Thanks for your post, advntr_inxs. I am going to move it to the PADS specific community where it will receive greater visibility among subject matter experts. The Members Resource area is for general community questions and suggestions.
I have the same problem.
One way of getting a searchable pdf is to use Libre Office to open the dxf and export to pdf. But the text location will be shifted so is not very useful.
Exporting pdf directly from Layout is another way but then any editing on the pdf (adding border, notes) is a pain.
I still don't have a good solution.
Try to export directly from pads layout.
The pdf will be searchable and some of the component attributes can be viewed in a pop-up box by right click the part. Once you open the pdf, there is a pulldown menu a top assembly and a bottom assembly and then under the top and bottom assembly a list of all the component parts in alphabetical order. Parts can be quickly located by selecting the Ref Des. in the pulldown menu or by CTRL + F in the keyboard. In addition to polarity identification “dot on silkscreen” pin numbers on decal can be added to quickly verify the proper orientation of the parts being placed specially IC’s and parts with multiple pins. Please screen shot below as your starting points. It is completely configurable depending on how you like the output.
From file menu, create pdf.