Search the FAQ to Find Answers

We’ve complied a full list of questions and answers (FAQ) to help you in your evaluation and full use of Visual Integrity software. This knowledgebase is updated frequently and new questions are added as received.

If you can not easily find what you need in the FAQ, please contact us at support@visual-integrity.com. There are always new tips & tricks that have not made it online yet and chances are that we have one that will work for you! If you can not find what you are looking for, use the tab on the left side of your screen to get live help or to log your question – if we are not available, we will reply as soon as possible!

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Advantage Support (2)

What’s included in Advantage Support?

Advantage Support is a 12-month subscription which ensures that you are always up-to-date and have support if you need it. Subscribers get all updates, upgrades, new versions and replacement software if needed. Access to the priority support queue is also included. There is no additional charge for any of these great benefits.

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How do I know if there is a new product upgrade?

All of our products have a small icon with two arrows in the lower left hand of the screen. This is the “About” box. Clicking on it will display your version number. Compare this to the version number of the latest release on our web-site (click on product page; the version number will be on the first product tab) and see whether you need to upgrade.

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ASCII (2)

What are my options for extracting text?

When using one of the text extraction tools – either via command-line or API, you can choose to:

  • completely strip the text of white space, non-printing characters, etc
  • extract text while preserving the placement of all characters on a page
  • generate excepts or abstracts

 


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I need my extracted text to be formatted. Is this possible?

It depends on what you mean by “formatted”. With ASCII text, “formatted” means that the characters are in certain positions on a page. A few examples would be:

  • when text is printed on a check, the text must be in specific areas for the check to print accurately
  • when spreadsheets are saved as text, it’s important to see what’s in each column.
  • if reports are converted to ASCII, the data should be in the correct tables
  • if a form is converted to text, the descriptions must align with corresponding fields for data

With the text extraction tools from Visual Integrity, you can count on precision placement of each character. Since the format does not support attributes such as bold, underline or italic, these will all be sacrificed in the conversion process.

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BMP (1)

Which image format should I choose?

  • 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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CGM (3)

CGM – Levels & Profiles

The Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) format is primarily used for the storage and exchange of technical data in industries such as Aerospace, Defense, Automotive, Oil & Gas.

CGM files may contain vector graphics as well as raster images and font text. They are typically used for technical illustrations in SGML/XML documentation systems, and now, more and more, for Web-based systems like IETMS (Illustrated Electronic Technical Manuals) and e-Catalogs.

Over the years, several different versions of CGM have been spawned to meet the needs of various industries. There are specific industry profiles (ATA, MIL, PIP) and four different levels as well as WebCGM. As a result of this diversification, interoperability is often a problem: the target application is unable to reliably interpret the particular flavor of CGM generated by the source application. Many content creation applications have started outputting Level 3 or 4 CGM. However, many applications on the receiving end have not yet implemented full support for these higher levels.

Visual Integrity helps industry manufacturers, suppliers and software vendors turn graphical data into the CGM format. It does so for many source applications which do not offer CGM output, and also for applications which already do – but are incompatible with the end user’s target application.

CGM files generated by our software are compliant with all levels and industry profiles. By default, our software produces the common denominator subset of CGM (we like to call it ‘vanilla CGM’) to ensure optimal interoperability with the viewing, authoring, and publishing environment downstream. This ‘vanilla CGM’ handles files typically produced and used in technical industries.

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When should I choose vector or image mode?

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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CGM Format Overview

The Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) file format is used to render graphics in a wide range of technical applications. It is output by many specialized programs in the aerospace, semiconductor manufacturing, automotive and telecommunications industries. CGM is most commonly used in these organizations for product operation, maintenance, repair and other technical manuals. It is also used in the petroleum industry for mapping, lithology cross-sections, seismic traces and well logs. The U.S. military uses CGM for simple redlining on top of raster (map) data. CGM is a format supported both in print and on-line (IETMS). CGM is typically used for technical illustrations in SGML/XML documentation systems, and now, more and more, for Web-based systems like IETMS (Illustrated Electronic Technical Manuals) and e-Catalogs. Outside of these specialized, technical industries, CGM has largely been superseded by formats such as SVG and DXF. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) has developed WebCGM, a profile of CGM enjoying specialized use of on the Web.

