PDF FLY 10.0 - The Professional's Choice


PDF FLY combines all of our vector and bitmap modules into one easy to use product. Use it to convert PDF, PostScript and EPS files. Since 1995, professionals in engineering, technical writing and illustration have relied on PDF FLY. It saves time, improves quality and streamlines workflow - all in one powerful product. All formats support a variety of intelligent filter options ensuring a top-quality match with the original. Single or multiple files can be selected and will be converted in one run. For customers large and small across all industries, PDF FLY saves time while enabling new workflows.


Features in PDF FLY

  • Convert one file or multiple files at the same time
  • Convert all pages or specify a page rage
  • Intelligent object recognition
  • Rotate to any degree
  • Concatenates characters to form editable words and lines of text
  • Option to ignore text, images or paths during conversion
  • Specify minimum line width
  • Separates layers in CAD drawing based on colors
  • Dashed/dotted lines as segments
  • Easy Windows “Wizard” interface selects files, set options and converts in 3 easy steps
  • Outputs industry standard vector output formats which are scalable and editable at the text and object level including PDF, EPS, SVG, WMF, EMF, DXF, PS, HPGL, CGM, MIF
  • High-fidelity image formats for Web and office including JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP and TIFF can be generated at ideal resolution settings for print or screen display
  • Options to map, reference, substitute or outline Type 1 and TrueType fonts to compensate for font mismatches between source and target systems
  • Batch tools (FLY Batch) and developer DLL available (FLY SDK). Linux and UNIX versions offer command line interface.

VECTOR FORMATS (Scalable and editable):

  • SVG for XML and the Web
  • CGM for tech pubs and engineering
  • MIF for FrameMaker
  • EPS and PostScript
  • HPGL for CAD plotting and viewing
  • WMF for Microsoft Office
  • EMF for Microsoft Office and Microsoft Windows printing


  • TIFF for imaging, archiving, faxing, printing
  • GIF, PNG and JPEG for the Web or office
  • BMP for Microsoft Windows applications
  • ASCII for index, search and processing


  • ASCII text with placement
  • stripped ASCII text
  • ASCII preview (first few lines from file for summary)


  • Runs on all Microsoft Windows (32-bit and 64-bit OS in 32-bit compatibility mode) with recent support added for Windows 10.
  • Linux and UNIX via command-line (Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX)
  • Macintosh OS X (command-line only)
  • Supports all levels of PDF through the current Adobe PDF specification

Frequently Asked Questions about PDF FLY

If you can not easily find what you need in the FAQ, please contact us at

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Tutorial: Using PDF FLY for Windows

This tutorial assumes that you have already installed PDF FLY on your Windows PC and that you can access it from the Start Menu, Desktop or Quick Launch Ribbon. Choose your preferred method and launch PDF FLY.

Launch PDF FLY and add the files to convert:



Choose Output Format - Vector or Image



Notice the Options button?

Often the defaults are perfect but if you find you need to tweak the settings, all options are covered below by mode (vector or image) . Once you are satisfied with the conversion settings, select "Next".

Conversion Summary


Convert the file! That’s it...

Review the summary and select "Convert"


The converted files will be in your file system, usually in the same folder as the original file. You can now open them in your application. At this point, you can choose New Conversion to perform more operations or Exit the application. If there are any warnings, check the Details button to review them. In almost all cases, these will be warnings about fonts which were in the original PDF file but are not on your PC, meaning that a substitute font will be used. Errors are very rare and if you encounter one, please report it to us along with the file.

Select Conversion Options

Page Settings - All Formats


The Page Settings control options that apply to all files. All of the other option vary depending on whether you choose a vector or bitmap output format.

Crop Picture: Remove Margin: By default, the margins of the PDF file are used. This setting can adjust or remove white space.

Page Size: PDF FLY will automatically figure out the page size. If you want to force a standard or custom page size, select it or enter dimensions.

