pdf2bricscad - Open and Edit PDF!

pdf2bricscad-box-300xUse pdf2bricscad to transform vector PDF files into editable CAD drawings and save hours of redraw time. Within moments of selecting an appropriate PDF file, an accurate and editable drawing will open within BricsCAD.

pdf2bricscad is ideal for converting computer-generated CAD drawings, floor-plans, network diagrams and organization charts. It extracts editable CAD entities, objects and text from any computer-generated PDF file while images from scanned PDF files are placed on a non-editable tracing layer. PDFin is not designed to operate on scanned drawings (raster PDF).

pdf2bricscad is available as a plug-in for BricsCAD 10 and higher on Microsoft Windows systems. Try it free or send us a test file and we’ll do the conversion for you. It just takes one file to see how pdf2bricsad will save you time and money!

Important NoteThe key to a successful conversion is to know what type of PDF file you have. There are two types - vector PDF and raster PDF. If the PDF file was computer-generated, it is most likely a vector PDF file. This is the ideal input format for pdf2bricscad which will return accurate, scaleable, editable vector objects and text. If the PDF file is a scanned drawing, it is a raster PDF and pdf2bricscad is limited to raster-to-raster conversion. This will produce a reliable tracing layer for your CAD system but it will not be editable at the object layer.

pdf2bricscad Features

  • Directly opens PDF drawings
  • Generates editable objects
  • Intelligent object recognition
  • Combines characters to form editable words and lines of text
  • Plotted text is rendered as non-editable WYSIWYG objects
  • Fonts matched or substituted closely when defined font is not installed on system
  • Realtime feedback reporting of messages, warnings and errors
  • Streamlined interface for fast, easy conversions
  • IMPORTANT! pdf2bricscad is a plug-in and requires BricsCAD 10 or higher to run

Frequently Asked Questions about pdf2cad

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

If you need to:


Test #1 – The Blue Test

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

scanned drawing-unselected

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

scanned drawing - selected

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


Test #2 – The Zoom Test

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

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

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

2. Zoom

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

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pdf2cad, PDFin (formerly pdf2AutoCAD) an pdf2bricscad are different types of products. pdf2cad is an advanced, standalone PDF conversion program while PDFin and pdf2bricscad are plug-ins that require another program to run. PDFin requires AutoCAD or another Autodesk program that supports their extension API (Autoloader API). pdf2bricscad requires BricsCAD.

pdf2cad is a powerful standalone program available for both Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X. It opens PDF, EPS and AI  files as editable DWG, DXF or HPGL files. It 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. It converts multiple files and full directories with ease. pdf2cad costs $199.

PDFin and pdf2bricscad are plug-ins. PDFin is Autodesk Approved and available in their Autodesk Exchange | Apps. pdf2bricscad is available from Bricssys. Both will open any one-page computer-generated (vector) PDF file using controls within these programs. All objects can be modified and the file will be saved as DWG or DXF. Text will be editable 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 plug-ins arenot for scanned drawings and other raster PDF files.

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← Faqs

Tutorial: Using pdf2bricscad

Double Click to install the pdf2bricscad plugin. If you have already installed the plug-in and just want to learn how to use it, skip ahead to the end.


Start BricsCAD and Select Tools, Load Application

Open BricsCAD and select Tools-> Load Application


Click on the Add… button, browse to the C:Program FilesVisual Integritypdf2bricscad v10 directory and select the pdf2bricscad.lsp file. Click on “the “Load” button


The pdf2bricscad.lsp application is loaded and now you can type in the command pdfin to open and convert a PDF-file.


Browse to the directory which contains the PDF file you want to convert and either double-click or open the file. The application pdf2bricscad.lsp will convert the PDF file. When the conversion is complete, you will see the following message. Click the OK button.


When you click the OK button, the drawing file becomes visible and is now editable in Bricscad. A watermark (grid) is added when using the evaluation version.


pdf2bricscad Plugin

The pdf2bricscad plug-in requires BricsCAD to operate. It loads into the menu and makes it simple to open a PDF drawing for editing.