Autodesk’s View On PDF

Many blogs are reporting the NOVEDGE interview with Mary Hope McQuiston, Head of Autodesk Extended Design Group. When asked about the difference between PDF and DWF she quoted a customer by saying, “With a PDF or GIF it’s like you’re getting a brochure of the design. DWF, on the other hand, is the design.”

Nothing is further from the truth and the Head of Autodesk Extended Design Group ought to know, unless she intends to blame the ignorant customer for her statement. A PDF file can contain a precise NURBS model of the design, and that too at a fraction of the original file size. In fact this is one of the hallmarks of PDF. And putting PDF in the league of GIF is plain and simple dumb, if not malicious.

I could have understood if this was a statement made by an external PR firm who sometimes have no clue of what they are talking about. Edelman recently summed up the history of AutoCAD into one sentence and in the bargain rewrote it completely.

I wonder what Adobe has to say about this.

  • Franco Folini

    Thank you Deelip for commenting on my interview to Mary Hope.

    The sentence you quoted is not coming directly from Mary Hope but from an anonymous DWF user. Mary Hope quoted the user when I asked her to explain the differences between PDF and DWF.

  • Franco Folini

    Thank you Deelip for commenting on my interview to Mary Hope. The sentence you quoted is not coming directly from Mary Hope but from an anonymous DWF user. Mary Hope quoted the user when I asked her to explain the differences between PDF and DWF.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Yes, I already got that.

  • Deelip Menezes

    Yes, I already got that.

  • ralphg

    I thought Autodesk marketing stopped using the “PDF is fine for text and images” line a couple of years ago. Perhaps Ms Hope was handed an out-of-date briefing book?

  • ralphg

    I thought Autodesk marketing stopped using the “PDF is fine for text and images” line a couple of years ago. Perhaps Ms Hope was handed an out-of-date briefing book?

  • Anonymous

    The lie I like the best is the one about how many “dwf” users there are based on some imaginary number of downloads of the “dwf reader”.

  • Anonymous

    The lie I like the best is the one about how many “dwf” users there are based on some imaginary number of downloads of the “dwf reader”.

  • Michael Kaplan

    Deelip,

    Thanks for setting the record straight on that one. I feel that you’ve been tough but fair when evaluating 3D PDF and Acrobat 3D in the past. As you pointed out, 3D PDFs can contain a lot of design data. Certainly there are differences, both pro and con, between what can be represented in 3D PDF versus DWF, but comparing PDF to GIF for brochures is not, as you pointed out, a fair characterization.

    Michael Kaplan
    Director of Engineering, Adobe Acrobat 3D
    Adobe Systems Incorporated

  • Michael Kaplan

    Deelip, Thanks for setting the record straight on that one. I feel that you’ve been tough but fair when evaluating 3D PDF and Acrobat 3D in the past. As you pointed out, 3D PDFs can contain a lot of design data. Certainly there are differences, both pro and con, between what can be represented in 3D PDF versus DWF, but comparing PDF to GIF for brochures is not, as you pointed out, a fair characterization.Michael KaplanDirector of Engineering, Adobe Acrobat 3DAdobe Systems Incorporated