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Use PDF in Visio, Create SVG for the Web and more!

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Edit PDF in Visio with pdf2picture. Transform your vector PDF, EPS and AI files into editable vector drawings, scalable vector graphics (SVG) for the Web and high-fidelity image formats. With just this one program, you'll be able to generate the perfect format for your project.

pdf2picture is an ideal companion for Visio, Microsoft Office, Publisher, Google Apps, SketchUp and more.

Begin by choosing vector or image mode and then select your output format. It might be WMF for Visio, SVG for the Web or EPS for a marketing brochure. No matter what you choose, you can be assured a quick conversion with the highest quality possible.

Choose vector mode (WMF, EMF, EPS or SVG) if you want to extract the objects and text for editing. Image mode (JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF) is excellent for resizing images or making them Web-ready.

 

Features in pdf2picture

  • Convert PDF, EPS and Adobe Illustrator (.ai) formats
  • Use either vector (WMF, EMF, EPS and SVG) or image (JPEG, GIF, PNG, TIFF, BMP) modes
  • Convert single files or multiple files using built in batch mode
  • Accurately reproduce objects in the native Windows vector format
  • Generate HTML5 standard Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) for use in applications and on the web.
  • Export editable EPS files for desktop publishing and print production.
  • Preserve searchable PDF text as editable text in vector output
  • Merge characters into words and words into one-line text strings for improved editing and searching
  • Apply font name mappings during conversion (correct or substitute fonts)
  • Automatically preserve original PDF sheet size
  • Rotate output by any degree
  • Crop output to eliminate white space
  • Emulate PDF clipping/cropping commands
  • Ignore vectors, images and/or text during conversion
  • User-definable syntax for naming multi-page files
  • Convert multi-page PDF to multiple single-page Web images
  • Simplified interface for more direct conversions to WMF
  • Includes free WMF viewer
  • Helpful reports on errors and warnings
  • Expanded support for non-standard font encodings

General features & compatibility

  • Runs on all Microsoft Windows (32-bit and 64-bit OS in 32-bit compatibility mode) with recent support added for Windows 10.
  • Supports all levels of PDF through the current Adobe PDF specification
  • Easy wizard-style Windows interface
  • Pictures produced compatible with Microsoft PowerPoint, Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Visio, Google Apps and more

Frequently Asked Questions about pdf2picture

If you can not easily find what you need in the FAQ, please contact us at support@visual-integrity.com.

pdf2picture

It’s easy to tell whether your PDF file is a raster or vector format by viewing it in Adobe Acrobat.  This is important since the two file types are converted differently. Vector PDF files are best transformed through data extraction. This is accurate and precise and involves minimal manual clean-up. Raster PDF files are traced since there is no data to extract. This is an approximation and requires operator involvement as well as manual clean-up. Visual Integrity is specialized in tools for vector conversion and will produce high-quality, accurate drawings from vector PDF input. If a raster PDF or scanned drawing is run through our software, we will turn the flat image into a tracing layer for manual work-up.

Test #1 – The Blue Test

Start by opening your PDF file with Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. Click anywhere on the drawing. If it turns blue, it’s a scanned drawing. Depending on the quality of the scan, you may have some success with a raster-to-vector tool. Alternatives are to manually redraw it or outsource it to be redrawn by a service bureau.

scanned drawing-unselected

A scanned drawing as it opens on-screen in Acrobat (It has not yet been selected).

scanned drawing - selected

Once you click anywhere on the scanned drawing, the entire drawing is selected and turns blue to signify this.

 

Test #2 – The Zoom Test

Open your PDF file with Acrobat or Acrobat Reader. Use the Magnifying Control to zoom in on a detailed section of the file. At 100-150%, it may be hard to tell the difference. Continue zooming until you are at a magnification greater than 400%.

When magnified, a scanned drawing will look jagged, noisy, blurry or dirty. If you are uncertain, magnify some more. The higher the resolution of the drawing, the more magnification it needs to degrade. Vector files will look perfect at any resolution.

When magnified, a scanned drawing will look jagged, noisy, blurry or dirty. If you are uncertain, magnify some more. The higher the resolution of the drawing, the more magnification it needs to degrade. Vector files will look perfect at any resolution.

