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PDF FLY (35)

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Edit Vector PDF – Know Your PDF File Types

It’s easy to tell the difference between vector and raster PDF files by viewing them 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 raster PDF

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

scanned drawing when selected turns blue raster PDF

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.

Side-by-Side Comparison to See the Difference Between Vector and Raster PDF

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. It would be possible to edit the vector PDF on the left but not the raster PDF on the right.

difference between vector and raster PDF file

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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.

Please click here if this helped you.
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Converting PDF to Visio

In order to convert PDF to Visio, you need to use a tool which will transform the PDF file into a vector graphic. Most solutions out there will only provide you with a bitmap image file. This is not useful since none of the PDF objects or text can be accessed. There are several tools available which generate vector formats for Visio. Try one of the programs below to ensure success:

  • Insert PDF, a Visio add-in that adds “Open PDF” to the Visio Toolbar
  • pdf2picture, a desktop program which transforms PDF into editable Visio formats
  • PDF FLY, an advanced conversion program for technical professionals and writers

By default, pdf2picture and PDF FLY give more control over the conversion while Insert PDF simply opens the PDF file in Visio. Both pdf2picture and PDF FLY create files that Visio can import using the native Windows Metafile format (WMF). It’s also possible for Visio to open DXF  and SVG files although we find that WMF yields the best results in most instances.

Send us a test PDF file to convert to Visio (Free)

Edit PDF in Visio Step-by-Step

The following steps show how to convert PDF to Visio. Screenshots are based on pdf2picture. If you are using the Insert PDF add-in, skip to Step 3 (Insert PDF add-in instructions).

  1. Convert the PDF file to WMF, EMF or SVG using pdf2picture or the Insert PDF for Visio add-in. WMF and EMF usually provide the best results. If you are using the add-in, then skip to Step 3.

  2. Open the converted file in Visio using “Insert Pictures”. You can also drag the file onto a Visio page. Adjust your paper size and orientation if necessary. You should now see the converted drawing on your screen. Important! The drawing imports as one object. You need to ungroup it if you wish to edit, remove or add parts of the drawing.

    Ungroup PDF file in Visio

  3. Ungroup the drawing and right-click on the graphic and select “Group, Ungroup” to generate objects. Now, select and change the individual elements and text. When ungrouped, Visio will highlight every individual object in pink. To deselect everything, click anywhere on the page outside of the drawing boundaries. When you convert PDF to Visio using this method, you see every object and each word outlined. Now, you can select and change the area or object you want using all the familiar Visio features. Depending on the original drawing design, when you convert PDF to Visio, there may be many levels of groups. If you find that you can not edit an object, right-click and ungroup again (and again, if necessary) until you have the level access you want.

    Ungrouped PDF file is editable in Visio
    Select and change a Visio object

  4. Save as a Visio Drawing. That’s it. Once you save the drawing, it is now in the native .vsdx format and ready to save or share with your colleagues.

Keys to Successful Conversion of PDF to Visio

Is your drawing scanned?

Before converting, make sure that your PDF file is not a scanned image. If it is, it is not editable at the object level. Only computer-generated PDF files produce editable objects. To see if you have a scanned PDF, open it in Adobe Acrobat and magnify it to 1000%. If the lines look smooth, you’ll have success but if the lines look jagged or boxy, you won’t. Understanding PDF types is crucial as you learn how to convert PDF to Visio> How to determine what type of PDF file you have.

Text as curves

Some CAD drawings use “plotted” characters. This text becomes a series of pen strokes or “curves” in a PDF losing all character information. Because you can’t edit plotted text, you will be limited to a graphical representation once you convert PDF to Visio.

Font Mapping

If you can select text in the original PDF file, then it will be editable in the Visio file. If it doesn’t look quite right, the specific font may not be on the target system or it may go by a different name. The font mapping feature handles these issues when you convert PDF to Visio. This happens because of font incompatibilities across systems. As odd as it seems, the very same font can have a different name on two different PC’s. Because of this, we offer font-mapping. Using this feature, you can create a link between the two font names so the text appears as intended in Visio.

Font Substitutes

If a font in the PDF file does not exist in Visio, we’ll choose a close substitute. This will be one of the standard PostScript fonts installed on all PC’s. Usually, it will be close enough and you can adjust the point size in order to get close. If you want the correct font, you can license it from any font supplier like Adobe, FontShop, fonts.com, or Monotype, to name a few.

