I have a map with several layers with different thickness. When I export into PDF there is no difference in thickness. Practically lines 0.25mm and 0.5mm are exported all as 0.5mm. When I export this map into JPG the thickness it is OK, it can be visible even without zooming in the map.

The fast solution is, I can export into .svg and create the PDF by using Inkscape.

I need to export directly from ArcMap 10.5 because I want to automate some stuff.

This screenshot is of two images exported from the same layout.

enter image description here

  • 1
    please edit your question, are you exporting the map or a page layout, are the layers overlapping, are the lines part of polygons or a line dataset. A screen shot of what you have and the bad output would help too.
    – Hornbydd
    Jan 18, 2021 at 14:51
  • Can you simplify a copy of your MXD and still see your problem? Can you describe the steps to go from. Blank Map to a simple MXD that reproduces the problem?
    – PolyGeo
    Jan 22, 2021 at 21:12
  • I tried it, still no result. Created completely a new project imported all the layers (i have to keep same symbology) and the result it is the same.
    – riflo
    Jan 23, 2021 at 22:22

1 Answer 1


This is not an issue of ArcMap or ArcGIS Pro, but is likely caused by Adobe Reader.

Go to Preferences/Page Display in Adobe Reader and switch off the option to "Enhance thin lines". This option will thicken any very narrow line work in your output PDF when displaying it in Adobe Reader, essentially ruining the display.

Unfortunately, Adobe made the decision to set this option to default on, a decision lamented by many graphics designers that see their designs being ruined upon display in Adobe Reader if it contains narrow line work (e.g. <0.5 pt)

I also recommend to set a suitable "Custom resolution" for your display, so the page size as displayed in Reader exactly matches true real world page size, so as to get the best experience judging your map's design.

enter image description here

  • Thank you for your detailed answer, however this did not solve the issue. I tried to view with 3 different softwares PDF reader same result. Your question is very useful thats why i'm marking it as solved.
    – riflo
    Feb 4, 2021 at 16:35

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