2. Zoom

The section of the picture should be magnified on your screen and it should become apparent whether you have a vector or raster PDF file. The Vector PDF file will look clear and smooth at any resolution while the raster PDF will become dirtier and grainier the more it’s zoomed. In the example below, the section is enlarged 400%. Sometimes, it’s necessary to magnify the file more than 1000% when it’s a high-res scan to determine the file type.

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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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Using the converted PDF in Visio

Both pdf2picture and PDF FLY can create files that Visio can import using the native Windows vector graphic format (WMF). It’s also possible for Visio to open DXF files generated by pdf2cad although WMF will yield a better result in most instances. Download Tip Sheet: Using pdf2picture output (WMF) in Visio)

To use your PDF files in Visio, perform the following steps once you have generated your converted file using either pdf2picture or PDF FLY:

1.    Open the file using one of the methods below:

  • Choose Open, File and then select File Type:  Windows Metafile from the drop-down menu. It’s the last choice at the bottom of the “File Types” drop-down. Once you see your file on-screen, you are ready to move to Step #2.
  • Alternatively, if you want to import the file into an existing document or presentation, open that file and select Insert Picture…., From File and choose the file from your hard drive or network file system

2.    You should now see the converted drawing on your screen. Important! The drawing is imported as one grouped object and needs to be ungrouped if you wish to edit, remove or add parts of the drawing. To Ungroup your drawing, Select Shape, Grouping, Ungroup.

3.    When ungrouping Visio will highlight every discreet object in pink. In order to deselect everything, you need to click anywhere on the page outside of the drawing boundaries.

4.    Once the drawing is ungrouped and the objects are deselected, you may select whatever you want to change and it will appear with editing handles.

TIP! If you want to scale the drawing, make sure you “regroup” it by selecting Grouping, Group so that everything is scaled proportionately.

Contact Us if you have problems. The best way to get help is to send the file you are having trouble with along with any comments to support@visual-integrity.com. We’re happy to help!

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SVG in Visio is a versatile format for print and Web

Now, you can easily use SVG in Visio and other ps applications. Scalable Vector Graphics, the W3C and HTML5 standard (SVG) is one of the vector output formats in pdf2picture. Just select the PDF files you want to convert and choose SVG as the output format. The resulting file can be opened directly giving you an easy and accurate way to use SVG in Visio.

Using SVG in Visio is a perfect way to unlock PDF content.With the move to HTML5 applications, more and more programs are integrating internal SVG suppport. Visio is one of them. Now, you can convert any PDF file into SVG and open it in Visio in just a few steps which are outlined below. We are finding it to be a better choice that WMF for fonts support and text placement. Here’s how you do it:

The key steps:

1.    Use pdf2picture to convert your PDF file to SVG

2.   To open in Visio, choose Scalable Vector Graphics


3.    Once in Visio, right click on the drawing and Ungroup (ignore any errors Visio may present). You may need to delete an exterior container and right click to ungroup again.

5.    When fully ungrouped, you should see pink. Click anywhere outside the margins of the drawing and this will deselect all objects.

 

6.    You are now ready to select and edit whatever you want, including the text.

 

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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 using a PDF file in Visio, it will initially be one grouped object. the best format to use is WMF. When opening the Windows Metafile, it should be come into Visio as one grouped object. In order to explode all of the individual, editable objects, you must right click on it and choose “Group, Ungroup” to unlock the contents. This may take a while if your file contains a very detailed drawing. In some cases, Visio will hit a practical limit and may stop responding. This is likely if the drawing has more then 200,000 objects. Stick with it, and it will eventually finish digesting the file. You’ll be presented with a drawing where every object is separate and highlighted in pink. In order to edit one object, you need to deselect everything by clicking somewhere outside the boundaries of the drawing and then select just the object you want to edit. It’s a good idea to immediately delete any sections of the drawing that you do not need as speed will improve as the number of object calculations decreases.

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Evaluation Tips

Which format do I need – vector or image?

  • The image formats used on web sites are JPEG (or JPG), PNG and GIF. JPEG is best for images with many colors such as photos. GIF is best for line art, illustrations and drawings with limited color. PNG is the most versatile and can be used quite broadly on web-sites.
  • The image formats used in documents follow a similar rule. GIF, TIFF and PNG are best for images with fewer colors and JPEG is used for images with many colors such as photos. The best test is to use pdf2image to convert to a few different formats and then view them both on-screen and in print to see which gives you the desired result.
  • It’s also important to determine what formats your application can import. If the program you want to use only accepts BMP, then you need to convert to this format, even if it produces larger files than PNG.

