5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 25, 2019 11:11 AM by bigbaldjohn

    Searchable Assembly PDF?



      I'm using CS 1.5.

      I need to make a PDF file for the assembly engineer that he can search to find the location of a component.

      The PDF files produced by Assembly Drawings can't be searched, result is always 'not found'.

      How do I make a searchable PDF file please?



        • Re: Searchable Assembly PDF?

          Sadly, it does appear that text on the assembly layers in the assembly drawing are not searchable.  However, I found that the text designators on the overlay layers is searchable.  Perhaps you can make a drawing that includes the overlay designators instead of the assembly text.


          If you have put both assembly graphics outlines and text on the same layer then you can select just the text and move it to the assembly text layer (top or bottom) using the selection filters.  As these are primitives of the components you need to use the CTRL key while you mouse drag select to pick them.  Once the component text and outlines are separated you can disable the assembly text from the assembly drawing and substitute the overlay text.


          Hopefully, someone else has a better answer than this.  I'm not sure how Altium Designer handles this or if it is any better.

            • Re: Searchable Assembly PDF?

              If you must use the overlay text then something that might be a workaround for you is to try as follows:

              - First backup/save your file.

              - Next goal is to hide the assembly text and then change the overlay text so it is all visible and in the component boxes.  The process is something like this.

              - Separate any text on the assembly top layer from graphics and move it to the assembly text top layer.  Use single layer mode and the CTRL-key and mouse drag select with the selection filter set to text.

              - Once text is selected; use the the PCB Inspector to put any text on the assembly text layer or some other layer.

              - Select all the overlay text (in single layer mode with a CTRL-key and drag-select while the selection filter is enable for texts only.)

              - In PCB inspector, change the hide box to unchecked for all so any hidden designators are shown.

              - In PCB inspector, change the autoposition setting from manual to center.  This should pull the texts back into the center of the components.

              - In PCB inspector, adjust other parameters you want such as text kind for TrueType, fonts, etc.


              Generate your assembly drawing using the overlay text and not the assembly text layers.

            • Re: Searchable Assembly PDF?

              Not quite what you asked, but the assembly house I used was OK with the 3D PDF as that lets you turn layers on and off and select individual components.


              • Re: Searchable Assembly PDF?

                .designator on a mechanical layer works.

                • Re: Searchable Assembly PDF?

                  Thanks for the suggestions guys.


                  What worked in the end was:

                  Project Options->Assembly Drawings->Configure

                       Untick Bottom Layer (I had no assembly on the bottom layer)

                       Tick Holes and TT Fonts on Top Layer settings               without TT Fonts, pdf is not searchable. Not sure if Holes needed!

                       Delete other layers

                  Outputs tab->Assembly Drawings

                       Select page from viewer

                       Print to PDF, current page                    I used CutePDF, probably Microsoft 'print to pdf' will work too


                  Hopefully this will help some poor soul in  the future!