Over the years, several different versions of CGM have been spawned to meet the needs of various industries. There are specific industry profiles (ATA, MIL, PIP) and four different levels as well as WebCGM. As a result of this diversification, interoperability is often a problem: the target application is unable to reliably interpret the particular flavor of CGM generated by the source application. Many content creation applications have started outputting Level 3 or 4 CGM. However, many applications on the receiving end have not yet implemented full support for these higher levels.

Visual Integrity helps industry manufacturers, suppliers and software vendors turn graphical data into the CGM format. It does so for many source applications which do not offer CGM output, and also for applications which already do – but are incompatible with the end user’s target application. Input formats include PDF, PostScript, EPS, WMF and EPS.

CGM files generated are compliant with all levels and industry profiles. By default, our software produces the common denominator subset of CGM (we like to call it ‘vanilla CGM’) to ensure optimal interoperability with the viewing, authoring, and publishing environment downstream. This ‘vanilla CGM’ handles files typically produced and used in technical industries.

Notes on Visual Integrity’s Support of CGM:
•    Output supports choice of CGM Levels 1-2-3-4
•    Compliant with ATA, MIL and PIP industry profiles
•    Supports vector graphics, raster images and font-based text
•    Supports both metric and abstract scaling
•    Curves are retained in Level 3-4 compatible output

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Command Line Tools (1)

Can you describe the engine architecture?

All of Visual Integrity’s products are built upon the same framework. Some are scaled for enterprise use and some are packaged for ease-of-use on a Windows desktop. No matter which product you use, it is built upon our proven and reliable engine, a framework which has withstood the demands of many of the world’s most respected companies over almost 20 years.

FLY SDK engine architecture

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Developers (14)

Can you describe the engine architecture?

All of Visual Integrity’s products are built upon the same framework. Some are scaled for enterprise use and some are packaged for ease-of-use on a Windows desktop. No matter which product you use, it is built upon our proven and reliable engine, a framework which has withstood the demands of many of the world’s most respected companies over almost 20 years.

FLY SDK engine architecture

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Why should I choose your PDF output over all the others out there?

Visual Integrity is well know for turning PDF into other formats but our software is also an excellent choice for creating PDF files. Unlike other technologies which use printer-drivers as an intermediate step to create their PDF-files, we have developed core technology which generates the PDF-file directly from within our engine. This leads to a faster, more accurate conversion.

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Are Acrobat or GhostScript required?

No, neither Acrobat nor GhostScript are required. All of our products are standalone tools, completely self-contained, and based on our powerful engine developed, improved and extended over almost two decades. Our products are not based on print drivers as brokers so the conversions are more pure and accurate. Everything that you need to run them on your desktop or to use them for you development is included in your delivery download.

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Download & Installation (14)

How do I add the license number to a product when the trial period has ended?

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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Do the products run on UNIX and Linux Versions such as RedHat?

Red Hat is our development platform so it’s the flavor we officially support. Since our software is developed with best practices and is very portable, it should run on other compliant Linux platforms. We have had customers report successful installations on other Linux versions such as FreeBSD and SuSe (64-bit AMD). If you are running a different Linux version than Red Hat, please do try to install the Linux version and let us know how it works. In addition to Linux, we also have versions available for Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.

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Are Acrobat or GhostScript required?

No, neither Acrobat nor GhostScript are required. All of our products are standalone tools, completely self-contained, and based on our powerful engine developed, improved and extended over almost two decades. Our products are not based on print drivers as brokers so the conversions are more pure and accurate. Everything that you need to run them on your desktop or to use them for you development is included in your delivery download.

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DXF (7)

Why won’t my drawing convert?

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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When converting a CAD drawing, can I preserve the layers?

When a CAD drawing is saved as a PDF file, it still retains information about layers that can be extracted. When converting, pdf2cad looks at color attributes, or other definitions in the PDF file, to create layers. If the option to recognize layers is turned on, pdf2cad gathers all objects with same color and put them on one layer. If the PDF file has three colors, the resulting DXF file will have three layers. It is then easy in AutoCAD to turn off a complete layer. This setting can be found in the Options->DXF tab of PDF FLY or simply under Options in pdf2cad.

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When should I choose vector or image mode?

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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EMF (2)

How do I create a WMF file?

