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Bruce Kieffer

Import Illustrator File

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Try an eps file out of illustrator.  Not sure if text will carry through as editable, though.

 

EDIT: Barkest's idea below probably better :)  

Edited by EAlexander

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Yes there is. I don't have CS5.1 so I assume this option exists (I seem to remember it does but I am going back away now).

 

Create some text and then export it as .DWG. Import into VW and its still text.

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 18.41.27.png

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Just now, EAlexander said:

Try an eps file out of illustrator.  Not sure if text will carry through as editable, though.

 

I believe that eps would only give you a bitmap.

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7 hours ago, barkest said:

Yes there is. I don't have CS5.1 so I assume this option exists (I seem to remember it does but I am going back away now).

 

Create some text and then export it as .DWG. Import into VW and its still text.

 

 

Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 18.41.27.png

 

This would be perfect, but AI CS 5.1 is dead with OSX Sierra, so I can't open the AI file to export it. I have Affinity Designer which will open AI files, but none of AFD's export formats work when imported to Vectorworks. EPS only brings in a bitmap.

Screen Shot 2016-10-03 at 8.37.52 PM.png

Edited by Bruce Kieffer

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If you want to send me the .ai file I can load it up and export it and send it back if it is a one-off?

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18 hours ago, Bruce Kieffer said:

Is there a way to import an Illustrator CS5.1 file into Vectorworks? Best I can get is a bitmap. I need to be able to edit text.

A few possibilities here:

1. If save with PDF compatibility was on when saving the the file you might be able to import it as a PDF and then decompose it for editing. You may have to change the extension to PDF for this to work (yes I know MacOS does not really use extensions to determine the file type.

2. If the above does not work, and you mentioned Affinity Designer, import the file in another program that can open the AI file and then export to PDF and try to import that one and then edit in VW.

3. If none of the above works, there is software that can convert PDF to DXF/DWG, e.g. Visual Integrity's PDF2CAD which is available for MacOS X and Windows (Their PDF Fly can convert to other formats as well including DWG/DXF). There are other software programs providing similar functionality, a google search will give you some of them as well.

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8 hours ago, barkest said:

If you want to send me the .ai file I can load it up and export it and send it back if it is a one-off?

I appreciate the offer, but I have lots of old AI files. At least Affinity Designer opens them and does a good job. I'll keep trying to find a way to get them to Vectorworks by testing some of the other suggestions.

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I tried one of the online AI to DFX convertors and the results ver not acceptable. No fonts, very little useable object shapes. I can't find an AI to DWG convertor to test. I guess this is just not going to work. I wrote to Affinity asking them to help. I'll see what they say.

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ooh, be careful with any resultant curves especially...

Illustrator uses bezier curves and DXF uses polyline... So you'll get a rough approximation of the original, and it depends on what convertor you use, as to what accuracy you'll get. Most likely it'll either be appalling and inaccurate, or busted into billions of little lines.

 

Also, if you need specific fonts, you'll probably have to convert them to lines/curves within illustrator first. Font handling is very different between the two. PDF embeds fonts, AI don't.

If you can load your AI into any other program, might you be able to "print to PDF" which will give you a PDF you can import... it's a pain but a workaround?

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3 hours ago, RussU said:

ooh, be careful with any resultant curves especially...

Illustrator uses bezier curves and DXF uses polyline... So you'll get a rough approximation of the original, and it depends on what convertor you use, as to what accuracy you'll get. Most likely it'll either be appalling and inaccurate, or busted into billions of little lines.

 

Also, if you need specific fonts, you'll probably have to convert them to lines/curves within illustrator first. Font handling is very different between the two. PDF embeds fonts, AI don't.

If you can load your AI into any other program, might you be able to "print to PDF" which will give you a PDF you can import... it's a pain but a workaround?

 

Bezier curves are usually converted to splines in dwg/dxf, assuming the conversion software does a good job. At least that is my experience with the PDF to dwg/dxf software that I am using. As always, the quality of the input determines the possible quality of the output. PDFs created by AutoCAD and the likes can be messy to deal with depending on how the PDF was generated. Basically it is a matter of trying out varies software options and pick the one that gives the best results for your purpose.

 

Fonts should not be an issue if a PDF is used as a basis for the conversion. There will be  a problem if the PDF was created by AutoCAD using SHX fonts as those are converted to lines upon creating the PDF.

If the PDF has been created with Illustrator or Affinity Designer fonts should get converted into editable text. That being said... depending on text formatting (paragraphs/columns/etc) the text blocks may be broken down in multiple pieces instead of a single column of text, even within the same sentence, but that is still better than no text or garbled text.

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3 hours ago, Bruce Kieffer said:

I tried one of the online AI to DFX convertors and the results ver not acceptable. No fonts, very little useable object shapes. I can't find an AI to DWG convertor to test. I guess this is just not going to work. I wrote to Affinity asking them to help. I'll see what they say.

AI to DXF is tricky compared to converting PDF to DXF/DWG. Did you try to save as a PDF and then try to convert that to DXF/DWG? It might give better results.

 

Serif DrawPlus (the Windows counterpart of Serif's Affinity Designer) could export to DXF so I hope they will put DXF export into Designer too at some stage.