Convert Range: PDF FLY, by default, will convert all pages of a file. You can set a page range if you only want selected pages.


 Vector Mode: General Settings


Characters as Strings looks at your file and, based on placement and proximity, will combine individual characters into words and words into editable lines of text.

Characters as Curves will create a graphic match for the text ensuring a perfect match when fonts may be unknown or unavailable of the target system.

Rotate: You can also choose to rotate the file in either direction.

Scale Text: Enlarges or reduces the size of the text in the converted file.

Emulate PDF cropping: Several vector formats such as WMF, CGM, DXF and HPGL do not support cropping. This is the removal of unnecessary portions of the picture such as extraneous fills and other elements. Since PDF does support it, we have developed a proprietary method to simulate cropping which can be applied during conversion. Using this feature, the resulting file will look just like the original PDF.

Show Font Warning: If the same fonts defined in a PDF file are not installed on your computer, the converted drawing will not display properly. Font mapping is a way to ensure the closest match possible or to compensate for different font naming conventions on different systems.

Ignore paths, text images: Choose if you want to perform the conversion without certain elements.

Minimum line width: Defines the minimum line width for each vector object in mm. The default is 0.

Dashed and Dotted lines as segments: Recognizes dashed and dotted lines as lines with attributes. Without this feature on, a dashed line would be converted as a number of small line segments.

Fill option: Sometimes, white fills in a PDF file show up as black fills in a DXF file. If this is a problem, use this option to ignore white fills.

Emulate Line Joins and Line Ends:

 VECTOR MODE: Font Mapping

Font Settings: If the characters are converting but not displaying properly, you likely have a font mapping issue. To comply with the licensing regulations of font suppliers, our software can not embed fonts in the vector output formats. Instead, we reference the fonts by their names. If the fonts on the target PC use the same name, the file will open and display perfectly. If the same fonts are not on the PC that opens the file, which is much more likely, the text will not display properly. To complicate things, often, one font may go by several different names. Arial Bold, for example, may be referenced as “EHJPKB+Arial-Bold” in the original file. This font may be normal Arial Bold but the target application does not know it unless you tell it. This is known as font mapping. If the font is not mapped correctly, the closest font will be substituted. In this example, “EHJPKB_Arial-Bold” must be mapped as “Arial” with font style “Bold”.



Scaling Factor:  CAD formats do not define physical dimensions using absolute measurements from a ruler. Instead it uses units which the user defines. These units are lost when the PDF is created, but the scale, the xy relationship, remains. You can set a scaling factor to apply during the conversion to achieve the size drawing you want or you can set the correct units when you open it in a CAD program. By default, PDF FLY uses 1mm(0,03937 inch) in the PDF = 1 unit in the DXF.

Precision Factor: Sometimes PDF FLY delivers better precision and more accurate coordinates if you change this setting from 10.0 instead of 1.0. If this does not help, please send us the file to diagnose.

Paths as Polylines/Polygons: The proprietary object recognition engine will identify the relationship between paths and, if contiguous, will render them as polylines or polygons.

Layers: By default, all objects are placed on the same layer. They can be separated by color, line width, PDF layers, spot colors as well as a combination of color and line width.

Zero line width: Remove 3D effects

Fill option: Sometimes, white fills in a PDF file show up as black fills in a DXF file. If this is a problem, use this option to ignore white fills.

 VECTOR MODE: Advanced DWG/DXF Settings


Compound Objects: The object recognition engine will try to turn as many objects as possible into grouped or compound objects. If you want all graphics to remain as singular objects, turn this off.

Convert Hidden Text Objects: Often, PDF files will contain text that is transparent or hidden under an object. This option will extract all text, including hidden text.

Fit Drawing: This option ensures that the converted drawing will be entirely visible when opened up in a CAD program.

Recognize Circles/Ellipses: The proprietary object recognition engine identifies closed polygons and circular paths and converts them to circles and ellipses.