WMF files can be created in several ways on Microsoft Windows systems:

  • Most applications support WMF and/or EMF in their Save As or Export menus.
  • Ever since Office 2003, you can select graphics, in an application right-click on them, choose Save as Picture… and then select Windows  Enhanced Metafile.
  • In earlier Office versions, you could copy graphics to the clipboard and use VBA routines to save them as WMF or EMF disk files.
  • If you are a software developer, you can feed your GDI display or print code directly to the META FLY library or save them as WMF or EMF files first.

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When should I choose vector or image mode?

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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EPS (4)

What Types of PostScript Files Need Conversion?

Many scientific and engineering applications are limited in their export capabilities but one common thread is that they can all output PostScript files. In order to take the output from these applications and use it in the documentation and book-building systems, PostScript is converted to publishing formats such as WMF, CGM, EPS, SVG and MIF. Types of graphics include:

  • Schematics from EDA systems such as Mentor Graphics and Cadence
  • GIS output from ArcView
  • Reports and print streams from mainframes and database systems
  • Graphics from legacy systems such as Interleaf and older versions of FrameMaker
  • Data plots from medical and technical instruments
  • Drawings from CAD systems such as UniGraphics, CATIA, Microstation

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Why can’t I see this EPS file on screen?

The EPS format is derived from a printer language and was not intended for display. Some EPS graphics have a preview file attached to them, usually in the TIFF format so that they can be seen on-screen; others display as a grey box. EPS files are very high quality and look great in print and are a universal exchange format in the printing and publishing worlds. To make better use of them, you can:

  • open the EPS file in a viewer
  • convert the EPS to a native publishing format and edit it
  • run the EPS through Acrobat or Distiller to make a PDF that can be viewed
  • import the EPS into an illustration package like Adobe Illustrator or CorelDraw

 

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When should I choose vector or image mode?

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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File Formats (4)

CGM – Levels & Profiles

The Computer Graphics Metafile (CGM) format is primarily used for the storage and exchange of technical data in industries such as Aerospace, Defense, Automotive, Oil & Gas.

CGM files may contain vector graphics as well as raster images and font text. They are typically used for technical illustrations in SGML/XML documentation systems, and now, more and more, for Web-based systems like IETMS (Illustrated Electronic Technical Manuals) and e-Catalogs.

Over the years, several different versions of CGM have been spawned to meet the needs of various industries. There are specific industry profiles (ATA, MIL, PIP) and four different levels as well as WebCGM. As a result of this diversification, interoperability is often a problem: the target application is unable to reliably interpret the particular flavor of CGM generated by the source application. Many content creation applications have started outputting Level 3 or 4 CGM. However, many applications on the receiving end have not yet implemented full support for these higher levels.

Visual Integrity helps industry manufacturers, suppliers and software vendors turn graphical data into the CGM format. It does so for many source applications which do not offer CGM output, and also for applications which already do – but are incompatible with the end user’s target application.

CGM files generated by our software are compliant with all levels and industry profiles. By default, our software produces the common denominator subset of CGM (we like to call it ‘vanilla CGM’) to ensure optimal interoperability with the viewing, authoring, and publishing environment downstream. This ‘vanilla CGM’ handles files typically produced and used in technical industries.

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When do I need the MIF format?

If you need to provide graphics to someone using FrameMaker from Adobe or you are using it yourself, MIF is an important format. MIF stands for “Maker Interchange Format”. It’s an exchange format used extensively in the past in technical documentation groups. It’s sun is fading now as SVG begins to rise in importance at Adobe and in the world-wide web in general as the standard vector format of HTML5.

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When should I choose GIF?

GIF is a good format for any simple image with few colors. It is also the only image format that supports animation of a series of files. It is supported well on all browsers, including legacy versions of Internet Explorer. When creating new content online today, most people choose PNG because of it’s better transparency, alpha-channel support, indexed color and smaller file size. GIF is still an absolutely fine, safe choice. if that’s what your editing software outputs and 256 colors is enough, go ahead and use GIF.

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FLY Batch (10)

Can you describe the engine architecture?

All of Visual Integrity’s products are built upon the same framework. Some are scaled for enterprise use and some are packaged for ease-of-use on a Windows desktop. No matter which product you use, it is built upon our proven and reliable engine, a framework which has withstood the demands of many of the world’s most respected companies over almost 20 years.

FLY SDK engine architecture

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Are Acrobat or GhostScript required?