Objects or shapes?

When creating a PDF, application specific definitions about shapes and scale disappear. VisualIntegrity has developed many options to recover or compensate for these limitations. More information is available on these options in the product’s Help file.

Mind your Memory

Many Visio drawings coming from PDF contain a large number of objects. This is especially true if you are trying to open a complex CAD drawing in Visio. You’ll need a well-equipped PC.  Every file is different so it’s hard for us to make general recommendations. If you find that the file is slow to open or takes a while to refresh, you’ll need more memory. It’s not unusual for a converted PDF file to contain more than 50,000 individual objects. This may sound intimidating but pdf2picture makes quick work of it!

Ungroup and Ungroup Again

One of the top questions we get if from people who open the WMF or SVG file in Visio and don’t know to ungroup the page. When first opened, the diagram displays as one group to prevent unintended editing. To start working on the individual elements, ungroup per the steps above. This is the key step for using PDF successfully in Visio.

Regroup before Resizing

If you want to scale the drawing, always “regroup”. Do this by selecting Grouping, Group so that everything. Grouping makes one entity out of many and ensures that everything scales proportionally.

Performance

We have seen PDF files which contain hundreds of thousands of objects. These are not the norm and require a very capable system as well as a lot of patience when ungroupng. Regular success is high with less than 50,000 objects but when the count is much higher, it can hit a wall. If you have a file that won’t open or ungroup in Visio, please contact us to see if we can help.

Choosing an Import Format

If you use the Insert PDF add-in for Visio, your diagram will open in the native Visio format. But, if you use a stand-alone program like pdf2picture or PDF FLY, you’ll need to choose a format to hand-off to Visio. The best options are WMF, EMF, SVG and DWG. Depending on the type of diagram or drawing you have, WMF is almost always the best choice because it’s closest to the Visio format. The exceptions are CAD drawings with layers. Visio has special options for converting CAD objects and they may be useful for your files. Performance may take a hit because CAD files are usually larger than WMF files.

Ask for Free 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. Send the file you are having trouble with along with any comments to support@visual-integrity.com. The most complete requests receive priority.

Contact Us About Converting PDF to Visio

Please let us know if you have questions or if you have problems finding the right steps for using PDF in Visio. We’re happy to help!

Download Tip Sheet: Using pdf2picture output (WMF) in Visio)

Please click here if this helped you.
41 people found this helpful. Permalink


pdf2cad (28)

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The current versions of pdf2cad are:
  • pdf2cad v12.2019.12, released in December 2019 for Microsoft Windows
  • pdf2cad v11.0.12, released in December 2019 for Mac OS X Catalina. v12 expected in 1Q2020

How to find your current pdf2cad version number

If you do not know your current version of pdf2cad, launch the software. Click “Cancel” to bypass the file selection screen. Then, select the box with two arrows in the lower left of the window. Once it opens, it will inform you of your version and build number. If you do not have the latest build, you can Upgrade.
Advantage Support Subscribers get a free upgrade to v12 along with all other subscriber benefits. These perks include updates, upgrades, new versions, replacement software and support as needed. Access your Advantage Support account on our web-site and download the latest version . If you purchased a from a reseller such as IMSI Design, Novedge, Component Source, Autodesk or Apple, please contact us to set-up an account
 

Purchase Protection

If you bought pdf2cad v11 after June 1, 2019, you qualify for to a free upgrade to v12. We will contact you with details on how to access your upgrade. if you don’t hear from us, we may have outdated contact information for you or you purchased from a reseller. In these cases. please contact us.

 

about-pdf2cad-dialog

 

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Edit Vector PDF – Know Your PDF File Types

It’s easy to tell the difference between vector and raster PDF files by viewing them 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 raster PDF

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

scanned drawing when selected turns blue raster PDF

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.

Side-by-Side Comparison to See the Difference Between Vector and Raster PDF

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. It would be possible to edit the vector PDF on the left but not the raster PDF on the right.

difference between vector and raster PDF file

Please click here if this helped you.
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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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QA (59)

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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.

Please click here if this helped you.
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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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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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Which Product? (8)

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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.

Please click here if this helped you.
1 person found this helpful. Permalink


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.

