Forums/Gliffy Online/FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

How To: High Quality PDF Exports

Keith Rockhold
posted this on June 18, 2012, 10:00 AM

Gliffy is a vector graphics application. When you export to a JPG or PNG, you are converting from vector graphics to a raster or bitmap image format. This conversion comes with a decrease in some aspects of image quality, resulting in a blurred image, or one that cannot be resized without a loss of fidelity. When printing to a PDF through the native Gliffy function, you are exporting to a PNG which is then placed in the PDF. 

We recommend exporting as SVG, then printing that to a PDF for the highest quality:

For folks who want a higher quality exported image directly, the use of a PDF softprinter is recommended. You can get one of these for Windows, for free, from a few different places, CutePDF ( and PrimoPDF ( are both excellent and easy to use products. If you are running Mac OSX, you have a PDF softprinter already built in. A softprinter is a piece of software you install that behaves, to your system, just like any other printer. Instead of printing to paper, it saves the print job as a PDF file. These applications can render the Gliffy diagram as PDF and retain the vector graphics, and as such, the sharpness of the original image.


If you are running Windows, follow this procedure:

  1. Download and install CutePDF (
  2. Open your diagram in Gliffy 
  3. Select File -> Print 
  4. Set the appropriate options for pages, orientation. This is controlled through your browser print function and not through Gliffy. 
  5. Click Print (not pdf) 
  6. Windows will open a Print dialog box. (if you are using Google Chrome, click "Print using system dialog"). Select "Cute PDF Writer" from the name drop down list. 
  7. Click OK 
  8. A "Save As" dialog box should appear, with the filename "File.pdf". Change the file name and save location to suit your needs.


To use the built in Mac PDF softprinter:

  1. Open document in Gliffy 
  2. Click Print 
  3. Set the appropriate options for pages, orientation. This is controlled through your browser print function and not through Gliffy. 
  4. Click Print (not pdf) 
  5. The Page Setup window should appear, ensure the page size and orientation is correct, then click "OK" 
  6. Print window should appear, click PDF.


Now you should have a high quality PDF document that can be edited, enlarged or shrunk without loss of fidelity. 



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Lisa Siddons

I tried this (printing to Adobe Acrobat Pro) but the text was all shifted out of the boxes (it was an org chart) and even though it was clear, it wasn't usable.

November 14, 2012, 9:37 AM
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Paul Hahler

Hi there,

the same happened to me! The quality of images is better and the whole document is scalable, but texts that are fine in view mode and every other print mode will shift out of their boxes using another kind of alignment. Could you please fix this within your software? Getting diagrams printed or exported in an acceptable way is something crucial for us!

January 23, 2013, 5:10 AM
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Keith Rockhold
Gliffy, Inc.

Hi Paul,

Would you please open a support ticket over this issue?

Thank you,
Keith Rockhold

Gliffy Inc.
PO Box 7775 #35255
San Francisco, CA, 94120-7775

877-2-Gliffy (877-245-4339)

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January 29, 2013, 3:47 PM
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Riaan Eloff

Hi folks, this seem to be a great solution, BUT, there is no PRINT option on my FILE menu in gliffy. How come?

October 14, 2013, 2:16 AM
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Na Dine

Hey there. I have the same problem. There is no print Option.

November 8, 2013, 5:21 AM
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Katy Kelly
Gliffy, Inc.

If you are using the Gliffy Chrome app, there is no direct print option there. You must save as a PNG/JPG then print from your computer.

If you are using Gliffy Online, there is a Print option under File:

November 8, 2013, 3:14 PM
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Chung Tran

This method is no longer working because of no "Print" option with Gliffy!

January 29, 2015, 1:27 AM
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So there is no other way around this. Let's hope the software developers will think this incompatibility through and they will come up with a solution that would save us time and money. Thankfully you don't have to worry about that if you're using some professional support. The guys at (link removed) do a pretty good job in this matter.

January 29, 2015, 2:15 PM
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Katy Kelly
Gliffy, Inc.

Hi Chung,

There is a print option under the File menu in Gliffy Online:

If you have further questions, please email

January 29, 2015, 2:49 PM
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Chung Tran

Hi Katy,

Thanks for your reply.

I can not use Gliffy online because the language is in France so I do not understand anything at all.

I still stick with the Gliffy app within google chrome!

January 29, 2015, 11:57 PM
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Janice Thomas

If you are using Gliffy Online, there is a Print option under File

March 2, 2015, 8:51 PM