No, neither Acrobat nor GhostScript are required. All of our products are standalone tools, completely self-contained, and based on our powerful engine developed, improved and extended over almost two decades. Our products are not based on print drivers as brokers so the conversions are more pure and accurate. Everything that you need to run them on your desktop or to use them for you development is included in your delivery download.

Mark as helpful. 0

Where can I learn more about the conversion options?

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.

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FLY SDK (8)

Can you describe the engine architecture?

All of Visual Integrity’s products are built upon the same framework. Some are scaled for enterprise use and some are packaged for ease-of-use on a Windows desktop. No matter which product you use, it is built upon our proven and reliable engine, a framework which has withstood the demands of many of the world’s most respected companies over almost 20 years.

FLY SDK engine architecture

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Are Acrobat or GhostScript required?

No, neither Acrobat nor GhostScript are required. All of our products are standalone tools, completely self-contained, and based on our powerful engine developed, improved and extended over almost two decades. Our products are not based on print drivers as brokers so the conversions are more pure and accurate. Everything that you need to run them on your desktop or to use them for you development is included in your delivery download.

Mark as helpful. 0

Where can I learn more about the conversion options?

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.

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Fonts & Text (10)

I can’t edit the text when I open the DXF file in AutoCAD. Why not?

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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Why do I get a warning about unknown fonts at the end of the conversion?

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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I don’t want to worry about fonts and I need a perfect match for printing – What can I do?

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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General (1)

How do I add the license number to a product when the trial period has ended?

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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Spotting the Difference – Vector and Raster PDF

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 tyes 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.

1. 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%.

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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Do the products run on UNIX and Linux Versions such as RedHat?

Red Hat is our development platform so it’s the flavor we officially support. Since our software is developed with best practices and is very portable, it should run on other compliant Linux platforms. We have had customers report successful installations on other Linux versions such as FreeBSD and SuSe (64-bit AMD). If you are running a different Linux version than Red Hat, please do try to install the Linux version and let us know how it works. In addition to Linux, we also have versions available for Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.

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GIF (2)

When should I choose GIF?

GIF is a good format for any simple image with few colors. It is also the only image format that supports animation of a series of files. It is supported well on all browsers, including legacy versions of Internet Explorer. When creating new content online today, most people choose PNG because of it’s better transparency, alpha-channel support, indexed color and smaller file size. GIF is still an absolutely fine, safe choice. if that’s what your editing software outputs and 256 colors is enough, go ahead and use GIF.

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Which image format should I choose?

  • 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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HPGL (2)

When should I choose vector or image mode?

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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I can’t edit the text when I open the DXF file in AutoCAD. Why not?

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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JPEG (2)

What is a lossy format?

Lossy and lossless are terms that describe whether or not an image can be recovered perfectly when it is uncompressed.

With lossless compression (think “Loss -less”), all data that was originally in the file is completely restored when uncompressed. GIF and PNG are Web image formats that provide lossless compression.

On the other hand, lossy compression (Lose) reduces a file by permanently eliminating some information which is imperceptible to the viewer. When the file is uncompressed, only a part of the original information is still there although this may not be noticeable. Lossy compression is generally used for video and sound, where a certain amount of information loss will not be detected by most users. The JPEG image file, commonly used for photographs and other realistic or high-definition images on the Web, is an image that has lossy compression. Using JPEG compression, the creator can decide how much loss to introduce and make a trade-off between file size and image quality. The larger the file size, the higher the quality.

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Which image format should I choose?

  • 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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META FLY (6)

Spotting the Difference – Vector and Raster PDF

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 tyes 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.

1. 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%.

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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Where can I learn more about the conversion options?

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.

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How do I select more than one file for conversion?

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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MIF (2)

When do I need the MIF format?

If you need to provide graphics to someone using FrameMaker from Adobe or you are using it yourself, MIF is an important format. MIF stands for “Maker Interchange Format”. It’s an exchange format used extensively in the past in technical documentation groups. It’s sun is fading now as SVG begins to rise in importance at Adobe and in the world-wide web in general as the standard vector format of HTML5.

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When should I choose vector or image mode?

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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PDF (8)

Steps for using PDF in Visio (WMF)

Using the results of pdf2picture or PDF FLY in Microsoft Visio

pdf2picture and PDF FLY can both 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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Why should I choose your PDF output over all the others out there?

