Export to PDF

PDF files are designed to be consistently viewable and printable across different platforms. They are commonly used for distributing documents on the web, and the format is now an official ISO standard for document interchange. PDFs are editable in many graphics applications and retain map georeference information, annotation, labeling, and feature attribute data. PDF exports support font embedding.

To export a PDF file, complete the following steps:

Make sure a map, layout, or report view is active. On the Share tab, click Map Export, Layout Export, or Report Export depending on the active view, to open the Export pane.

Set the File Type to PDF. Set a name and location for the file, as well as any other properties, and click Export.


Certain options are only available when exporting a map or layout. When exporting a map, you can set the size of the map export. When exporting a layout, you can clip to graphics extent.

There are many properties available when exporting to a PDF. They are listed under two tabs in the pane, Properties and Security. When exporting a map series, an additional Map Series tab with properties specific to the map series. For more information about exporting a map series, see Export a map series.


The Properties tab contains the general properties and settings for a PDF export. The following properties are available:


Output as image

Export vector content as an image. For maps or layouts containing vector layers with a high density of vertices, this can drastically reduce the output file size. When using this option, some enhanced features, such as layers and attributes, no longer work.

Image compression

The compression scheme used to compress image or raster data in the output file. Choose from the following:

  • None—Compression is not applied.
  • RLE—Run-length encoded compression, a lossless compression method.
  • Deflate—Lossless compression method.
  • LZW—Lossless compression method using a code table.
  • JPEG—Lossy compression method.
  • Adaptive—JPEG and Flate compressions are combined depending on the contents of the stream.


The amount of image compression applied to the export. Low quality has a smaller file size but less clear data; max quality has a larger file size but crisper data.

Compress vector graphics

Compress the vector content streams. This option should be left on unless you need clear text for troubleshooting.

Vector resolution

The effective dpi of the vector data in the layout. DPI is available only when exporting a layout. When exporting a map, the dpi is calculated automatically.

Raster resample

The amount of image resampling. The control determines the effective resolution of raster content on output. For instance, if the output image quality ratio is set to 1:2 and the output resolution is set to 300 dpi, the raster content will be output at approximately 150 dpi. In many cases, the raster data can be included at a lower dpi than the vector data without visibly affecting quality, which will reduce the output file size.

Embed fonts

Include embeddable fonts in the exported file to maintain font consistency across different platforms.

Convert character marker symbols to polygon

Controls whether marker symbols based on font characters are exported as characters referenced from the font or as polygons. Check this option to view the output on a machine that does not have the appropriate fonts installed when you cannot embed the fonts due to licensing or file format restrictions.

Export georeference information

Include geospatial information from the map frames. If this information is included, you can extract x,y coordinate information from the map frames and perform geographic measurement directly on the map frame.

Layers and attributes

Include layers in your map or layout. Additionally, you can choose to include the attribute data from the features. Including attributes for a large number of layers can affect the performance.

Simulate Overprint

Sometimes called soft proofing, simulating overprinting shows a representation of how overlapping areas of ink appear when printed on a page. You set up overprinting on the symbol layers of symbols or graphics.

Learn more about overprinting


When you simulate overprint on export, vector features are rasterized into images. They are not maintained as individual vector layers in the output PDF file.

Embed color profile

Include the color profile set for the map or layout in the exported file. This helps create consistency in colors when the file is viewed on different devices.


The Security tab contains options relating to the security of the PDF export, including password protection and restricting editing capabilities.

Use password to restrict opening document

Set a password that must be entered before you or others can view the exported file.

Use password to restrict editing and permission settings

Set a password that must be entered before you or others can edit or be granted permissions on the exported file.

Enable copying

Allow others to copy the exported file.

Enable text access for screen readers

Allow screen readers to access the text in the exported file and read it aloud.

Printing allowed

Set the print quality allowed, or restrict printing of the exported file.

Editing allowed

Set the type of editing allowed on the exported file.

Related topics

In this topic
  1. Properties
  2. Security