What resolution should I choose during Conversion?

  • If you are generating images for use on web sites, convert at 72 dpi (dots per inch) or 96 dpi. These settings match screen resolution pixel for pixel for the best match and sharpest display.
  • For general office printing, choose 150 dpi. This will generate a crisp image with the smallest file size.
  • For office publishing and high quality laser printing, choose 300 dpi. The files will be larger but the images will be very clear.
  • For professional printing, choose 300 dpi – 1200 dpi. It’s best to ask your printer who will recommend the best resolution to match his equipment.

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Yes! We have developed a intelligent mechanism to “recognize” circles/ellipses out of a set of polylines or bezier curves. It’s a standard feature of pdf2cad.

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If you want to edit the graphics in a PDF file in Microsoft Office or Visio, you’ll want to try pdf2picture. It operates in both vector and image mode and you can choose which is most appropriate at the time of conversion. Vector mode explodes the file into editable text and objects while image mode makes a high-fidelity copy of the file in an MS Office friendly format.

pdf2image is also available as a low cost option when you just need to use raster image formats. It is ideal for those who work on websites or printed publications like newsletters, brochures and customer bulletins.

To use the graphics produced by either pdf2image or pdf2picture in MS Office, you use Insert > Picture > From File… to add  the converted graphics into your document. If you used vector mode (Windows Metafile WMF/EMF), you can now edit text and graphic elements using the Office drawing tools.

Note: Neither pdf2image or pdf2picture are for converting Word documents or reports heavy in text.

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The software has been designed to be very easy to use and involves just a few simple steps:

  1. Select the PDF file you want to convert
  2. Change or customize settings by clicking on the Options button
  3. Change the name and location of the output file, if desired
  4. Convert!

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If you are using a desktop product, there is a Help file included with the software. Just click on the Help button found in the bottom right corner of the software dialog. A new screen will open, with a table of content for all the available topics. You can expand the outline to find the section on Conversion Options or search the index using the Find command. Depending on which product you are using, there will be General Options, Page Options, Size Options and Format Specific Options.

For Developers – In the “docs” directory of the Conversion SDK installation, each option is explained in “options flysdk.pdf”. In addition to the description, for each option, the corresponding API function is listed.

For example:

rotate(0) STDAPI VgRotate(INT rotate)

rotate(0)               Rotate the drawing using the angle specified. Default = 0, no rotation.

 

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Converting multiple files is also called batch mode and all of our products support it. To specify more than one file, use the “Add” button. Once you have specified your first files, you can remove files and add files until you have the batch of files together that you want to convert.

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There are two basic formats for graphics – vector and image. Vector graphics are made up of objects, lines, curves and text while images are made up of a collection of dots or pixels. Images are also referred to as bitmaps or rasters.

Visual Integrity can convert most PDF files into either vector or image formats. It’s important to know which is best for the job you are doing.

If you need to break a PDF file down into objects and text for editing, then you want to choose a vector format. The vector formats supported in our software are DXF, PDF, PS, EPS, SVG, WMF, EMF, CGM, HPGL and MIF.

If you do not need to edit the file and simply want a sharp copy to insert into a document or to publish on a web-site, you’ll want to go with image formats. The image formats that we support are TIFF, GIF, PNG, JPEG and BMP. If you will be printing the graphic on a laser or ink-jet printer, convert at 150 or 300 dpi (dots per inch) resolution. If publishing to a web-site, use 96 or 72 dpi is best for screen display. Keep in mind that the higher the dpi (resolution), the larger the file size. It’s best to use the lowest resolution which achieves the level of quality you want.

Note! Scanned images can not be transformed by vector mode into lines, text and other vector objects because they are not vector source files. Instead, you will get an exact replica of the PDF as an image that can be used as a tracing layer which aids in the duplication effort. To convert scanned images into vector objects, you need a special class of software called “raster to vector”.

