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IMPORTANT! PDFin is a plug-in and requires an Autodesk application to run

Open and Edit PDF files from within AutoCAD

PDFin-box-300xThe PDFin plug-in (formerly pdf2AutoCAD) opens PDF files for editing directly within AutoCAD and other Autodesk applications. It’s not just another PDF Viewer or Underlay… It’s more! It extracts editable objects and text from the PDF and presents you with a drawing that's good to go.

Certified and available via the Autodesk Exchange Store or directly from Visual Integrity, the PDFin plug-in unlocks a PDF drawing in one easy step. Once installed, you access the app via command line or from a toolbar icon. PDFin will immediately open any computer generated PDF file. These vector PDF files are created using save, export or print-to-file on a computer. PDFin is unable to extract drawings from scanned drawing or hand drawings.

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 PDFin plug-in is not for scanned drawings and other raster PDF file. The PDF Underlay feature in AutoCAD can be used for these files.

The PDFin plug-in opens one page PDF files. For multipage conversions, support for layers, custom rotation and other advanced options, consider purchasing pdf2cad.

We are proud to be one of the first suppliers of plug-ins for the Autodesk Exchange Apps. Learn more about the exchange and the benefits available for Autodesk customers.

autodesk-exchange1

Features in PDFin

  • Directly opens PDF drawings in AutoCAD
  • Tightly integrated with AutoCAD
  • Operates via AutoCAD command line (pdfin), menus and ribbon toolbar
  • 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 font is not installed on system
  • Realtime feedback reporting of messages, warnings and errors
  • Streamlined interface for fast, easy conversions
  • IMPORTANT! PDFin is a plug-in and requires an Autodesk application to run

Frequently Asked Questions about PDFin

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

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

Test #1 – The Blue Test

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

scanned drawing-unselected

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

scanned drawing - selected

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

 

Test #2 – The Zoom Test

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

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

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

2. Zoom

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

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The current version of pdf2cad is v11 build 11.0.0.0

If you do not know your version, launch the software and click “Cancel” to by pass the file selections screen. Click on the box with two arrows in the lower left of the window. It will inform you of your version and build number. If you do not have the latest build, you can Upgrade or purchase a 1- or 2-year Advantage Support Subscription which ensures you always have the latest version and support if you need it.

 

pdf2cad v11

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Your drawing is probably scanned. This process flattens it into one bitmap raster image which removes all the information about how the drawing was created or what it even is. As a result, it can not be redrawn or exploded into objects by pdf2cad. The most we can do with scanned files, is to create a high-quality copy to be used as a tracing layer in your CAD program.
If you look in the directory where the file was saved, you’ll notice that two or more files were created – a DXF and at least one TIFF or JPEG image. The DXF references the image(s) and assembles them on-screen when loaded. They must be in the same directory as the DXF file or the DXF file will look empty. This blank page effect will also occur if your CAD package does not support raster images.

If you want to try to create vector objects from a scanned drawing, you need a different class of software called “raster to vector”. This is an extremely difficult thing to do well. We recommend you start at trixsystems.com. They have a good product which performs specialized raster-to-vector conversion.

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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.

 [szb link=https://visual-integrity.com/?p=4074 color=orange size=large]Download the PDFin Trial from Visual Integrity[/szb]

 [szb link=http://apps.exchange.autodesk.com/ACD/en/Detail/Index?id=appstore.exchange.autodesk.com%3apdf2Autocad%3aen color=black size=large]Download PDFinTrial from the Autodesk Exchange[/szb]

autodesk-exchange

 

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There are two types of PDF files – raster PDF and vector PDF. If your drawing will not convert, it is probably a scanned drawing saved as a raster PDF file. Unfortunately, there is no useful data in a raster PDF file for us to extract about the objects or text. When a drawing is scanned, it is reduced to a flat image, comparable to a snapshot or a photocopy. There’s nothing you can do except trace over it manually or with tracing software (raster-to-vector software). One way or another, you need to recreate it.

Our software is designed to convert vector PDF files. These files are created on computers using save, export, print-to-file, etc. These vector PDF files contain a rich data set and all the information we need to accurately extract the drawing and render it in a format Visio or AutoCAD, etc can digest.

