9 pro.

ravells
07-08-2010, 02:29 PM
OMG! Serif exports to layers automatically when you publish as a .pdf....oh man I'm going to have some fun with this!!!

RecklessEnthusiasm
07-09-2010, 12:29 AM
Woo, glad we could work through this. I have to check out Serif software (drawplus?) now.

Lots of cool applications! Alternate layouts for cities, switchable grid between hex, square, or neither, alternate roads, alternate textures, untextured versions, removable city labels, addable and removable eye-candy, map overlays... I'm excited.

If for no other reason, it will be beneficial for distributing multi-leveled buildings.

Katto
07-09-2010, 03:01 AM
You're lucky ravells. It's a shame that Adobe can't manage it wit PS the easy way.

tilt
07-09-2010, 03:45 AM
yes... I just tried to make it with Layer Comps - but that didn't work either ... and thats just plain stupid, cause that works in InDesign so why not expand the funcionality to acrobat *sigh* ... guess they still need stuff to put in CS6 ... and Adobe, if you're listening... brush pipes... look at GIMP... :)

ravells
07-09-2010, 03:59 AM
Woo, glad we could work through this. I have to check out Serif software (drawplus?) now.

Lots of cool applications! Alternate layouts for cities, switchable grid between hex, square, or neither, alternate roads, alternate textures, untextured versions, removable city labels, addable and removable eye-candy, map overlays... I'm excited.

If for no other reason, it will be beneficial for distributing multi-leveled buildings.

I've been using Drawplus for years and I love it. It's much like Xara / Illustrator. I've just seen some of the videos of what Illustrator CS5 can do (http://www.adobe.com/products/illustrator/whatsnew/)and it's pretty mouthwatering though - especially the perspective tool and the 'beautiful strokes' tool.

tilt
07-09-2010, 04:07 AM
I've only seen the option of tapered lines.. and loved that - missed that for years :)

Maldin
10-03-2010, 06:00 AM
Apologies... just noticed this thread!
Back in early January I posted a layered PDF of Greyhawk's Underdark to my webpage at http://melkot.com/locations/underdark/underdark-region.html. Feel free to download (the in-page map is just a flat JPG) and check it out. There is also a new index map for the classic Gygax D-Series of modules at my Greyhawk's Underdark main page (http://melkot.com/locations/underdark/underdark.html). I've been meaning to update my Guide to RPG Mapmaking page (http://melkot.com/mechanics/map-guide.html) for some time with new bits about stuff like this.

Denis, aka "Maldin"

geamon
11-08-2010, 02:41 PM
I having trouble creating a layered PDF with Drawplus, when I publish as PDF the layers aren't added automatically. I must be missing something. Is it maybe a version issue? I currently use an old copy of X3 a friend had knocking around. I also tried skimming through the user manual didn't see anything.

Edit: Disregard this post I used another method to make the file.

Xandegar
04-24-2012, 12:56 AM
Thanks for this