Why is the PDF Export function not working in SOLIDWORKS Electrical?

Article by Vipanjot Kaur, CSWP updated November 10, 2017


Quite often customers using SOLIDWORKS Electrical have issues accessing printer properties while printing and creating PDFs from electrical drawings.

SOLIDWORKS Electrical PDF Export

SOLIDWORKS Electrical Import/Export Options

SOLIDWORKS Electrical PDF Export files are created with a third party application called “PDF Creator“. Originally it used to be installed with SOLIDWORKS Electrical up to SOLIDWORKS 2016 SP4. But with SOLIDWORKS 2016 SP5 and onwards it was removed from the installation manager because antivirus applications often detected a potential threat which would result in SOLIDWORKS Electrical installation failure.

If you need to save SOLIDWORKS Electrical schematics as PDF, the SOLIDWORKS Electrical PDF creation utility can be downloaded separately.

Print Drawings Dialog Box and Options

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Copy all files from ‘C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Electrical\GhostScript\bin’ and paste them in ‘C:\Program Files\SOLIDWORKS Corp\SOLIDWORKS Electrical\GhostScript’.
  2. Open the registry editor and navigate to ‘HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Trace Software\SolidWorks Electrical\Services\’
  3. Change the value of the ‘PDFPrinterName’ registry key from ‘TsPs’ to ‘PDFCreator’. If the ‘PDFPrinterName’ registry key does not exist, create it as a new string value.
  4. Navigate to ‘HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Trace Software\ SolidWorks Electrical\Settings\CustomTempDir’.
  5. Change the value of the ‘CustomTempDir’ registry key to a path that does not contain a space. For example; ‘CustomTempDir=c:\temp’. If the ‘CustomTempDir’ registry key does not exist, create it as a new string value. Make sure to use a path that actually exists. If you do not follow this step, the ‘Export PDF files’ function will not return an error, but it will not create a PDF file.
  6. Install or reinstall the PDFCreator software from http://download.pdfforge.org/download/pdfcreator.
    1. Select a setup language and click on the ‘OK’ button.
    2. On the Welcome page, click the ‘Next’ button.
    3. In the ‘Select Components’ section, disable ‘PDF Architect 4.
    4. Click the ‘Next’ button.
    5. Click the ‘Install’ button.
    6. ‘PDF Architect – Install PDF Architect with great free features’ click on the ‘No thanks’ button.
    7. ‘Get Web Companion PRO for FREE’. Select ‘No, don’t protect me’ and click on the ‘Next’ button
    8. Click the ‘Finish’ to complete install.

If you install the PDFCreator software, a dialog will prompt you to install the Web Companion add-in for your default homepage and PDF Architect 4. SOLIDWORKS Technical Support recommends that you select the ‘No, don’t protect me’ option to decline the installation of both of these applications. PDF Architect 4 may interfere with enabling other SOLIDWORKS add-in products.

Once PDF Creator is installed you should be able to create PDF’S and print Electrical drawings with no issues. To learn how to create SOLIDWORKS Electrical Smart PDF read this Blog article.

Learn more about SOLIDWORKS Electrical

Attend a SOLIDWORKS Electrical training course either in a Canadian classroom near you or live online. For more information about electrical software and training solutions call 18772196757.

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Vipanjot Kaur, CSWP

Vip is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional (CSWP) and is based in our Oakville Ontario head office.