For comparison sake, below is a snip of a raster PDF file at 500% where the characteristic “jagginess” or pixelation of raster PDF files can easily be seen. Below it is a snip of a vector PDF file which is remarkably smooth and clear even though it has also been zoomed to 500%. This visual method is a very easy and accurate way to determine if your PDF file is a raster or vector. Most people get both types of files so pdf2cad or pdf2picture may be useful for some of your files.

A raster PDF (scanned drawing) – jagged and grainy at 500% – you need raster-to-vector software to trace or recreate this or you’ll need to manually redraw it.

A sample vector PDF file at 500% – notice how smooth the lines are and how clear the text is. This type of file is best converted with vector-to-vector software like pdf2cad and pdf2picture.

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Using the converted PDF in Visio

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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SVG in Visio is a versatile format for print and Web

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

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

The key steps:

1.    Use pdf2picture to convert your PDF file to SVG

2.   To open in Visio, choose Scalable Vector Graphics


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

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

 

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

 

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Sometimes there is no output file produced or it may seem as though  the software has quit working. This has to do with an invalid page range setting.

All of our products can convert one page, all pages or a page range. By default, they convert all pages. If you choose a page rage, you must reset it to all pages when done since the software remembers the last settings you used. If a conversion is attempted with an invalid page range, it will not produce a resulting file. It may seem as though it is not working. Once you go to “Options, Page” and adjust Page range to “All Pages””and re-attempt the conversion, you will produce a file.

page range options

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 for more than 20 years.

architecture

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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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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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As with most other Windows application, there are several ways to start the software:

  • By double-clicking on the product icon on your Windows desktop
  • Via Start > Programs > Visual Integrity > pdf2image (or other product)
  • Directly launch the program from the installation folder using Windows Explorer by finding and double-clicking on pdf2xxx.exe
  • By dragging a PDF file onto the product icon on your desktop or in Windows Explorer

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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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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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Yes. pdf2cad and PDF FLY can both generate DWG. In addition to the native AutoCAD format, both products can also produce DXF and HPGL.

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

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The hatching in your PDF-file is done with a pattern fill. Patterns fills are not recognized or supported in the DXF format. Since it can not understand the hatch, pdf2cad maps it to a grey value which can be manually modified once in AutoCAD or whatever editing application you use.

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PDF Fly is a complete suite containing all of our input and output modules. It is used by technical writers and engineering professionals who need to convert a variety of formats with a high degree of accuracy. It  costs $295. PDF Fly converts PDF, PostScript and EPS into the following formats:

  • vector: WMF, EMF, SVG, CGM, EPS, PDF, PS, DXF, HPGL
  • image: TIFF, GIF, JPEG, PNG, BMP
  • text: stripped ASCII text, text with placement

pdf2cad is designed especially for CAD users and costs just $195. It is a subset of PDF FLY and converts only from PDF into DXF or HPGL. It contains all of the features and power of PDF FLY for these selected formats.

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

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

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

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

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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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Visual Integrity has a number of conversion products for end-users:

  • pdf2image (http://www.pdf2image.com) for conversion of PDF files to image formats
  • pd2picture (http://www.pdf2picture.com) for conversion of PDF file to image and vector (Windows Metafile) formats
  • pdf2cad (http://www.pdf2cad.com) for conversion of vector PDF files to CAD vector formats
  • PDF FLY (http://www.pdf-fly.com) includes all the output formats of pd2image, pdf2picture and pdf2cad. In addition, it also supports PostScript and EPS as input formats.

In addition, we offer a range of tools for both application developers and systems integrators. The PDF Pro series is an affordable, entry level line for in-house and non-commercial developers. FLY Batch delivers enterprise power for automated server-side conversion. FLY SDK offers a DLL or command-line interface for integrating PDF import, conversion and creation in applications.

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

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

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

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

For example:

rotate(0) STDAPI VgRotate(INT rotate)

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

 

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

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Products from Visual Integrity are designed to convert all well-formed PDF files. If a PDF file was created in an application, it should convert successfully in either vector or image mode. However, if a PDF file was created by a scanner and has already been reduced in the process to a flat image, it will only convert in image mode. If you encounter a file that does not convert or returns errors, send it to us so we can troubleshoot it. These problems are most often caused by poorly formed PDF files.

