Exporting .MXD to Image file format

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06-01-2015 02:02 PM
SpencerLarson
New Contributor III

I am trying to export a mxd file to a pdf or any other image format.  The map has some gradient fills, Euclidean buffer rasters, transparencies, etc.  The .mxd file is about 4.75 mbs.  I am having issues exporting the map to a dpi higher than 200 and this even takes a couple hours to complete.  When I try to export at 250 or 300 dpi, ArcMap eventually crashes and I am left with a mxd that I can't export at a reasonable image quality cannont and create a electronic copy that is easily accessible for those without GIS.

Any suggestions?

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4 Replies
SepheFox
Frequent Contributor

Hmmm, this is not a particularly large file size. Is your mxd, data, and export location all local, or is any of this on a network location.

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SpencerLarson
New Contributor III

The data is on a server or a networked location, but I never had any issue with data being stored on a network and not being able to export. The map does have some raster graphics as well that I forget to mention.

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SepheFox
Frequent Contributor

Ok, what other image formats have you tried exporting to, besides PDF?

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ChrisDonohue__GISP
MVP Frequent Contributor

The two easiest solutions:

  1. Try exporting to your local C: drive.  This will bypass potential network slowdowns.
  2. Export to a tiff at the dpi you want.  Then use Photoshop or another image program to create the PDF.  The ArcMap pdf creation process is unfortunately not the most efficient way to make PDFs.

Also, something not-so-obvious to keep in mind in exporting via ArcMap:

- Once you apply a transparency to a layer, all the layers below that one in the Table of Contents will become rasterized on exportSo if one has an mxd with a dozen layers and the top layer has transparency applied, all the information will be exported as if it was raster, even vector linework!  This is very time consuming and memory intensive, not to mention that it creates huge files.

You can check this if you like by turning off all the transparency and then re-exporting and see the difference.  The other classic way to see this is load a dozen vector layers into a new mxd, export, then make the top layer transparent and export.  The second export will take much longer to process and will be huge.  And if you open the second file in Adobe Illustrator, all you will see is a raster.  Whereas the first export will still have vector linework.  Note that there was no raster layer in the mxd when you exported.

Chris Donohue, GISP