Visual Integrity is well know for turning PDF into other formats but our software is also an excellent choice for creating PDF files. Unlike other technologies which use printer-drivers as an intermediate step to create their PDF-files, we have developed core technology which generates the PDF-file directly from within our engine. This leads to a faster, more accurate conversion.

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How can I tell if my PDF file is a vector or a bitmap?

As easy way to see if your PDF file contains vector or bitmap content is to magnify the drawing to more than 800%. If you see smooth curves and straight lines, it’s a vector file and the conversion results will be successful. If what you see on screen looks jagged, ragged or pixelated, it is a bitmap file and you will only be able to create a drawing template to aid in redrawing the file in your engineering application.

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PDF & Microsoft Office (16)

Steps for using PDF in Visio (WMF)

Using the results of pdf2picture or PDF FLY in Microsoft Visio

pdf2picture and PDF FLY can both 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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Why won’t my drawing convert?

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 SVG in Visio is a Perfect Way to Unlock PDF Content

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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PDF FLY (37)

Steps for using PDF in Visio (WMF)

Using the results of pdf2picture or PDF FLY in Microsoft Visio

pdf2picture and PDF FLY can both 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!

Mark as helpful. 13

Spotting the Difference – Vector and Raster PDF

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 tyes 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.

1. 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%.

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.

Mark as helpful. 13

Why won’t my drawing convert?

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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PDF Pro CL (4)

Can you describe the engine architecture?

All of Visual Integrity’s products are built upon the same framework. Some are scaled for enterprise use and some are packaged for ease-of-use on a Windows desktop. No matter which product you use, it is built upon our proven and reliable engine, a framework which has withstood the demands of many of the world’s most respected companies over almost 20 years.

FLY SDK engine architecture

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Where can I learn more about the conversion options?

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.

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Is there a developer kit of pdf2image, pdf2picture, pd2cad and PDF FLY ?

Yes!. We offer the PDF Pro Series, a collection of robust, value-priced SDKs for corporate and limited commercial development for converting PDF into other formats. FLY SDK provides robust functionality for OEM’s and commercial developers. Please contact us to discuss your project and get onto a fast-track evaluation. We’ll help you tune the parameters and optimize the results to ensure your integration is smooth and makes the most of our SDK.

See flysdk.com for more information !

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PDF Pro SDK (4)

Can you describe the engine architecture?

All of Visual Integrity’s products are built upon the same framework. Some are scaled for enterprise use and some are packaged for ease-of-use on a Windows desktop. No matter which product you use, it is built upon our proven and reliable engine, a framework which has withstood the demands of many of the world’s most respected companies over almost 20 years.

FLY SDK engine architecture

Mark as helpful. 1

Where can I learn more about the conversion options?

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.

Mark as helpful. 0

Is there a developer kit of pdf2image, pdf2picture, pd2cad and PDF FLY ?

Yes!. We offer the PDF Pro Series, a collection of robust, value-priced SDKs for corporate and limited commercial development for converting PDF into other formats. FLY SDK provides robust functionality for OEM’s and commercial developers. Please contact us to discuss your project and get onto a fast-track evaluation. We’ll help you tune the parameters and optimize the results to ensure your integration is smooth and makes the most of our SDK.

See flysdk.com for more information !

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pdf2autocad (3)

What Command runs PDFin?

To run PDFin (formerly pdf2AutoCAD), use pdfin on the command line in your AutoCAD or Autodesk program. This command will launch a PDF File Selection Dialog.

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Where can I download the PDFin Trial?

The PDFin (formerly pdf2AutoCAD) Trial is free. You can download it either from Autodesk or directly from us. The links are below. Please note that the Trial version is fully functioning but each file will be stamped with a watermark. It should not get in the way of seeing whether your file opened correctly. If you do find it intrusive, just let us know and we will convert a test file for you without the watermark at no charge. This stamp  is disabled when a full license is purchased.

 Download the PDFin Trial from Visual Integrity

 Download PDFinTrial from the Autodesk Exchange

autodesk-exchange

 

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What’s the Difference Between pdf2cad and PDFin?

The difference between pdf2cad and PDFin (formerly pdf2AutoCAD) – pdf2cad is an advanced standalone PDF conversion program while PDFin is a plug-in that requires an Autodesk program to run.

pdf2cad is a powerful standalone program available for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It not only opens a n editable PDF file but provides many advanced features and user-definable conversion options. With pdf2cad, you can convert multipage PDF files, control layers based on color or other attributes, rotate your file during conversion and more. In addition to DWG, it also outputs DXF and HPGL. pdf2cad costs $195.