Please click here if this helped you.
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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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PDF (7)

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Converting PDF to Visio

In order to convert PDF to Visio, you need to use a tool which will transform the PDF file into a vector graphic. Most solutions out there will only provide you with a bitmap image file. This is not useful since none of the PDF objects or text can be accessed. There are several tools available which generate vector formats for Visio. Try one of the programs below to ensure success:

  • Insert PDF, a Visio add-in that adds “Open PDF” to the Visio Toolbar
  • pdf2picture, a desktop program which transforms PDF into editable Visio formats
  • PDF FLY, an advanced conversion program for technical professionals and writers

By default, pdf2picture and PDF FLY give more control over the conversion while Insert PDF simply opens the PDF file in Visio. Both pdf2picture and PDF FLY create files that Visio can import using the native Windows Metafile format (WMF). It’s also possible for Visio to open DXF  and SVG files although we find that WMF yields the best results in most instances.

Send us a test PDF file to convert to Visio (Free)

Edit PDF in Visio Step-by-Step

The following steps show how to convert PDF to Visio. Screenshots are based on pdf2picture. If you are using the Insert PDF add-in, skip to Step 3 (Insert PDF add-in instructions).

  1. Convert the PDF file to WMF, EMF or SVG using pdf2picture or the Insert PDF for Visio add-in. WMF and EMF usually provide the best results. If you are using the add-in, then skip to Step 3.

  2. Open the converted file in Visio using “Insert Pictures”. You can also drag the file onto a Visio page. Adjust your paper size and orientation if necessary. You should now see the converted drawing on your screen. Important! The drawing imports as one object. You need to ungroup it if you wish to edit, remove or add parts of the drawing.

    Ungroup PDF file in Visio

  3. Ungroup the drawing and right-click on the graphic and select “Group, Ungroup” to generate objects. Now, select and change the individual elements and text. When ungrouped, Visio will highlight every individual object in pink. To deselect everything, click anywhere on the page outside of the drawing boundaries. When you convert PDF to Visio using this method, you see every object and each word outlined. Now, you can select and change the area or object you want using all the familiar Visio features. Depending on the original drawing design, when you convert PDF to Visio, there may be many levels of groups. If you find that you can not edit an object, right-click and ungroup again (and again, if necessary) until you have the level access you want.

    Ungrouped PDF file is editable in Visio
    Select and change a Visio object

  4. Save as a Visio Drawing. That’s it. Once you save the drawing, it is now in the native .vsdx format and ready to save or share with your colleagues.

Keys to Successful Conversion of PDF to Visio

Is your drawing scanned?

Before converting, make sure that your PDF file is not a scanned image. If it is, it is not editable at the object level. Only computer-generated PDF files produce editable objects. To see if you have a scanned PDF, open it in Adobe Acrobat and magnify it to 1000%. If the lines look smooth, you’ll have success but if the lines look jagged or boxy, you won’t. Understanding PDF types is crucial as you learn how to convert PDF to Visio> How to determine what type of PDF file you have.

Text as curves

Some CAD drawings use “plotted” characters. This text becomes a series of pen strokes or “curves” in a PDF losing all character information. Because you can’t edit plotted text, you will be limited to a graphical representation once you convert PDF to Visio.

Font Mapping

If you can select text in the original PDF file, then it will be editable in the Visio file. If it doesn’t look quite right, the specific font may not be on the target system or it may go by a different name. The font mapping feature handles these issues when you convert PDF to Visio. This happens because of font incompatibilities across systems. As odd as it seems, the very same font can have a different name on two different PC’s. Because of this, we offer font-mapping. Using this feature, you can create a link between the two font names so the text appears as intended in Visio.

Font Substitutes

If a font in the PDF file does not exist in Visio, we’ll choose a close substitute. This will be one of the standard PostScript fonts installed on all PC’s. Usually, it will be close enough and you can adjust the point size in order to get close. If you want the correct font, you can license it from any font supplier like Adobe, FontShop, fonts.com, or Monotype, to name a few.

Objects or shapes?

When creating a PDF, application specific definitions about shapes and scale disappear. VisualIntegrity has developed many options to recover or compensate for these limitations. More information is available on these options in the product’s Help file.

Mind your Memory

Many Visio drawings coming from PDF contain a large number of objects. This is especially true if you are trying to open a complex CAD drawing in Visio. You’ll need a well-equipped PC.  Every file is different so it’s hard for us to make general recommendations. If you find that the file is slow to open or takes a while to refresh, you’ll need more memory. It’s not unusual for a converted PDF file to contain more than 50,000 individual objects. This may sound intimidating but pdf2picture makes quick work of it!