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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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pdf2picture converts PDF files into bitmap images as well as WMF, the native vector graphics format for Microsoft Windows. All of the Microsoft Office applications, including PowerPoint and Visio allow import of a variety of graphic types using “Insert, Picture from File”. Depending on the jb, you’ll want to convert using either vector or image mode:

Vector Mode– If you want to edit text or modify the graphic, you’ll want to choose a vector format – either WMF or EMF. Once you have your scalable file, follow the instructions to insert it onto a slide as editable objects. If you notice any problems with the appearance of your text, please see our font troubleshooting tips for how to map them. The fonts defined in the original file may not be on the target system or have a slightly different name.

Image Mode – If you want a true replica of the original file and do not have a need to modify the information, then choose image mode (PNG, GIF, JPEG). It will create a smaller file with high-fidelity.

In pdf2picture, WMF or EMF should be chosen if any of the following are of primary importance:

  • scalability
  • editability
  • ability to magnify with losing sharpness

In the following case, image mode should be chosen when:

  • No further editing is required
  • Image will not be scaled up in size
  • An absolutely identical match is required
  • to lock or protect the information from editing or copying

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It is definitely possible to edit PDF files in Visio! It involves just a few simple steps:

  1. Convert the PDF file to WMF or EMF (see which format produces the best results for your file) using pdf2picture. WMF and EMF are the native vector graphic formats for Microsoft applications. Note: if you have previously tried using pdf2cad to convert your PDF file for use in Visio, you might want to try pdf2picture now. Since the the resulting WMF file is a native Windows format, it usually produces a better Visio file.
  2. Open the WMF file in Visio. You can do this by “right-clicking” on the file and choosing “Open with Microsoft Visio” or by selecting “Open, File” (choose files type Windows Metafile (WMF). > details (PDF)
  3. Adjust your drawing. You should see your file on the screen now. Adjust your paper size and orientation if necessary. Ungroup the Drawing. Select “Shape, Grouping, Ungroup…” to explode the drawing into individual editable objects and you are ready to make any changes that you want.
  4. Save as Visio Drawing. That’s it. Once you save the drawing, it is now in the native .vsd format and ready to share with your colleagues if necessary

A Few Words of Caution

  • Is your drawing scanned? Before converting, make sure that your PDF file in not a scanned image. If it is, it can not be edited at the object level using this approach. To see if your file can be converted or not, open it in Adobe Acrobat and magnify it to 1000%. If the lines look smooth, you’ll have success. If the lines look jagged or boxy, it is scanned and you will need to use a different approach. > more on how to determine what type of PDF file you have.
  • Text as curves. Sometimes, when drawings are originally authored in CAD systems, the text is “plotted” when it is saved to PDF. This means that the text is converted to a series of pen strokes or “curves” and the character information is lost. In this case, you will not be able to edit the text but you will have a graphical representation of it that you can use or replace in context. If you just find that the font does not match the original file, you may need to use the font mapping feature during conversion.
  • Objects or shapes? When the drawing is saved to PDF, all information about pre-defined shapes is lost. When opened in Visio, an octagon is eight lines which can be grouped or ungrouped.
  • Mind your Memory. Because of the large number of objects in many Visio drawings generated from PDF files, you’ll need a bit of power on your desktop.  Every file is different so it’s hard for us to make general recommendations. If you find that the file is opening slowly or takes a while to refresh, you’ll need more memory. It’s not unusual for a converted PDF file to be comprised of more than 50,000 individual objects. This may sound intimidating but pdf2picture makes quick work of it!
  • Ask for Advice. If you try to convert a PDF but are not getting the results you expect, ask us to troubleshoot it for you. It’s free and we are happy to help you achieve optimal results. Just send your PDF file tous along with a brief description and your contact info. The most complete requests are handled first.

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WMF, or Windows Metafile, is the original 16-bit metafile format. It is the native vector graphics format for the Microsoft Windows platform. It is also the standard format for scalable graphics in Microsoft Office and many other Windows applications. Even though it has been enhanced and extended as a 32-bit format (EMF -Enhanced Metafile), WMF is still the most widely used and supported metafile format on the Windows platform.

