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Export to PDF Drops Embeded Attribute Tables

08-26-2013 12:13 PM
Status: Closed
New Contributor II
For a couple of years now I've noticed that ArcGIS Desktop 10.0 & 10.1 have issues working with PDF exports from a map layout. If you build a map layout and embed some of your map layer attributes tables in it, then export to PDF directly from ArcMap, the grid lines disappear.  Other files types (i.e. JPEG) work fine.

However, if you try to do the same thing from Python code, the tables disappear altogether.  This is true for any image type.  It seems in order for the table to export properly, the MXD has to be physically launched in ArcMap to get the tables all assembled, then export.  Doing it through Python doesn't seem to build the tables in the layout properly.

Now I've tried all sorts of tricks to work around this issue.  I have to assume that there are many others out there who, like me, would like to automate their soft copy map updates.  A colleague of mine managed to write an ArcMap add-in that will let you point to a folder full of MXDs and open each one individually and Export to PDF.  For the project that we were working on that was great.  Now I'm trying to fully automate the entire process for another project

Since October of 2010 two separate (but duplicate) bugs were logged but ESRI tech support for this issue (NIM062177 and NIM063441).  Recently when I made another request for support on it, I was told that the bug had been eliminated because according to the development group that this functionality is not part of the design of the software.  Then why do the arcpy modules (ExportToPDF) even exist is they don’t fully function?  So according to ESRI tech support I have to post this issue here to see how much attention it gets.  Anyone who stumbles upon this posting, please comment so that they can see that it’s something that would benefit all of us if it was fixed.
Preach. I've had the same problem. The file has to be physically open. When you're trying to automatically export an large number of maps, that's just silly. What's the point of having the module there if it doesnt actually work?
Yea "lz06698".  I ended up writing a Python AddIn Extension that runs the arcpy.mapping.PrintMap function right before the document closes. This allows the MXD to open and fully assemble the geometry and tables before producing the PDF file. Today I plan to put it all together in one script that opens the MXD, runs the extension to produce the PDF, and closes the MXD. All this will be attached to a scheduled task so that the data and masp are updated on a regular basis.

This is a heck of a work around for bugs (NIM062177 and NIM063441).
now mid 2015 and this is still and issue - ole tables I use all the time so that will mean that complicated workarounds are needed to fix what shouldn't be an issue. Sounds like there is no schedule on fixing it still either.
Status changed to: Closed

ArcGIS Desktop is in mature support and will be retired March 1, 2026 so we won’t be considering this idea. We recommend that you migrate to ArcGIS Pro, our fully supported desktop GIS application. See Migrate from ArcMap to ArcGIS Pro for more information. Thank you for taking the time to share your ideas. We truly appreciate your contributions to continuously improving the software to help you do your work and look forward to what ideas you have for ArcGIS Pro.