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

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

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

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

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

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This is very unusual. It’s possible that a setting needs to be adjusted. For example, check the “Options -> Pages” tab and make sure that it is set to convert all pages and not just a page rage that may not exist (retained from a previous conversion). Beyond this, we can not assess the problem without seeing your file. Your file could be corrupt or our conversion engine might not be able to digest it properly because it is poorly formed. Please send the file to support@visual-integrity.com for analysis, and let us know what product and version you are using.

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When adding files, pdf2image, pdf2picture and pdf2cad will only display files with a .pdf extension. If the file you want to convert has a different extension, but you are sure that it is a PDF file, you should rename it to include a .pdf extension. PDF FLY is capable of digesting more input formats so it expects files with a .pdf, .ps, .eps or .prn extension.

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Visual Integrity products are designed to generate editable files (vector files) whenever possible. The success depends, however on the type of input. There are two types of PDF files – vector and bitmap.

Vector PDF files contain data defining all of the objects and text in the file.  They are scalable and resolution independent. No matter how large you magnify them or how small you make them, they will look great. Our software will convert any vector PDF files into an editable vector file.

Bitmap or Raster PDFs are usually created by scanners or received by fax software. During the process, all of the file information is flattened into one image comprised of dots. When magnified, a bitmap PDF file looks very jagged. Our software will convert bitmap PDF’s in image mode and you will get a high-fidelity reproduction which can be inserted into your document or presentation but which can not be edited.

Once you know what kind of PDF file you have, you will know whether it will convert into an editable vector file or not. If you are interested in converting a scanned drawing or bitmap PDF into vectors, you need to look for a different class of software. Try searching for “raster to vector” or raster2vector” in a search engine to find potential products.

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When you buy a license or register for evaluation, we will provide you with a “Download Now” link for your product. Click on the link to start the download. We recommend that you save this file to your hard-disk (choose location) and then simply double-click on it to start the installation process. Follow the instructions until installation is complete.

For batch automation (FLY Batch and PDF Pro CL): In order to enable the batch conversion engine for use via the command-line, you must add the installation path for the software to your %path% variable.

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There are a few reasons why a download may not go smoothly:

  1. Try downloading again directly from our site. Evaluation versions of our products are available from popular external download sites and the hosted version may not be current.
  2. Try again in 5 minutes. It may have just been a temporary Internet connection problem.
  3. Check with your system administrator to see if you are allowed to download .exe files from the Internet. Your company firewall or security policy could be preventing you from getting the download. If this is the case, let us know and we can point you to an alternative download via FTP or ZIP file.

For further assistance, please contact support@visual-integrity.com. If needed we can also send you the software via email.

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Not anymore! We listened to feedback and have done away with the watermarked eval on the end-user licenses. Now, you can try a fully-functional version of any product for 30-days. Once it expires, it must be purchased or it will no longer operate. Since developers may need longer with the software, we have left the watermark on these versions and they continue to be available without any time limitation.

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By default, our software is placed in C:/Program Files/Visual Integrity unless you specify a different location during installation. The Visual Integrity folder will have a subfolder for each product, for example, pdf2image, pdf2picture, PDF FLY, etc, which contains all the relevant files. The .exe file with the name of your product (for example, pdf2picture.exe, pdffly.exe, etc) is the actual conversion program. Double-clicking on it will launch it.

In addition during installation, you are asked if you want icons placed on your desktop and you quick launch bar. To revisit this, just reinstall the software.

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Evaluation versions of all Visual Integrity products operate with full functionality for 30days, after which they time-out. This is generally sufficient time to assess whether they will be a good solution for you. It is possible to extend the evaluation if necessary. In order request an extension, please contact us. We can also help you to test a product, by converting sample files for you. The results will be sent back to you by email.

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Yes. We can send you a license key to unlock it. Just give us a call. Alternatively, if you place your order online, you will be presented with a fully serialized and licensed version. You can burn it on a CD for your archives and then install it to ensure that you have the latest version. There is no need to remove the previous version. The new version with overwrite the evaluation version and apply your unique activation key automatically.

