Memorial Day closure

Most City of Portland offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of Memorial Day.

File Naming Standards and Preparing PDFs for Single PDF Process


Please follow these guidelines when uploading and naming files to ensure your submittal is processed efficiently. All drawings must be uploaded in a single PDF file in landscape view. The application, calculations, and other non-plan documents required for your permit application must still be uploaded as their own PDFs separate from the drawings.

File Naming Standards for Single PDF

  • Name your documents simply, with straightforward titles (see examples below).
    • City of Portland generated documents should be named the title of the document.
    • Documents downloaded and saved from Portland.Gov or PortlandOregon.Gov have auto-generated naming and are okay to submit; there is no need to rename the files.
    • Note: Do not include permit numbers, addresses, or any other identifiers in the document name.
  • Filenames must be fewer than 50 characters long.
  • Please name Calculation Packets as either Supplemental or Replacement.
    • Note: Supplemental Calculation Packets provide relevant information in addition to the original Calculation Packet. Replacement Calculation Packets provide new information in replacement of the original calculation packet.
  • Warning! Do not create files with protected digital signatures or send certified PDFs.
  • Do not send digitally signed, permissions-protected, or certified PDFs. If your drawings include this, simply "Print to PDF" or re-save to "Reduced Size PDF".

For the complete File Preparation requirements please refer to the Applicant Single PDF Process Step and User Guide.

Applicant Single PDF Process Step and User Guide 


Below are two examples to use as a guide when naming your files.

Examples of acceptable file naming standards for the Single PDF Process.
Examples of acceptable file naming standards for the Single PDF Process.

Preparing PDFs for the Single PDF Process

PDF Requirements

  • Drawings must all be in 1 PDF in landscape view.
  • Plans must be drawn to scale.
  • Include a reference scale/scale bar on all drawings.
  • Leave space for BDS stamp in top-right or bottom right corner of drawings.
  • Supporting documents (calculations, reports, and other non-drawing files) should be searchable PDFs.
  • Disable font embedding when creating the PDF.
  • Scanned documents: 150 dpi/ppi; disable OCR Text Recognition.
  • When applicable, stamp files with signature per ORS and OAR*.
  • Send only unsecured, uncertified PDFs*.
  • Do not submit electronic signatures*.

*See the Fixing PDFs section below.

Fixing PDFs

Some PDF issues can be corrected on existing PDFs, without recreating the PDFs, by printing a PDF to PDF, a process known as “refrying” the PDF. PDFs with the following problems can usually be made compliant by refrying: secured or certified; include stamp files; and/or use electronic signatures.

Follow these steps to refry the PDF on a Windows computer; Mac users can sometimes resolve issues by using PDF Optimizer.

  1. Open the non-compliant PDF.
  2. In Acrobat Pro or Acrobat DC, choose FilePrint to open the Print dialog (see screenshot below).
  3. Select the Printer field to open a dropdown list of printers available on your system and choose Adobe PDF.
  4. In the Page Sizing and Handling section, select:
    1.  Actual Size 
    2. Choose Paper Source by PDF Page Size
    3. Use Custom Paper Size When Needed
    4. Orientation should be set to match the original document orientation.
  5. Select Print.
  6. You will be prompted for a location to save the new PDF. Do not replace the original PDF. Instead, save the new copy to your computer.
  7. When the refrying/printing-to-PDF process has finished, quit Acrobat.
  8. Locate the refried PDF you just created and double-click it to open it in Acrobat. Verify that it now meets BDS requirements.
The steps to refry a single PDF document