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2 hours ago, Art V said:

If the PDF has been created with Illustrator or Affinity Designer fonts should get converted into editable text.

I get no text, only a bit map when the AD PDF is imported into Vectorworks.

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2 hours ago, Art V said:

AI to DXF is tricky compared to converting PDF to DXF/DWG. Did you try to save as a PDF and then try to convert that to DXF/DWG? It might give better results.

 

Serif DrawPlus (the Windows counterpart of Serif's Affinity Designer) could export to DXF so I hope they will put DXF export into Designer too at some stage.

I will try the PDF to DXF as you suggest. Also, I have wish listed add export to DXF, as well as import DXF to Affinity. Problem with Affinity is they move super slow, their apps are nice though.

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I finally got something that kind of works, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Here's what I did: I opened the AD PDF in Acrobat Pro and saved (not sure if that makes a difference). Then I went online and used this PDF to DXF convertor, http://www.pdftodxf.com. I imported the converted file to Vectorworks and I have editable text, but it's lost it's formatting. Thanks to everyone for their help. There really needs to be a better export from AD and more import options in Vectorworks. The first image is what it looks like in AD, the second is the converted and imported DXF.

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 7.06.42 PM.png

Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 7.06.20 PM.png

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Exporting text from Illustrator.

Export text to a text file

  • Using a type tool, select the text you want to export.

  • Choose File > Export.

  • In the Export dialog box, select a location for the file and enter a filename.

  • Choose Text Format (TXT) as the file format.

  • Enter the name of the new text file in the name box, and click Save (Windows) or Export (Mac OS).

  • Choose a platform and encoding method, and click Export.

Once you have this text just copy and paste to the VW document.

HTH

Edited by Alan Woodwell

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7 hours ago, Bruce Kieffer said:

I finally got something that kind of works, but it leaves a lot to be desired. Here's what I did: I opened the AD PDF in Acrobat Pro and saved (not sure if that makes a difference). Then I went online and used this PDF to DXF convertor, http://www.pdftodxf.com. I imported the converted file to Vectorworks and I have editable text, but it's lost it's formatting. Thanks to everyone for their help. There really needs to be a better export from AD and more import options in Vectorworks. The first image is what it looks like in AD, the second is the converted and imported DXF.

 

 

@Bruce Kieffercould you provide the Affinity Designer PDF file of this example , either here on via PM? Then I'll run it through my PDF to DWG/DXF conversion program and see how that turns out. The background image should have imported as a linked file into VW as well. Depending on the font the italic text may get through as italic as well. Though font substitution may always be a bit of an issue.

Edited by Art V

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5 hours ago, Art V said:

 

@Bruce Kieffercould you provide the Affinity Designer PDF file of this example , either here on via PM? Then I'll run it through my PDF to DWG/DXF conversion program and see how that turns out. The background image should have imported as a linked file into VW as well. Depending on the font the italic text may get through as italic as well. Though font substitution may always be a bit of an issue.

 

It's attached here. Thanks for testing.

 

VWX Next Meeting Cards.pdf

Edited by Bruce Kieffer

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12 hours ago, Alan Woodwell said:

Exporting text from Illustrator.

 

Alan, You must have missed the part where I tell that AI is dead with OSX 10.12. It won't open anymore. But your suggestion got me thinking so I tried a few more things. I can copy and paste text from AD to VW and it is text, but that only works if I'm in the edit text mode and select the text. Just selecting the text block, copy and paste, and that imports as a PDF with an embedded bitmap. Interestingly, if I copy the entire artwork form AD and paste it in VW the results are the same as if I export from AD and import PDF to VW.

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Hi Bruce,

 

Have you thought about subscribing to Adobe's Creative Cloud for a month and converting all of your old files? I think you can subscribe to just one app (eg. Adobe Illustrator) for $15-$20 for one month. Not sure if it would help but its an option.

 

Kevin

 

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4 hours ago, Kevin McAllister said:

Hi Bruce,

 

Have you thought about subscribing to Adobe's Creative Cloud for a month and converting all of your old files? I think you can subscribe to just one app (eg. Adobe Illustrator) for $15-$20 for one month. Not sure if it would help but its an option.

 

Kevin

 

 

I have thought about that. I wanted to see if importing my AI drawings to VW would work smoothly, but it does not, so converting them to Affinity Designer is the way I will proceed. They convert there without any loss or need for additional work.

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@Bruce Kieffersorry for the delay, forgot to upload the converted PDF file. I've used Visual Integrity's PDF FLY for this. When you open it in a DWG program (e.g. draftsight or bricscad) it looks ok apart from some font substitution because I don't have the fonts you used.

 

When importing this DWG into Vectorworks without making any changes it looks ok too (same font conversion issue because of not having the original fonts) except that the VWX part of the logo does not seem to get imported as it is just a hatch without an outline. Recreating the outlines (hatch boundaries) may solve this issue but I haven't tried that yet.

VWX Next Meeting Cards.zip

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Art, Thanks for trying this conversion. It's better than anything I got, but not good enough to use without some work. I think I realize is that currently it's not possible to go from AI 5.1 or Affinity Designer directly to Vectorworks without a lot of work since too much formatting is lost. Fortunately, AD opens all of my AI files flawlessly.

Screen Shot 2016-10-14 at 8.03.44 AM.png

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