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Most customers purchase online and receive their fully licensed download link immediately. There’s nothing more to do. However, if you purchase via selected resellers or directly from Visual Integrity with a purchase order or check, your order is manually processed. In this case, an email with a license key is sent which unlocks the software for permanent use. If you have lost the instructions or your license key, please email support@visual-integrity.comand we will be glad to assist you.

Note! If you are expecting a manual confirmation and have not received it, please check your spam filters and firewalls to ensure that they have not blocked the mail containing the license key.

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All of our desktop products are based on the same engine that drives our developer tools. Because of this, we recommend a two-step approach to evaluations. First, get a reliable indication of the core functionality and output quality by performing test conversions simply using end-user 30-day trial versions. Then, using additional documentation, the same standard Windows download will also allow testing of the command line, which is a straight-forward interface for many development environments. Contact us for instructions on how to use it if the information provided on the web-site is not sufficient. Evaluations of the API/DLL are available for download also. Please contact support@visual-integrity.com for the download link.

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Visual Integrity offers two different approaches for accessing and integrating our conversion framework into a process or application. Depending on which is more appropriate for your needs, you’ll either use:

  • FLY Batch to call the batch executable via the command line
  • FLY SDK to make VB/C++ API calls to the DLL engine

FLY Batch is used via the command line to automate conversions as part of a larger process or work-flow. It works without user intervention based on scripted calls or watch folders. It supports many standard image and vector output formats as well as text. Output can be highly customized using intelligent filter options which are applied as part of the conversion.

The API developer tool, FLY SDK, calls the DLL engine from a VB/C++ program is a separate file containing LIB and header files and sample source code. It requires a license code to be unlocked. The DLL can be used to convert specified files or via Windows GDI calls.

For both the FLY Batch (command-line) and FLY SDK (API/DLL), all filter parameters such as rotation, resolution and font mapping are defined in the tgc.ini file. An overview of the options and their use is available in PDF format below. These options are checked and applied during conversion to the output format.

Developers need to download and install the current version of PDF FLY or META FLY, which is the same product that end users download. This includes all developer interfaces and the DLL’s as well. It also includes all of the command line scripts. When called from the command line, the software will run in evaluation mode by default stamping a watermark on every output file. The license key file received upon purchase removes the watermark.

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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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FLY Batch is for process automation, integration and server-side automation. The powerful batch executable allows you to invoke the DLL engine via the command line. The functionality is embedded in the standard PDF FLY and META FLY downloads for evaluation.

In order to enable the batch conversion engine for use via the command-line, you must add the installation path for the software to your %path% variable. This can be done via the Control Panel -> System -> Advanced->Environment
Variables:
%path% variable

By default PDF FLY is installed in C:/Program Files/Visual Integrity/PDF FLY
This installation path must be added to the %path% directory.
On the command line you can do this by:
Set path=%path%;”C:/Program Files/Visual Integrity/PDF FLY v__” (fill in version number)

FLY Batch for PDF and PostScript (Adobe PostScript, EPS and PDF input)

  • To convert PDF files, run pdf2xxx. Settings for pdf2xxx are defined in the pdf2xxx.ini file.
  • To convert PS or EPS files, run ps2xxx. Settings for ps2xxx are defined in the ps2xxx.ini file.

FLY Batch for Metafiles (WMF and EMF input)

  • To convert WMF files, run wmf2xxx. Settings for wmf2xxx are defined in the wmf2xxx.ini file.
  • To convert EMF files, run emf2xxx. Settings for emf2xxx are defined in the emf2xxx.ini file.

General Usage:

  • See the “options” PDF file for an overview of the variables and their use. You can open and edit the .ini files with a text editor like Notepad. The pdf2xxx.ini file is used for PDF and the ps2xxx.ini file is used for PostScript and EPS.
  • The extension of your source file determines which conversion filter will be invoked.

So, for example, to convert myfile.eps to myfile.svg run: ps2xxx myfile.eps myfile.svg.

To convert myfile.wmf to yourfile.jpg run: wmf2xxx myfile.wmf yourfile.jpg.

To convert foo.pdf to for example foo.gif run: pdf2xxx foo.pdf foo.gif

Need help? Call us or email support@visual-integrity.com.

