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jgmrussell

Tracing from a pdf.

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Hi all,

I'm trying to figure how to trace over a section of a drawing I have with VW2008 It's a pdf of a plan of a house. It's a very complicated wall layout and I tried to manually transfer, using scale etc. but I got the bright idea of if I could crop the section of the pdf I wanted to trace and import it into VW and then trace around the outline to get an exact duplicate.

Is this possible and if so, is there an easy way to do this?

I'm a very light user of VW (I only do kitchen design)so any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

John

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Yes it is possible.

Import the pdf. File>Import>Import PDF...>Navigate to the file.

Assuming there is a known dimension on the pdf (let's call it A), draw a new dimension of the known dimension on the pdf (let's call it B).

If you've led a virtuous life they will be the same.

In the unlikely even that they are not...

1. Select and copy the length of the B dimension from the Length field in the OIP.

2. Select the pdf.

3. Modify>Scale Objects... Choose Symmetric and enter A/B into the X,Y,Z Factor field. (A is the known value from the pdf and B is in your clipboard ready to paste.)

4. Hit OK.

The pdf is now scaled to your layer scale.

The easiest thing to do next is create a new layer above the layer with the PDF (and with the same scale!) and draw what you need on that layer, then turn off the layer with the PDF when you're done with it.

I don't think you can crop a pdf without resorting to Design Layer Viewports. But I may be wrong about that.

btw - If you do this more than a couple times, it may be worthwhile to look at upgrading to 2009. In 2009, VW figures out the scale math for you, and - more importantly- allows you to snap to lines on a pdf (if the pdf was created with vector based software, like Illustrator or ACAD or ....). This makes 2009 MUCH more accurate when scaling the pdf and tracing over lines.

hth

michaelk

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Did you know that it is possible to convert a pdf (it is dependent on how 'clean' the pdf is however) to dwg in Adobe Illustrator?! If you have access to this program perhaps it could save you quite some time.....

Edited by Vincent C

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Sort of OT, but has anyone ever had any luck with the VW "Trace Bitmap" command? I have only tried a few samples, but it does nothing for me. I have a friend who does convert pdfs to vector drawings in Illustrator, apparently with better luck.

As to cropping a pdf, I have done that prior to opening in VW, which helps. And, my VW 2009 really helps with the ability to snap to pdf points. I recently was doing a land plan in an existing subdivision and was able to trace roads, etc easily.

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I haven't paid attention to when it works and when it doesn't work, but sometimes you can ungroup a pdf and get many, many polygons.

Doesn't do very well with text, as you can imagine...

michaelk

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illustrator works really well if it was made another CAD app/vector based app, as you can open up the layers/groups and turn on and off what you want and then export to DWG. i have not had it fail on me yet. it has saved my bacon on many occasions

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Hi MichaelK,

I'm using your suggestion and I have imported the pdf into VW. I'm using a dimension from the drawing as my reference, in this case 4'-0". (BTW, pdf drawing scale is 1/4" and so is my new blank page.) I'm then drawing a line the same as the dimension. It comes out at 5'4". I highlight the 5'4" in the delta Y field in the OIP and choose copy from edit. I then click Modify and Scale objects. I type in 4' for pdf measurement and then try to paste my lenght of 5'4" but it will not paste. I then type it in as 5'4" and try to click OK but all it does is highlight the field I just filed in. Is there a proper way to input the measurements? Could you tell me how to fill that line in knowing my 2 measurements or is there something else I not doing or doing incorrectly.

Thanks for your time on this.

John

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Hi John

You don't have to copy and paste it, but it's easier if the B dimension ends up being something like 27' 3.2334" - in your case it sounds like it is easy enough to type it in.

So if it doesn't paste in just type it.

Select the pdf. (NOT the dimension object you just created - make sure the OIP says PDF in the top left corner) Modify>Scale Objects...

It's important that you chose Symmetric (pretty sure it's the top option). In the X,Y,Z Factor field enter 4'/5'4". You could also enter .75 - same thing.

hth

michaelk

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You can't do math with units in the scale dialog box. You will need to manually convert to a single unit (feet or inches) and put the decimal numbers in for the numerator and denominator without any unit marks.

so you could enter

48/64

or

4/5.333

or

0.75

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Thanks for catching that, Pat. :)

I always assumed that it did. Because it's looking for a real number, and dividing a length by a length yields a real number. But it's really just performing a division of two real numbers and not accepting lengths...

Another reason to upgrade to 2009.

michaelk

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I just tried again in VW2009. The Scale Object dialog box does not take anything with unit marks it it there either.

Keep your fingers crossed.

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Hi Michael & Pat,

the 48/64 input worked like a charm. pdf is now scaled. I can see your point about VW2009 being able to snap to lines in the pdf. It's difficult to find the exact start etc. of a wall for instance.

Anyway, now that I got this far, I'd like to use your suggestion of a new layer on top of the pdf. I'm trying to figure out how to do this. I did create a new layer but it took me to a blank layer. So, is it easy to create a 2nd layer that will go over pdf and allow me to trace pdf and then use it on it's own.

Thanks again,

John

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In the Organization Palette, you can change the stacking order of layers by dragging in the column with the # sign at the top.

Then make sure your Layer Options is set to at least Show/Snap others. It sounds like you currently have it set to Active Only.

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