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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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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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If you do not need to edit the text, you can create a perfect vector object for each character. You can choose this by checking the “Convert Characters to Curves” option in the General tab of the Options menu. Every character will then be rendered with curves as a graphical representation of the character using the font information stored in the PDF. If a font was not embedded in the PDF, pdf2picture will refer to the /fonts/ directory in the pdf2picture installation folder. You can add Type 1 or TrueType font to this folder as needed to ensure a perfect match. To outline only specific fonts during conversion, email support@pdf2picture.com for instructions.

If you do not need to edit the file at all, another option is to use the bitmap mode in pdf2picture or use pdf2image which creates a high-quality image of the file in four popular web and publishing formats..

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For fonts to appear correctly in a vector output file, the same font with the same naming convention must be on both systems. Sometimes, any mismatch can be resolved through font mapping. If you need support on adding fonts to your environment please contact support@visual-integrity.com. Custom font mapping is available as a service but is not covered by the standard Advantage Support Subscription.

By default the fontname used in the PostScript or PDF file is used also as fontname in the vector output file. Using the Font Mapping dialog you can change this by creating a mapping between the original fontname and the fontname you want to use in the vector output file.

Fonts are not embedded in the vector output formats. Most of the vector output formats do not support embedding of font data.

For SVG only we have hooked in the font embedding option for PDF files which has the embedded fonts. Please contact us if you want to know more about this option.

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After conversion, if you can not edit text, chances are that the text was already stored as graphics in the PDF original. It was probably converted to curves or plotted as pen strokes when the PDF file was created. It is no longer text, just vector curves that look like text. This often happens for example with PDF drawings are created from CAD, EDA or GIS applications as well as with print advertisements from a DTP-package to ensure font display accurately. Text is often converted to curves to ensure accurate print results and to protect against font incompatibilities. Once the text has been turned into curves, there is no way for pdf2picture to retrieve it as real text. If the text is still searchable in the PDF file, we can produce it as editable text in the conversion output.

Tip: To see if the text is searchable and convertable or not, open your PDF file in Acrobat Reader and try to “Select” some text. If you can mark it, you can convert it.

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Try deselecting the “Convert Characters to Strings” option in the General tab of the Options menu. Doing so will carefully place every character individually in the output instead of trying to recreate the actual words as objects. This option is turned on by default to combine individual characters into words and words into lines during conversion. This is a nice option to ease editing when it works but is dependent on the perfect alignment of inbound text. When turned off, every character will be placed precisely as it was in the original.

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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, with the same names, are on the target PC, 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”. In order to learn more, please read the Tech Note: Font Mapping

In case of SVG or EMF as output format we support kerning. Please contact us if you need more information how to configure thus. Turning this option on could improve the WYSIWYG of the text strings.

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There are two important issues at play here.
First – make sure you choose the correct image format for your file type. If your PDF file is mostly text, you should choose GIF or PNG since they render images with few colors sharply. JPEG is better suited for photographic images which use many colors.

The second consideration is resolution or “dots per inch” (dpi). The resolution you choose determines the quality (and the size) of the output. Although a high resolution will yield a super-sharp image, it will also product a large file size which may impact performance. The rule of thumb is to use the lowest resolution which delivers the quality you need. Some guidelines are:

  • For screen display (web or office) – use 96dpi.
  • For images that will be printed on laser or inkjet printers – use 150 dpi
  • For images that will be printed professionally – use 300 dpi

If you want to adjust the resolution, simply increase the dpi setting in the Options menu.

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The font glyphs of the 13 standard PostScript fonts are included.

If you need to convert to an image format or the text to curves/polys (= emulate) in a vector format either the font must be one of the 13 standard fonts or the font should be embedded within the PDF or PostScript file. Contact support@visual-integrity.com if you want to add font glyphs.

13 Standard PostScirpt fonts:

  • Courier (Regular, Oblique, Bold, Bold Oblique)
  • Helvetica (Regular, Oblique, Bold, Bold Oblique)
  • Times (Roman, Italic, Bold, Bold Italic)
  • Symbol

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  • The image formats used on web sites are JPEG (or JPG), PNG and GIF. JPEG is best for images with many colors such as photos. GIF is best for line art, illustrations and drawings with limited color. PNG is the most versatile and can be used quite broadly on web-sites.
  • The image formats used in documents follow a similar rule. GIF, TIFF and PNG are best for images with fewer colors and JPEG is used for images with many colors such as photos. The best test is to use pdf2image to convert to a few different formats and then view them both on-screen and in print to see which gives you the desired result.
  • It’s also important to determine what formats your application can import. If the program you want to use only accepts BMP, then you need to convert to this format, even if it produces larger files than PNG.

