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How can you import a pdf file?

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I'm using Vectorworks 10.5 and have some pdf files that I would like use as templates on VW. What is the easiest way to do this? I tried to save the pdf's as jpeg's and then import them but that wasn't to effective. Any help would be appreciated.



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You can import them directly as image files, but the resolution is quite low.

Or you can open them in Photoshop or similar program and export them as you already know. If you've got Acrobat (not the reader), alt-click the image and you will get the option to open it in an image editing program of your choise. Then save them as jpegs.

Or you can take a partial screendump (with mac thats alt-shift-4) - the resolution will be dependent of your monitor resolution and the zoom level. I use Snapz Pro for this purpose, because it allows me to put the screendump on the clipboard and paste it directly into VW.

Are the PDF's pixelbased? - if not, you can open them in Illustrator and export the paths as DWG-files. That would save you from tracing them by hand.

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Ok, I persevered, changed a few settings and upped the raster/vector balance to 100% vector. I got something readable, seemingly to scale but still only a rather fuzzy bitmap. Changing the export resolution to 2400 dpi didnt seem to affect this. Does this mean the original PDF was made with a bitmap? I had assumed it was from a CAD program, it certainly looks that way. I can do better than this with a screen capture, only not to scale. Any guidance welcome :-)

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EPS import in VW prints fine but what you see on screen will only be the preview component. Which is why it has the jaggies. If you have Adobe CS then you can convert it to dwg format using Illustrator (assuming it's a vector PDF not raster).

Photoshop is the safest route but save the PDF as a Mac PICT file. Graphic Converter on the mac will also do this for you much cheaper. If its a monochrome image then a 1 Bit pict can be imported and converted to vector data within VW. However, I found that you can spend ages cleaning up the conversion to get something acceptable. These days I just use 1 bit picts at 300DPI. Simple but effective. Their colour can be changed in VW by giving them a pattern fill and changing the pattern colours. If you then set the fill attribute to none then the bitmap will have the new colour with a transparent background.

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Hey thanks Nick, I'm on PC so used the PC equivalents and BINGO, a vector drawing that I could export as a DWG. The trick was not to import into my graphics program (Corel 10) but to OPEN the eps file with it. The resulting DWG has thousands of objects in it so I'll have to fine tune the process but basically it works.

I learned something tonight..!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I import pdf floorplans by converting them to tif file from Adobe Acrobat. You must have the full program not the free reader program. I then convert the tif file to a pct and import to VW. Then I size them, usually using the width of a double door as 6'-0" if I don't have a scale. Then I draw over them. I have tried various freeware file converters and every time I import the dwg file the results contain hundreds of extra lines so the trace is the quickest method.

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