I am trying to export a geo-referenced pdf from ArcGIS 10.5.1.

I have the checkbox ticked in the advanced export settings (export map geo-reference information), but when I open the map using Adobe Acrobat Reader and try to use the measuring tools no georeferenced information is available i.e. The Lat and Long fields are blank.

The same issue has occurred across a variety of maps I have made with varying coordinate systems that are properly functioning within the MXD document itself.

  • I hope you are not exporting from layout view?
    – FelixIP
    Sep 6, 2018 at 6:50
  • I was, thank-you @FelixIP ! I can now see the coordinates using Adobes measuring tools. So, I suppose there is no way of exporting with a legend, title etc., as you would have in your layout view?
    – M Stewart
    Sep 10, 2018 at 22:56

1 Answer 1


I guess the reason is:

Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader versions 9 and later allow viewing of map coordinates and georeference information encoded inside the PDF file.

Exporting a map with the Export Map Georeference Information option enabled will record each data frame's georeference information inside the PDF. When the georeferenced PDF is opened in a compatible viewer, such as Adobe Reader 9, the user can access geospatial functions such as coordinate readout and finding x,y.

The geospatial functionality available to Adobe Acrobat and Adobe Reader users depends on which Acrobat 9 product they are using. When a PDF exported from ArcMap is used directly in the free Adobe Reader 9 product, tools for coordinate readout and find x,y will be available. If that same PDF is opened in any of the pay-for Acrobat products, an extended geospatial toolset is provided, including coordinate readout, find x,y, geodesic measurement, and georeferenced markup. This same extended toolset can be accessed in the free Adobe Reader if the PDF has first been resaved in Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro or Pro Extended using the Extend Features in Adobe Reader command in those programs. Enabling PDF for extended Adobe Reader features is only available in software from Adobe Systems, such as Adobe Acrobat Pro, and cannot be performed in ArcMap.

REFERENCES: HELP PAGE (desktop.arcgis)

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