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Troubleshooting

Your drawing is probably scanned. This process flattens it into one bitmap raster image which removes all the information about how the drawing was created or what it even is. As a result, it can not be redrawn or exploded into objects by pdf2cad. The most we can do with scanned files, is to create a high-quality copy to be used as a tracing layer in your CAD program.
If you look in the directory where the file was saved, you’ll notice that two or more files were created – a DXF and at least one TIFF or JPEG image. The DXF references the image(s) and assembles them on-screen when loaded. They must be in the same directory as the DXF file or the DXF file will look empty. This blank page effect will also occur if your CAD package does not support raster images.

If you want to try to create vector objects from a scanned drawing, you need a different class of software called “raster to vector”. This is an extremely difficult thing to do well. We recommend you start at trixsystems.com. They have a good product which performs specialized raster-to-vector conversion.

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There are two types of PDF files – raster PDF and vector PDF. If your drawing will not convert, it is probably a scanned drawing saved as a raster PDF file. Unfortunately, there is no useful data in a raster PDF file for us to extract about the objects or text. When a drawing is scanned, it is reduced to a flat image, comparable to a snapshot or a photocopy. There’s nothing you can do except trace over it manually or with tracing software (raster-to-vector software). One way or another, you need to recreate it.

Our software is designed to convert vector PDF files. These files are created on computers using save, export, print-to-file, etc. These vector PDF files contain a rich data set and all the information we need to accurately extract the drawing and render it in a format Visio or AutoCAD, etc can digest.

For comparison sake, below is a snip of a raster PDF file at 500% where the characteristic “jagginess” or pixelation of raster PDF files can easily be seen. Below it is a snip of a vector PDF file which is remarkably smooth and clear even though it has also been zoomed to 500%. This visual method is a very easy and accurate way to determine if your PDF file is a raster or vector. Most people get both types of files so pdf2cad or pdf2picture may be useful for some of your files.

A raster PDF (scanned drawing) – jagged and grainy at 500% – you need raster-to-vector software to trace or recreate this or you’ll need to manually redraw it.

A sample vector PDF file at 500% – notice how smooth the lines are and how clear the text is. This type of file is best converted with vector-to-vector software like pdf2cad and pdf2picture.

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Sometimes there is no output file produced or it may seem as though  the software has quit working. This has to do with an invalid page range setting.

All of our products can convert one page, all pages or a page range. By default, they convert all pages. If you choose a page rage, you must reset it to all pages when done since the software remembers the last settings you used. If a conversion is attempted with an invalid page range, it will not produce a resulting file. It may seem as though it is not working. Once you go to “Options, Page” and adjust Page range to “All Pages””and re-attempt the conversion, you will produce a file.

page range options

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When you purchase a product from Visual Integrity, you are assigned a serial number. This code is is used along with some other unique data to license your software. It also acts as your customer number. The download that you receive upon purchase is pre-serialized and activated. All you need to do is double-click to install it. If you have an evaluation version on your system already, it will overwrite the files to unlock it. If you have questions, please contact support@visual-integrity.com.

 

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Products from Visual Integrity are designed to convert all well-formed PDF files. If a PDF file was created in an application, it should convert successfully in either vector or image mode. However, if a PDF file was created by a scanner and has already been reduced in the process to a flat image, it will only convert in image mode. If you encounter a file that does not convert or returns errors, send it to us so we can troubleshoot it. These problems are most often caused by poorly formed PDF files.

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This is very unusual. It’s possible that a setting needs to be adjusted. For example, check the “Options -> Pages” tab and make sure that it is set to convert all pages and not just a page rage that may not exist (retained from a previous conversion). Beyond this, we can not assess the problem without seeing your file. Your file could be corrupt or our conversion engine might not be able to digest it properly because it is poorly formed. Please send the file to support@visual-integrity.com for analysis, and let us know what product and version you are using.

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When adding files, pdf2image, pdf2picture and pdf2cad will only display files with a .pdf extension. If the file you want to convert has a different extension, but you are sure that it is a PDF file, you should rename it to include a .pdf extension. PDF FLY is capable of digesting more input formats so it expects files with a .pdf, .ps, .eps or .prn extension.

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Visual Integrity products are designed to generate editable files (vector files) whenever possible. The success depends, however on the type of input. There are two types of PDF files – vector and bitmap.

Vector PDF files contain data defining all of the objects and text in the file.  They are scalable and resolution independent. No matter how large you magnify them or how small you make them, they will look great. Our software will convert any vector PDF files into an editable vector file.

Bitmap or Raster PDFs are usually created by scanners or received by fax software. During the process, all of the file information is flattened into one image comprised of dots. When magnified, a bitmap PDF file looks very jagged. Our software will convert bitmap PDF’s in image mode and you will get a high-fidelity reproduction which can be inserted into your document or presentation but which can not be edited.

Once you know what kind of PDF file you have, you will know whether it will convert into an editable vector file or not. If you are interested in converting a scanned drawing or bitmap PDF into vectors, you need to look for a different class of software. Try searching for “raster to vector” or raster2vector” in a search engine to find potential products.

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There are a few reasons why a download may not go smoothly:

  1. Try downloading again directly from our site. Evaluation versions of our products are available from popular external download sites and the hosted version may not be current.
  2. Try again in 5 minutes. It may have just been a temporary Internet connection problem.
  3. Check with your system administrator to see if you are allowed to download .exe files from the Internet. Your company firewall or security policy could be preventing you from getting the download. If this is the case, let us know and we can point you to an alternative download via FTP or ZIP file.