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  • If you are generating images for use on web sites, convert at 72 dpi (dots per inch) or 96 dpi. These settings match screen resolution pixel for pixel for the best match and sharpest display.
  • For general office printing, choose 150 dpi. This will generate a crisp image with the smallest file size.
  • For office publishing and high quality laser printing, choose 300 dpi. The files will be larger but the images will be very clear.
  • For professional printing, choose 300 dpi – 1200 dpi. It’s best to ask your printer who will recommend the best resolution to match his equipment.

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← Faqs

Tutorial: Using pdf2picture for Windows

This tutorial assumes that you have already installed pdf2picture 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 pdf2picture.

Launch pdf2picture and choose the files to convert:

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Select the files that you want to convert and continue to "add" and "remove" them on this screen until you have the set that you want to work with. Note that only one format conversion can be done at a time so if you want to convert a file to WMF and SVG, you will need to run pdf2pcture twice.

Select Output Format.

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Choose vector or image mode and then select the output format. Choices are:
Vector: WMF, EMF, EPS, SVG
Bitmap: PNG, GIF, JPEG, BMP, TIFF

Choose Page Settings

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The Page Settings control options that apply to all files. All of the other options 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: pdf2picture 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: pdf2picture, by default, will convert all pages of a file. You can set a page range if you only want selected pages.

 IMAGE MODE: Choose Image Settings

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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 pdf2picture 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:  Advanced Image Settings

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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.

 

 VECTOR MODE: Vector Settings

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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.

Convert Characters to 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 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.

Emulate Line Joins and Line Ends:

 

VECTOR MODE: Font Mappings

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Font Mappings: 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”.

VECTOR MODE: SVG Settings

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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 produce satisfactory results, please contact us and we will work with you optimize the kerning for your process.

VECTOR MODE: Advanced Vector Settings

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Precision Factor: Sometimes pdf2picture 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.

Zero line width: Remove 3D effects

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.

Include AI Prologue file:

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.

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.

Convert the file! That’s it...

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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 CAD 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.

“I tested the eval version against a multi-page PDF document with vector images on pages 8 to 13. It worked sweetly. I’ll get my credit card!”, Nick Ruddock, Queensland

Nick needed to convert multi-page PDF files with CAD drawings into a format he could edit in Visio. We implemented a change in font mapping and another to fit drawing to page based on his feedback. Thanks Nick!

Using PDF in VISIO

Using the converted PDF in Visio

Both pdf2picture and PDF FLY can create files that Visio can import using the native Windows vector graphic format (WMF). It’s also possible for Visio to open DXF files generated by pdf2cad although WMF will yield a better result in most instances. Download Tip Sheet: Using pdf2picture output (WMF) in Visio)

To use your PDF files in Visio, perform the following steps once you have generated your converted file using either pdf2picture or PDF FLY:

1.    Open the file using one of the methods below:

  • Choose Open, File and then select File Type:  Windows Metafile from the drop-down menu. It’s the last choice at the bottom of the “File Types” drop-down. Once you see your file on-screen, you are ready to move to Step #2.
  • Alternatively, if you want to import the file into an existing document or presentation, open that file and select Insert Picture…., From File and choose the file from your hard drive or network file system

2.    You should now see the converted drawing on your screen. Important! The drawing is imported as one grouped object and needs to be ungrouped if you wish to edit, remove or add parts of the drawing. To Ungroup your drawing, Select Shape, Grouping, Ungroup.

3.    When ungrouping Visio will highlight every discreet object in pink. In order to deselect everything, you need to click anywhere on the page outside of the drawing boundaries.

4.    Once the drawing is ungrouped and the objects are deselected, you may select whatever you want to change and it will appear with editing handles.

TIP! If you want to scale the drawing, make sure you “regroup” it by selecting Grouping, Group so that everything is scaled proportionately.

Contact Us if you have problems. The best way to get help is to send the file you are having trouble with along with any comments to support@visual-integrity.com. We’re happy to help!

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