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Tracing plans from a pdf or jpeg file



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Importing: File>Import>Import PDF. Best to do this into a clean (empty) Design Layer which is set to the same scale as the Design Layer in which you will create the trace (eg: for me, all floor plans are generally drawn/modeled in 1/4" = 1' scale). Also, make sure the "Snap To Geometry" option is ON (note: this will only be useful if the PDF was created in a program that has certain types of geometry; tends to work with most PDF's generated from CAD programs; tends not to work with hand-drawn/scanned documents).


Scaling: Once the PDF has been imported, use the line tool (or measuring tape) to check that the scale is correct. If the snapping is functional (see above) then you can very accurately measure any known distance. If the scale is correct, then proceed to trace (see below). If the scale is incorrect, use the command "Modify>Scale Objects " to correct the scale, then proceed to trace. Sometimes there is a bit of trial and error to get the scale correct. Undo can be your friend here; and /or symmetric scaling by very small ratios (1.05, or .99 eg).


Tracing: If snapping is functional tracing is pretty easy. I usually trace (using Wall tool, or just lines or rectangles first) right in the PDF Design Layer, then move (or copy and paste in place) to another discreet layer. I do this because even though I wan to keep the PDF for reference, it can really slow down basic functions (screen redraw, eg). So being able to make the PDF invisible is helpful going forward in order to avoid these sorts of lags.


Hope that helps.


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There is a very easy way of bringing a pdf in - just drag and drop it into a new design layer.


If the lines in the pdf are selectable, you may also have another wee gem in your arsenal.  This will either work or will not - no half measures.


If you ungroup the pdf, it should split into two objects, a bitmap image and a 'group'.  Delete the bitmap and select the group and make the attributes as having no fill and a solid line.  Ungroup the group as often as you need, but each time make sure that you make all the attributes to the objects have no-fill. You should now have a full line drawing which you can scale etc.


PS make sure you save your work often as VW still has a tendency if you try and do an 'undo' during this process and you're not careful.

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