PDFin is a plug-in for Autodesk products. It is Autodesk Approved and available in their Autodesk Exchange. PDFin will open any vector PDF file created using save, export or print-to-file on a computer. All objects can be modified. Text will be editable as MTEXT as long as it was stored as characters in the original PDF file. If it was “plotted” as pen strokes, the text will appear but can not be edited. The pdf2AutoCAD plug-in is not for scanned drawings and other raster PDF file. The PDF Underlay feature in AutoCAD can be used for these files. PDFin costs $79.

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pdf2cad (30)

pdf2cad Mac Tutorial

Tutorial: Using pdf2cad Mac 

This tutorial assumes that you have already installed pdf2cad on your Mac and that you can access it from the Applications Folder, the Dock or the Desktop. Choose your preferred method and launch pdf2cad.
launch pdf2cad mac

Step 1: Upon launch, Click Add to select the files you wish to convert.

select files

When you click Add, you will see a list of files from your computer and any known linked devices to choose from. Select the ones you want and then click Open to move them into pdf2cad.

Select files for pdf2cad to convert

 

The selected files will be displayed in the preview pane on the left. On the right, are the most often used settings. These defaults should be correct for most conversions. Click OK to continue. If you find that you  need to change rotation or fine-tune the process, there is a Preferences button where advanced  settings can be applied. If you do not need to make any adjustments, you may click OK to run the conversion. The Options are covered at the end of the tutorial.

pdf2cad preview

 

Once you have clicked OK on the previous screen, you will be returned to the file selection window. Add more files or select Next.

select files

 

The conversions to be performed will be summarized on screen. Choose where the results will be stored. The default is in the same directory as the original file. Click Convert to proceed.

Conversion Summary pdf2cad

 

Once the conversion is complete, you can choose New Conversion to perform more operations or Exit the application. The converted files will be in your file system, usually in the same folder as the original folder. You can now open them in your CAD application.

Conversion Results pdf2cad

 

 

Preferences and Advanced Options

The General Settings control options that apply to any file. These include choices about how you want text to be converted in your file. Optimal will ensure that any editable text remains editable while Convert Characters to Curves will deliver a perfect match if fonts are not available on your system. You can also choose to rotate the file or ignore items such as images which can not be edited. Finally, you choose your format on this screen – DWG for AutoCAD, DXF for most engineering and technical programs and HPGL for plotter specific applications.

General Options pdf2cad
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 compensate for this. For more information on fonts issue, refer to the FAQ sub-section.
Font Mapping pdf2cad
The DXF/DWG options apply specifically to the attributes of the CAD drawing. Here you can adjust scale as well as treatment of layers and composition.
DWG DXF Options pdf2cad
The Advanced options are where some of the real power is in pdf2cad. These options allow for intelligent reconstruction of the CAD objects from a flattened PDF format.
Advanced Options pdf2cad

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What does “Error in VPORT Table” mean?

An error in a VPORT table is not a common error and needs to be diagnosed. It could result from a corrupted input file, a partial conversion or an importing error. To troubleshoot, please send the original PDF file to us at support@visual-integrity.com. We will test the file and get back to you with a solution.

 

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What’s the Difference Between pdf2cad and PDFin?

The difference between pdf2cad and PDFin (formerly pdf2AutoCAD) – pdf2cad is an advanced standalone PDF conversion program while PDFin is a plug-in that requires an Autodesk program to run.

pdf2cad is a powerful standalone program available for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It not only opens a n editable PDF file but provides many advanced features and user-definable conversion options. With pdf2cad, you can convert multipage PDF files, control layers based on color or other attributes, rotate your file during conversion and more. In addition to DWG, it also outputs DXF and HPGL. pdf2cad costs $195.

PDFin is a plug-in for Autodesk products. It is Autodesk Approved and available in their Autodesk Exchange. PDFin will open any vector PDF file created using save, export or print-to-file on a computer. All objects can be modified. Text will be editable as MTEXT as long as it was stored as characters in the original PDF file. If it was “plotted” as pen strokes, the text will appear but can not be edited. The pdf2AutoCAD plug-in is not for scanned drawings and other raster PDF file. The PDF Underlay feature in AutoCAD can be used for these files. PDFin costs $79.