For further assistance, please contact support@visual-integrity.com. If needed we can also send you the software via email.

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Not anymore! We listened to feedback and have done away with the watermarked eval on the end-user licenses. Now, you can try a fully-functional version of any product for 30-days. Once it expires, it must be purchased or it will no longer operate. Since developers may need longer with the software, we have left the watermark on these versions and they continue to be available without any time limitation.

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Evaluation versions of all Visual Integrity products operate with full functionality for 30days, after which they time-out. This is generally sufficient time to assess whether they will be a good solution for you. It is possible to extend the evaluation if necessary. In order request an extension, please contact us. We can also help you to test a product, by converting sample files for you. The results will be sent back to you by email.

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Yes. We can send you a license key to unlock it. Just give us a call. Alternatively, if you place your order online, you will be presented with a fully serialized and licensed version. You can burn it on a CD for your archives and then install it to ensure that you have the latest version. There is no need to remove the previous version. The new version with overwrite the evaluation version and apply your unique activation key automatically.

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Several vector formats such as WMF, CGM, DXF and HPGL do not support cropping. This is the act of cutting away and discarding the unnecessary portions of the picture such as extraneous fills and other elements. PDF and PostScript, both very robust and complete formats, do support it. To bridge the gap, Visual Integrity has developed a proprietary method to simulate cropping. When applied during conversion, the resulting file will appear cropped just like the original.

To apply it, select the “Emulate PS/PDF cropping” feature in the General tab of the Options menu.

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The DXF file format does not define physical dimensions using absolute measurements from a ruler. Instead it uses units which the user defines. When you create a PDF file from a CAD drawing, it is transformed to paper/print dimensions and the meaning of the original CAD units are lost but the xy relationship remains. As a result, pdf2cad can not restore the intended dimensions but it does preserve the scale. This means that you can calculate a scaling factor to apply during the conversion to achieve the size drawing you want. By default, pdf2cad uses 1mm(0,03937 inch) in the PDF = 1 unit in the DXF. You can change this under the DXF Options tab. You can also scale the DXF after import into your CAD application.

Tip: Sometimes pdf2cad delivers better precision and more accurate coordinates if you change one of the values in your pdf2cad.ini file. Please try setting the ctm_scale to 10.0 instead of 1.0 (default) in the pdf2cad.ini file. If this does not help, please send us the file to diagnose.

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If the PDF file contains characters, pdf2cad will convert them and map them as MTEXT objects in the DXF file. Unfortunately, when creating a PDF file from a CAD drawing, the text is not always retained. Sometimes it is “plotted” as pen strokes or turned into curves. When this happens, the character definition is lost. There is nothing that pdf2cad can do about this – it can only reproduce the curves (=SPLINES entities) in the DXF file. What looks like text in the original file may actually just be an object, comprised of a series of pen strokes that looks like a letter.

Tip: to see if the text in your PDF drawing is live and searchable, open the PDF file in Acrobat (Reader) and use the Text Select tool. If you cannot highlight any words, the text is already outlined to curves. If a PDF file contains searchable text, pdf2cad will reproduce it as MTEXT in the DXF file, preserving the fonts and styles.
Tip: To create a PDF with searchable text from AutoCAD, make sure to use TrueType fonts in the drawing and ensure that your printer driver is set to retain text as text instead of converting it to curves.  Text can be lost in either of these two steps in creating a PDF file. See how to create a PDF file with searchable text from CAD Digest.
Tip: if your PDF files contain non-Roman font text (such as Chinese, Arabic or Cyrillic), or if the text looks garbled in the DXF output, try using the “Convert characters to curves” option in the General tab of the Options menu of pdf2cad. This outlines the text during conversion to ensure WYSIWYG rendering (not editable).

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pdf2cad is designed to convert vector PDF files which are generated by other applications using print, export or save-as. They contain all the data about the drawing which is accurately extracted as editable CAD objects. Since scanned drawings (raster PDF) have been flattened and reduced to bitmap images, we can not reassemble them into objects. We do however convert them into a tracing layer which is referenced in the DXF file and supported in programs such as AutoCAD. If you need to create a vector file from this file, you can use the tracing layer as a guide for redrawing the file or use a different class of software called raster-to-vector to try to generate objects. In order to see or use the tracing layer, your target application must be able to open DXF files and display referenced images. Our conversion of a scanned PDF produces a blank DXF file and one or more image files in either the TIFF or JPEG format. They referenced images must be located in the same directory as the DXF file to be displayed. Otherwise, you will see a blank page.

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This warning is to let you know that your PDF file uses non-standard fonts or font names. When this happens, you’ll probably notice that the text in your output file may look different than in the PDF when you open it in your target application. This not an error – just a reminder that some fine-tuning may be required, Please see the other entries on fonts and visit the Help system in the software for more detail.

If needed you can turn off the font messages, by adding the line: font_warnings(0) to the ini file of the application.

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Probably. The file format used by Microsoft Office does not embed fonts. Instead, it loads fonts based on reference when the file is opened. If the font specified does not reside on your system, the closest will be substituted. To add to the challenge, it expects the fonts on you system to use exactly the same name as the fonts in the file which is often not the case. Two different applications may define the exact same font with slightly different names. When you want to ensure a great match, you need to create a font mapping.

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