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We are often asked to redraw supplied architects PDF plans to create marketing materials.

If the PDF is a vector drawing then we can do this by opening PDF in illustrator, export as DXF and then import into VW.

Any advice on simplest most efficient way would be appreciated.

Especially pertaining to page sizes, scaling and duplicate lines from illustrator.





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The ability to acquire geometry from a vector based  pdf is part of vwx for many versions (since v2014?). And it’s really great. But some trIcks and pitfalls go with it:


Select the pdf object>Ungroup> result usually contains a rectangle (no fill) surrounding a white rectangle, in front of a group containing the geometry. If an image is included in the pdf, it will be shown as a Bitmap, probably on that white rectangle.  Unless needed for something else, delete the rectangles.


The geometry in the group will include loads of vertices, because text and curved lines will all be reduced to faceted segments.  Often it is advantageous to Select All then Compose to join the adjacent segments into longer poly lines.


Note that this pdf geometry may not be dimensionally correct.  Eg walls may have “unusual” and inconsistent thickness.  It’s close, but not same as importing CAD geometry. 



Edited by Benson Shaw
Thinking hard
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Thank you to everyone for responding.


Benson - looks like we can setup a Keyboard Maestro macro to do an initial search and delete certain objects, e.g. zero line weights etc. and then Compose as per suggestion.


Adding any simple saved search as VW script drop down menu, then adding drop down menu selection as steps within Keyboard Maestro macro can make it quite easy to create strings of actions. Will look into this.



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Another option could be to use software that converts PDF files to DWG/DXF, as those can often do a better job than Illustrator and maintain text editabiliy. PDF Fly or PDF2DWG are two of such programs. The advantage of this is that you can do batch conversion of PDFs in an easier way than with VW and it may require less cleaning up afterwards.

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The importing of PDF & being able to ungroup is something I use often. As Benson says, you have to be aware that some lines & polys are not always 100% accurate. I had put this down to many of the PDF drawings I import are drawn in Imperial & we work in Metric. I always ask for critical dimensions as a double check. Otherwise I'm impressed with the job VW does, before this feature was part of VW I purchased a piece of software that performed the same function. It was expensive & turned a PDF into millions of tiny lines. 

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