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FLY SDK is a very powerful conversion engine yet simple to integrate into your application code. You just need to customize your conversion profile (.ini) and then hook into the engine. Only two API calls are needed to convert to any of the vector or bitmap output formats, Below are some examples:

Convert 4dbar.ps to 4dbar.wmf using the ps2xxx.ini configuration file
VgPsLoadOptions(PS2XXX, “ps2xxx.ini”);
VgPsConvert(“4dbar.ps”, “4dbar.wmf”, PWMF, NULL);

Convert 4dbar.pdf to 4dbar.png using the pdf2xxx.ini configuration file
VgPsLoadOptions(PDF2XXX, “pdf2xxx.ini”);
VgPsBitmapConvert(“4dbar.pdf”, “4dbar.png”, PNG, NULL);

Convert 4dbar.emf to 4dbar.svg using the emfxxx.ini configuration file
VgPsLoadOptions(EMF2XXX, “emf2xxx.ini”);
VgEmfFileFlowTo(“4Dbar.emf”, SVG, “4Dbar.svg”);

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The FLY SDK API has been extended with a powerful, new option to parse through a list of text, vector and image objects in a PDF-file and then edit, delete or add objects to the page. This page can then be generated as a PDF file or any of our other output formats which include DXF, HP-GL/II, WMF, EMF, CGM, MIF, SVG, ASCII, TIFF, BMP, JPEG, GIF, EPS, and PostScript. This new feature hold significance in the regulation and compliancy markets, among others, where it’s important to remove or redact privacy-related information from files.

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The new “Merge & Mark” feature allows you to add any PDF, EPS or PS file during your conversion as a background, watermark or stamp to the files that you are converting. This new merged file can then be fed to the conversion engine and output in any of the supported vector and image formats.

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Normally yes, especially if you plan to edit the converted file. When converting to the scalable, vector formats WMF or EMF, you will need to ungroup the file before editing. We’ve made a tip sheet for each application Please download the ones that are of interest to you:

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

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

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

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

  • scalability
  • editability
  • ability to magnify with losing sharpness

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

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

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

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

A Few Words of Caution

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

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

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Several vector formats such as WMF, CGM, DXF and HPGL do not support cropping. This is the act of cutting away and discarding the unnecessary portions of the picture such as extraneous fills and other elements. PDF and PostScript, both very robust and complete formats, do support it. To bridge the gap, Visual Integrity has developed a proprietary method to simulate cropping. When applied during conversion, the resulting file will appear cropped just like the original.

To apply it, select the “Emulate PS/PDF cropping” feature in the General tab of the Options menu.

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Although pdf2cad is not available for UNIX or Linux, the PDF to DXF conversion capability is part of PDF FLY which is available on Mac OS X, Sun Solaris, HP-UX, IBM AIX and Linux. The Linux version, developed on Red Hat, also runs successfully on other Linux implementations, such as FreeBSD and SuSe. For all of the UNIX/Linux platforms, the PDF to DXF functionality is accessed via a straightforward command line tool, offering the same core functionality as pdf2cad on Windows. For more information, visit www.pdf-fly.com.

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The DXF file format does not define physical dimensions using absolute measurements from a ruler. Instead it uses units which the user defines. When you create a PDF file from a CAD drawing, it is transformed to paper/print dimensions and the meaning of the original CAD units are lost but the xy relationship remains. As a result, pdf2cad can not restore the intended dimensions but it does preserve the scale. This means that you can calculate a scaling factor to apply during the conversion to achieve the size drawing you want. By default, pdf2cad uses 1mm(0,03937 inch) in the PDF = 1 unit in the DXF. You can change this under the DXF Options tab. You can also scale the DXF after import into your CAD application.

Tip: Sometimes pdf2cad delivers better precision and more accurate coordinates if you change one of the values in your pdf2cad.ini file. Please try setting the ctm_scale to 10.0 instead of 1.0 (default) in the pdf2cad.ini file. If this does not help, please send us the file to diagnose.

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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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pdf2cad will convert a “batch” of files when requested by the user. It’s as easy to convert an entire directory of files as it is to convert one file. That said, sometimes, companies want to use a watch folder or use scripts to automate conversion. When this is required, you’ll want to use FLY Batch. PDF to DXF is one of the modules in FLY Batch, a command line driven batch conversion engine that’s easily scripted for automated, central, high-volume or real-time processing. It runs on Windows, Mac, Linux and UNIX platforms.

