I'm struggling to export a functional geospatial PDF from ArcGIS Pro for use in Avenza maps. I believe the issue stems from ArcGIS Pro's force feeding of "rich" PDFs on the user. The maps completely stall during download in Avenza while similarly sized files from ArcMap are fine.

See: https://community.esri.com/thread/179579

Generally I have workarounds for ArcGIS Pro's PDF export process, so that I can produce smaller, rasterized files. However none of them seem to preserve the map's spatial reference information, rendering the map useless for me in the Avenza app.

Has anyone else come across this?

  • If you want to reach out to our support team directly (help.avenzamaps.com), we might be able to better assist in seeing what the issue might be!
    – Kate B
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 13:18
  • 1
    As a workaround you might try the following: 1. to export your pdf output as an image (export options) or 2. actually export to a geotiff since Avenza can use that instead of a pdf.
    – John
    Commented Jul 25, 2019 at 14:25
  • I hadn't thought of a geotiff, but will give that a try in the future.
    – tordor
    Commented Jul 26, 2019 at 16:47

2 Answers 2


ArcGIS Pro 2.4 (released a few weeks ago) quantizes complex vector geometry based on your chosen DPI, thereby potentially drastically reducing file size of your exported PDFs. If you've not yet updated, it might be worth a try to see if this helps with your processing problem.


I found the culprit to be layer effects (e.g. gradient fills), which dramatically increase file size. Ensuring all layers were simple fill cleared up the problem. Additionally, I needed to check the "embed fonts" box in order to preserve all annotation.

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