When a CAD drawing is saved to PDF, it includes rich data about every object, character, attribute and layer. Since it’s computer-generated, it’s a vector PDF file. pdf2cad can be used to extract all of that information and render it as an editable drawing for use in CAD programs, Microsoft Visio or other drawing, illustration or presentation programs. Our software includes many advanced options which allow fine-tuning of the results or even compensation for information lost in the transition to PDF. For example, you can reconnect objects, separate layers and consolidate characters into words or lines. Learn more about the Difference between Vector and Raster PDF files.
Problems With Scanned CAD Drawings
Our software is not designed to convert scanned drawings. While our programs rely on data extraction, scanned drawings need to be traced.
When pdf2cad converts a scanned file, it produces an empty DWG or DXF container and one or more image files. These are either TIFFs or JPEGs. When these referenced images are located in the same directory as the CAD file, you’ll see the scanned file. Otherwise, you will see a blank page.
Scanned files are raster PDF files. When scanned, the drawing becomes a flat image, like a photocopy or snapshot. All information about the objects, lines and text is gone, and there is nothing to to extract. The most we can do with scanned files, is create a copy to use as a tracing layer in your CAD program. pdf2cad creates a DXF or WMF containing the raster image.
Options include tracing the drawing. This is very hard to do well and always requires manual clean-up. The quality of the traced drawing is dependent on the resolution of the original drawing. Garbage in, garbage out. To find options, do an on-line search. TenLinks is a good place to start. Although we get a lot of requests for this type of solution, we have not found one that meets our standards. If you do, let us know so we can recommend it!
Another alternative for scanned drawing is to use a service bureau to redraw it. This is often a cost-effective solution.