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Ungroup usually takes them apart.  Unless raster image pdf, which is only one layer. 

ungroup results in several objects- 

  A blank or white rectangle in front of one or more groups full of vectors. Text is broken into polys see edit below


Edit: the ungroup produces a bitmap (low res image) of the pdf, a blank/white rectangle and one or more groups of vector geometry.  text seems to disappear.  copy/paste of text from original pdf into vwx or into a text block in vwx causes a mashup of useless characters.


Edited by Benson Shaw
Eeeee. Text mining
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It really depends on how the PDF was originally created. As @Benson Shaw says, when you ungroup you typically get 3 objects, the bitmap of the overall image, the blank rectangle (that I have always assumed represented the "paper"), and a group.  What is in the group will depend on the PDF.


If it is coming from a vector based program (another cad system or something like Illustrator) you will likely get the line work that you can use. But often you will only get "visible" portions of the lines. Or the originator of the file will have taken short cuts and not drawn everything so when you start deleting objects you find that the sturcture you expect underneath is not there.


If it is coming from a scan or an image based application like Photoshop, it is likely that you will have very little in the group that is useful.


I have seen text come through both as text objects that can be selected and as polygons that are basically useless. It again depends on the source of the drawing. Autocad and other programs that us DWG as their native file format are some of the worst. Instead of using system fonts, many users are still using .SHX fonts that translate horribly.


So, to finally answer your question, No, there is no good way to explode a PDF.  Ungroup it and see what is there and use what you can.

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Attached pdf was exported from vwx. Maybe it's just this file, but copy/paste text from the pdf to word processing/notes/email and vwx text boxes produces junk.  If ported into vwx and ungrouped, the usual bitmap, blank rectangle and geometry group show up.  But text is mostly missing.  Ummmm ???


I'm using Preview as pdf and image reader.




Mogan elev.pdf

Edited by Benson Shaw
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I've done something like this in the past(but this exactly).

  1. convert the .pdf to eps e.g. with Adobe Acrobat or http://www.calvina.de/pstoedit/ - pstoedit  says it can now do this direct.

  2. convert .eps to .dxf with ghostscript/gsview with the pstoedit plugin 


VW's mangling of text makes it near useless unless file very basic.


Considering that VW signed an MOU with Adobe several years ago I expected something meaningful would havecome out by now including this.

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6 hours ago, Elite Exhibits said:

¿ What FONT are you utilizing ?

Appears to be Arial.  But pdf posted above is Construction Doc.  I also found an As-Built from newer vwx version.  Opened in v2023  Exported the sheet via vwx Export PDF.  Text in this newer one can copy/paste successfully from the pdf to other text edit apps and into vwx (creates a text block), or into existing vwx text blocks. Comes in as Helvetica.


Need to try Publish next, but probably still good.


Drag drop new pdf into vwx ungroups as expected, but text is all missing.  New one attached.



Morgan Elev v2023.pdf

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