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pdf2image (14)

Why is no output file produced?

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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How do I edit a PDF file in my MS Office application?

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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How do I use the program?

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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pdf2picture (29)

Using SVG in Visio is a Perfect Way to Unlock PDF Content

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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Why is no output file produced?

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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Can I convert a PDF into one grouped object in Visio?

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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PNG (2)

When should I choose PNG?

Most of the time! PNG is a very versatile image format and is generally good in any situation. It’s a safe choice. It’s compact for an image format and supported well by both Web browsers and desktop applications such as Microsoft Office. It is a better choice than GIF for line-art and illustrations which do not contain many colors and it is an equally good choice for high-color images like scans and photos. It supports transparency. At the high-end, JPEG may still be a better choice for detailed photographs and realistic pictures. It’s good to do a few experiments with your images by converting them to both JPEG and PNG-24 and then judge quality versus file size/load time to make your choice.

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Which image format should I choose?

  • 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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PostScript (3)

What Types of PostScript Files Need Conversion?

Many scientific and engineering applications are limited in their export capabilities but one common thread is that they can all output PostScript files. In order to take the output from these applications and use it in the documentation and book-building systems, PostScript is converted to publishing formats such as WMF, CGM, EPS, SVG and MIF. Types of graphics include:

  • Schematics from EDA systems such as Mentor Graphics and Cadence
  • GIS output from ArcView
  • Reports and print streams from mainframes and database systems
  • Graphics from legacy systems such as Interleaf and older versions of FrameMaker
  • Data plots from medical and technical instruments
  • Drawings from CAD systems such as UniGraphics, CATIA, Microstation

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When should I choose vector or image mode?

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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How can I create a PostScript file from an application on my PC?

It is easy it is to create a PostScript file from virtually any application on a PC. Most PC’s are likely to have a PostScript printer driver configured in its printers settings. If not, you must Install a PostScript Printer Driver before going any further.

  1. Open your file within your application and then select “File…”, “Print”
  2. Choose your PostScript printer. Note that you can use any PostScript driver included with Microsoft Windows without having the actual printer since you will simply be printing to a file.
  3. Press “OK”  to print to file. Note that the PostScript tab under Properties should be set to Encapsulated PostScript (EPS) for best results.
  4. You will be prompted for a file name and location. If you do not assign .ps as the extension, the default in Windows will be .PRN. Both are valid input extensions.
  5. Open your Visual Integrity software and when prompted for a PostScript file to convert, go to the location chosen in Step 4 and select the new .ps or .prn file for conversion.

TIPS:

  • The extension does not matter – Some systems give printer files a default extension, like .prn or .plt. This does not matter. If the file has been created using a PostScript printer driven, the result will be a PostScript file that Visual Integrity software can convert.
  • Watch out for PCL: Most HP printers use a printer language called PCL. The default mode on HP PostScript printers is usually PCL. PCL can not be converted by TGC. Be sure that your HP printer is in PostScript mode to ensure a successful conversion.
  • Save directly as PostScript or EPS files – Many applications allow you to save your files as PS or EPS through their “Save as…” menu. A few even produce PostScript by default. This results in good input for our conversion engine.
  • Fonts – Try to use standard PostScript fonts like Helvetica and Times New Roman. Non-PostScript fonts, such as Type 1 fonts and TrueType fonts should be embedded so that the text data is available in the PostScript file. This gives our software the best chance to preserve the fonts during conversion.

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Priority Engineering (1)

Who should subscribe to the Priority Engineering Program?

The Priority Engineering Program (PEP) gives direct access to our most valuable resources, our engineers. Not many customers need this level of support, but for those who do, it’s invaluable. Through the PEP program, you’ll get all the support and advice you need integrating our technology with yours plus we’ll make custom builds to fix and tweak the software just for you outside or our normal release schedule. The ideal candidates for PEP are OEM’s and selected SDK customers. Another way to gauge whether the program is a good fit is to evaluate your input files. If they are predictable and all from one source, PEP is not required. If you get input files from many different sources, and expect to need to trouble-shoot errors, PEP is a good idea. For more information, contact us.

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Product Upgrades (1)

How do I know if there is a new product upgrade?

