Beginning in AutoCAD 2016 a new feature was introduced where any text that was created using SHX fonts would be converted to annotations when exported to PDF files. This was a creative way to enable text searching on non-standard fonts within the resulting pdf file. While this seems like a great tool from a product development standpoint, it quickly became apparent that this caused huge problems in the real world. PDF files were being generated with tens of thousands of annotations, most of which consisted of only a single letter or number. That doesn't provide much value when it comes to indexing or searching a pdf file and the excessive annotations very frequently cause industry leading pdf viewers such as Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat to crash.
In response to community feedback AutoDesk quickly released an update that allows you to turn this feature off. Follow the quick instructions below to turn this feature off and significantly improve your pdf output.
- Open AutoCAD
- From the command prompt type "EPDFSHX" and press enter
- Enter 0 to turn the feature off and press enter
That's it! The next pdf file that you export will automatically convert SHX fonts to geometry and prevent the explosion of pdf annotations.