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pdf2cad is designed to convert vector PDF files which are generated by other applications using print, export or save-as. They contain all the data about the drawing which is accurately extracted as editable CAD objects. Since scanned drawings (raster PDF) have been flattened and reduced to bitmap images, we can not reassemble them into objects. We do however convert them into a tracing layer which is referenced in the DXF file and supported in programs such as AutoCAD. If you need to create a vector file from this file, you can use the tracing layer as a guide for redrawing the file or use a different class of software called raster-to-vector to try to generate objects. In order to see or use the tracing layer, your target application must be able to open DXF files and display referenced images. Our conversion of a scanned PDF produces a blank DXF file and one or more image files in either the TIFF or JPEG format. They referenced images must be located in the same directory as the DXF file to be displayed. Otherwise, you will see a blank page.

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When you see a width dimension or what look like very fat lines in the drawing, you need to adjust the line width setting. It’s possible to turn off (reduce to zero) the line weight on the DXF Options tab or via Command Line. Change the value of the function zero_linewidth from 0 to 1 in the pdf2cad.ini, which is in the installation directory of pdf2cad and rerun the conversion. The installation directoryby default is C:Program FilesVisual Integritypdf2cad.

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When the PDF file was created, the dashed lines were created as small individual line segments. Because of this attribute in the PDF file, pdf2cad converts them as small line segments in the DXF file. pdf2cad does not yet have an option to recognize these segments. as a line with a certain dashed-line attribute.

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Not yet, but it is a frequent request and we have added it to the development schedule. We do not have a release date scheduled. Please email support@visual-integrity.com for an update on availability.

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This warning is to let you know that your PDF file uses non-standard fonts or font names. When this happens, you’ll probably notice that the text in your output file may look different than in the PDF when you open it in your target application. This not an error – just a reminder that some fine-tuning may be required, Please see the other entries on fonts and visit the Help system in the software for more detail.

If needed you can turn off the font messages, by adding the line: font_warnings(0) to the ini file of the application.

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Probably. The file format used by Microsoft Office does not embed fonts. Instead, it loads fonts based on reference when the file is opened. If the font specified does not reside on your system, the closest will be substituted. To add to the challenge, it expects the fonts on you system to use exactly the same name as the fonts in the file which is often not the case. Two different applications may define the exact same font with slightly different names. When you want to ensure a great match, you need to create a font mapping.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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pdf2image is perfect for the job since it outputs PNG, the native format for MusicPad. By setting the width for conversion at 600 pixels, you can generate a file which will be accepted using the MusicPad Pro import feature. It can be used to convert any PDF music file.

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PNG is the native format of the MusicPad Manager so you would first need to use pdf2image to convert all your music to this format. Once you have generated all of the PNG’s, you should be able to import them directly by opening the MusicPad Manager application. Then just select File/Import.
MusicPad Pro expects the files that are imported to be 600×800. This can be set by choosing width = 600 pixels under the “Options” button during conversion in pdf2image.

If you have any trouble converting your music, please email a sample PDF file to support@pdf2image.com and we will return it to you in PNG format ready to import along with any special settings that you need to select.

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

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

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

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

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

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

13 Standard PostScript fonts:

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

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We are usually just minutes away… Use this link to ask us your question now. If we have a specialist free, you will enter a live chat session. If no one if free, you will be able to pose your question as a message and it will be ansered as soon as possible, usually within a few minutes. Clisk Above on “Ask a Specialist”.

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

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

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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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← Faqs

Tutorial: Using PDFin for AutoCAD

Double Click to install the PDFin (formerly pdf2AutoCAD) plugin. Open AutoCAD or another compatible Autodesk program. The PDFin plug-in can be run two ways – either via command line or from the Toolbar.

pdf2AutoCAD-pdfin-command

To run via Command Line, type “pdfin”.

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To run via the Toolbar, select the icon. You may need to add it if you have a customized interface. Once the PDFin icon is added to the Toolbar Ribbon, you can use it to instantly open any vector PDF file in AutoCAD.

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Select you PDF file to open.

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Wait for any messages or warnings to complete and then click OK to view the PDF file in AutoCAD.

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Once the file is displayed, you can edit the objects and text.

 

 

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