I have a very similar need, and in several different applications.
I would like to say, no problem at all, doing all that in OG. But they keep removing features, so I have problems doing that in OG 6 that I did not have in OG 4. Eg. Layers are badly broken after OG 4, and that interferes with this task.
Understandably, it is clunky, only because you are new to the tool. I do all that in OG and I would not touch Adobe anything if you paid me. A single 55-page PDF as the final output, is the way to go (but wait for it).
Creation & Maintenance
When you need to create and maintain the Diagram (not the PDF).
For reasons that should be obvious, yes, draw the entire sequence on one canvas. Among other things, this allows you to ensure that the final 55 pages present in perfect sequence, without any visual stagger.
Each final page on a separate ordinary layer is correct. Therefore your working diagram is one canvas with 55 layers (one perhaps 1 or two shared layers).
This is a permanent diagram: when you have to make changes, this is the one you change. (I didn’t say static, I said permanent.)
When you need to produce the 55 page PDF file (from the single canvas Diagram).
Duplicate that one canvas 55 times, once for each final page. You now have 55 canvases, one for each final page.
Now go through each page.
Turn off each Layer that does not apply, such that the visible layers in each single page form the step (result page) in the sequence, correctly.
This also allows you to place an unique title and page number on each page, automatically.
- Export EntireDocument as PDF. The result is a single PDF file with 55 pages.
A. Once you have done that a few times, and built up some experience in OG, you will learn ways of optimising the diagram (one canvas, one page), quite naturally. Eg. dealing with the layers, such that the diagram has say 32 instead of 55 layers (and continues to produce 55 pages).
B. Here the duplicated “shared layers” (schizophrenia by another name) becomes a problem, and you will tear your hair out. Even the label is confusing: any layer is “shared” as long as you copy-paste it into a canvas. But they have white layers and green layers, that behave like kids playing in the traffic.
OG 4 Master Layers worked perfectly (no duplicates producing unintended results that you have to hunt down and kill, no schizophrenia). Eventually, hopefully while you still have a few follicles intact, you will figure out how to minimise (unfortunately not eliminate) the horrendous effects of duplicates.
C. Since God has Graced me with the normal human revulsion of duplicates, and as prescribed by the great Dr E F Codd (1970), I never duplicate anything. (The duplicated “shared layers” cannot be avoided, it is forced upon the sane by the insane.) What I mean is, I never duplicate any shape or object (Group of shapes to form a complex shape) in the diagram. If you do, you create a maintenance problem where there was none: when the object has to be modified, you have to change it in 3 or 5 or 55 places. Cut-paste may be fine, but then you have to reconnect any lines that are attached.
- Therefore, duplicate at your own risk, and with the guarantee of finding out the hard way.
Hierarchies are normal in the natural universe, and they are the best way to present data, because the human mind understands them immediately, and explanation can be avoided. But there are two problems.
In the modernist idiocy that we live in, hierarchies are suppressed. The result is, the understanding of hierarchies, and how to present them (as distinct from the recognition and understanding upon receipt), is lost in history. Except for oldies like me.
The point is, learn to present information in terms of:
the hierarchy that the data naturally occurs in
because it is the best way to understand that data.
The main reason is, hierarchies maintain Context, and nothing else does. And Context gives meaning, which fosters comprehension.
If you do not do that (ie. you present information in some form other than an hierarchy, and specifically the hierarchy in which the data occurs in the natural universe), then Context is lost, and you will struggle to transmit meaning.
The most common Layout in which hierarchies are presented is also the most demented: the upside-down tree, or Organisation Chart. Demented for many reasons, the most obvious being that it requires masses of real estate, and has limits along the horizontal (resulting in having to mess with the tree, to fit the canvas, and then the messed objects are not hierarchic).
The alternate Layout is far, far better. It is the Explorer pane in any good PDF reference manual (the OG manual is great, and an example of OG, but it is not a reference). Think, a 100- or 500-page PDF, its Table of Contents. That is laid out in an hierarchy, with indentation (ie. not left-justified). Or in the Explorer pane with Expand/Collapse buttons. Or the left pane in FileManager. Or Finder in List mode with Expand/Collapse triangles.
Point is, if I were you, I would present the chart in Explorer Layout, complete with the rich graphics, in sequence.
(I have a third, even more superior Layout+Method for presenting complex and technical information, but that is commercial.)