All of our products have a small icon with two arrows in the lower left hand of the screen. This is the “About” box. Clicking on it will display your version number. Compare this to the version number of the latest release on our web-site (click on product page; the version number will be on the first product tab) and see whether you need to upgrade.

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Products (0)

pdf2picture Evaluation Tips

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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Can you describe the engine architecture?

All of Visual Integrity’s products are built upon the same framework. Some are scaled for enterprise use and some are packaged for ease-of-use on a Windows desktop. No matter which product you use, it is built upon our proven and reliable engine, a framework which has withstood the demands of many of the world’s most respected companies over almost 20 years.

FLY SDK engine architecture

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Steps for using PDF in Visio (WMF)

Using the results of pdf2picture or PDF FLY in Microsoft Visio

pdf2picture and PDF FLY can both 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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QA (63)

Do the products run on UNIX and Linux Versions such as RedHat?

Red Hat is our development platform so it’s the flavor we officially support. Since our software is developed with best practices and is very portable, it should run on other compliant Linux platforms. We have had customers report successful installations on other Linux versions such as FreeBSD and SuSe (64-bit AMD). If you are running a different Linux version than Red Hat, please do try to install the Linux version and let us know how it works. In addition to Linux, we also have versions available for Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX, Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows.

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Why should I choose your PDF output over all the others out there?

Visual Integrity is well know for turning PDF into other formats but our software is also an excellent choice for creating PDF files. Unlike other technologies which use printer-drivers as an intermediate step to create their PDF-files, we have developed core technology which generates the PDF-file directly from within our engine. This leads to a faster, more accurate conversion.

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How can I tell if my PDF file is a vector or a bitmap?

As easy way to see if your PDF file contains vector or bitmap content is to magnify the drawing to more than 800%. If you see smooth curves and straight lines, it’s a vector file and the conversion results will be successful. If what you see on screen looks jagged, ragged or pixelated, it is a bitmap file and you will only be able to create a drawing template to aid in redrawing the file in your engineering application.

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Raster Formats (5)

When should I choose GIF?

GIF is a good format for any simple image with few colors. It is also the only image format that supports animation of a series of files. It is supported well on all browsers, including legacy versions of Internet Explorer. When creating new content online today, most people choose PNG because of it’s better transparency, alpha-channel support, indexed color and smaller file size. GIF is still an absolutely fine, safe choice. if that’s what your editing software outputs and 256 colors is enough, go ahead and use GIF.

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What is a lossy format?

Lossy and lossless are terms that describe whether or not an image can be recovered perfectly when it is uncompressed.

With lossless compression (think “Loss -less”), all data that was originally in the file is completely restored when uncompressed. GIF and PNG are Web image formats that provide lossless compression.

On the other hand, lossy compression (Lose) reduces a file by permanently eliminating some information which is imperceptible to the viewer. When the file is uncompressed, only a part of the original information is still there although this may not be noticeable. Lossy compression is generally used for video and sound, where a certain amount of information loss will not be detected by most users. The JPEG image file, commonly used for photographs and other realistic or high-definition images on the Web, is an image that has lossy compression. Using JPEG compression, the creator can decide how much loss to introduce and make a trade-off between file size and image quality. The larger the file size, the higher the quality.

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When should I choose PNG?

Most of the time! PNG is a very versatile image format and is generally good in any situation. It’s a safe choice. It’s compact for an image format and supported well by both Web browsers and desktop applications such as Microsoft Office. It is a better choice than GIF for line-art and illustrations which do not contain many colors and it is an equally good choice for high-color images like scans and photos. It supports transparency. At the high-end, JPEG may still be a better choice for detailed photographs and realistic pictures. It’s good to do a few experiments with your images by converting them to both JPEG and PNG-24 and then judge quality versus file size/load time to make your choice.

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SVG (3)

Do I still need an SVG Viewer?

SVG has come a long way since 1999. At that time, Adobe offered a special browser plug-in so SVG files could be viewed. Now, 12 years later, SVG is the graphics foundation of HTML5 and built into all of the major browsers. Below is a list of each browser and when it added reasonable SVG support. If you are using this release or later, you should be able to view SVG without problems. The Adobe SVG Viewer is no longer required.

  • > FireFox 4
  • > Opera 10
  • > Chrome 10
  • > Safari 5
  • > IE 8

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Using SVG in Visio is a Perfect Way to Unlock PDF Content

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.