Recognize Horizontal/Vertical Dashed Lines: Instead of being broken down into a number of smaller line segments, dashed and dotted lines can be treated as singular objects with attributes such as line type.

Error Tolerance: This is a tolerance level set for recognition of CAD objects. If one point on the closed polyline is outside of the specified range, it will remain a polyline.

Kerning Factor: This setting controls the space between letters or characters. Normally, one should not need to worry about kerning but if you do want to change the character spacing you can do it with a kerning factor. Note that a display issue with kerning may also be due to a font mismatch and can best be solved with a font mapping.

Custom Line Styles: Line styles in the PDF can be mapped to custom line styles in the DXF file.

Use True Color:



SVG Parser: Choose your SVG Parser. If you do not know, then it is probably the default Adobe SVG parser.

Scaling: Choose the size that you want the SVG files to be relative to the original.

Embed Raster Images: Normally, raster images are saved separately and are referenced by the SVG file. This option allows you to save the file with the images embedded.

Embed Fonts: In most formats, it is not possible to embed fonts because of license restrictions. It is permitted in SVG so you can always make sure you have an exact match in the file. Note this will make the file size larger so choose to do this carefully.

Kerning: If the kerning is not ideal upon conversion, you can try to select this option. If this does not product satisfactory results, please contact us and we will work with you optimize the kerning for your process.

VECTOR MODE: Other Vector Format Settings


Level Target Application: CGM has many levels and profiles. For best results, you should choose the level that best suits your application. Level 1 conforms to the original 1987 standard, Level 2 is fairly rare, Level 3 is very prevalent, based on the 1993 spec and is most used by technical writers and mechanical engineers, Level 4 is based on the 1999 standard.

Enable Metric Scaling: Scaling can be done using virtual device coordinates or metric. Choose here and add your coordinates if you choose VDC.

WMF/EMF Dither Images: Images can be dithered to a 256 color image

EMF Kerning: This setting controls the space between letters or characters. Normally, one should not need to worry about kerning but if you do want to change the character spacing you can do it with a kerning factor. Note that a display problem with kerning may be due to a font mismatch also which could be resolved through font mapping.

Multipage MIF File: When selected, the PDF file will be converted into a multipage MIF file. Otherwise, each page will be converted separately.


IMAGE MODE: Image Settings


Dots per Inch: Renders the image with a defined resolution in dots per inch. Some useful settings are 600 or 1200 dpi for offset printing, 300 dpi for high-quality office printing, 150 dpi for everyday office printing, 96 or 72 dpi for Web images.

Width or Height of Image: You can force the size based on target dimensions. In order to maintain aspect ratio (scale), you must enter a number in either width or height and PDF FLY will calculate the correct dimension to ensure perfect scaling.

Image Quality Factor: 100 will give the highest quality image. Lowering this number will decrease file size which may be desirable. A few tests to see the trade-off are recommended if file size is a constraint.

Color Model: Custom or Naive

Rotation: Rotate right or rotate left during conversion.


IMAGE MODE: Format Settings


Color-Depth: Set the color depth for the image. Supports 1-bit, 8-bit and 24-bit for BMP, 8-bit and 24-bit for PNG and 1-bit b&w, 1-bit b&w FAX, 8-bit colormap and 24-bit color for TIFF.

GIF Transparency: Option to make background color (default is white) transparent for Web graphics.

Multipage TIFF: If selected, a multipage TIFF file will be created. otherwise, a separate TIFF file is created for each page.

CMYK: If selected, a CMYK version of JPEG or TIFF files will be created.

"We use PDF FLY to convert service manuals from EPS to SVG for the web. We have it scripted to save time. Works great!" Honda America Tech Pubs.


Technical writers at American Honda Motor Company use PDF FLY to convert service manuals from EPS to SVG for web display in a scalable vector format. The software is used on desktops as well as scripted via command-line to automate batch conversions.