Ungroup and Ungroup Again

One of the top questions we get if from people who open the WMF or SVG file in Visio and don’t know to ungroup the page. When first opened, the diagram displays as one group to prevent unintended editing. To start working on the individual elements, ungroup per the steps above. This is the key step for using PDF successfully in Visio.

Regroup before Resizing

If you want to scale the drawing, always “regroup”. Do this by selecting Grouping, Group so that everything. Grouping makes one entity out of many and ensures that everything scales proportionally.

Performance

We have seen PDF files which contain hundreds of thousands of objects. These are not the norm and require a very capable system as well as a lot of patience when ungroupng. Regular success is high with less than 50,000 objects but when the count is much higher, it can hit a wall. If you have a file that won’t open or ungroup in Visio, please contact us to see if we can help.

Choosing an Import Format

If you use the Insert PDF add-in for Visio, your diagram will open in the native Visio format. But, if you use a stand-alone program like pdf2picture or PDF FLY, you’ll need to choose a format to hand-off to Visio. The best options are WMF, EMF, SVG and DWG. Depending on the type of diagram or drawing you have, WMF is almost always the best choice because it’s closest to the Visio format. The exceptions are CAD drawings with layers. Visio has special options for converting CAD objects and they may be useful for your files. Performance may take a hit because CAD files are usually larger than WMF files.

Ask for Free 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. Send the file you are having trouble with along with any comments to support@visual-integrity.com. The most complete requests receive priority.

Contact Us About Converting PDF to Visio

Please let us know if you have questions or if you have problems finding the right steps for using PDF in Visio. We’re happy to help!

Download Tip Sheet: Using pdf2picture output (WMF) in Visio)

Please click here if this helped you.
41 people found this helpful. Permalink


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.

Please click here if this helped you.
0 people found this helpful. Permalink


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

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PDF & Microsoft Office (13)

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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.

Please click here if this helped you.
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Converting PDF to Visio

In order to convert PDF to Visio, you need to use a tool which will transform the PDF file into a vector graphic. Most solutions out there will only provide you with a bitmap image file. This is not useful since none of the PDF objects or text can be accessed. There are several tools available which generate vector formats for Visio. Try one of the programs below to ensure success:

  • Insert PDF, a Visio add-in that adds “Open PDF” to the Visio Toolbar
  • pdf2picture, a desktop program which transforms PDF into editable Visio formats
  • PDF FLY, an advanced conversion program for technical professionals and writers

By default, pdf2picture and PDF FLY give more control over the conversion while Insert PDF simply opens the PDF file in Visio. Both pdf2picture and PDF FLY create files that Visio can import using the native Windows Metafile format (WMF). It’s also possible for Visio to open DXF  and SVG files although we find that WMF yields the best results in most instances.

Send us a test PDF file to convert to Visio (Free)

Edit PDF in Visio Step-by-Step

The following steps show how to convert PDF to Visio. Screenshots are based on pdf2picture. If you are using the Insert PDF add-in, skip to Step 3 (Insert PDF add-in instructions).

  1. Convert the PDF file to WMF, EMF or SVG using pdf2picture or the Insert PDF for Visio add-in. WMF and EMF usually provide the best results. If you are using the add-in, then skip to Step 3.

  2. Open the converted file in Visio using “Insert Pictures”. You can also drag the file onto a Visio page. Adjust your paper size and orientation if necessary. You should now see the converted drawing on your screen. Important! The drawing imports as one object. You need to ungroup it if you wish to edit, remove or add parts of the drawing.

    Ungroup PDF file in Visio

  3. Ungroup the drawing and right-click on the graphic and select “Group, Ungroup” to generate objects. Now, select and change the individual elements and text. When ungrouped, Visio will highlight every individual object in pink. To deselect everything, click anywhere on the page outside of the drawing boundaries. When you convert PDF to Visio using this method, you see every object and each word outlined. Now, you can select and change the area or object you want using all the familiar Visio features. Depending on the original drawing design, when you convert PDF to Visio, there may be many levels of groups. If you find that you can not edit an object, right-click and ungroup again (and again, if necessary) until you have the level access you want.

    Ungrouped PDF file is editable in Visio
    Select and change a Visio object

  4. Save as a Visio Drawing. That’s it. Once you save the drawing, it is now in the native .vsdx format and ready to save or share with your colleagues.

Keys to Successful Conversion of PDF to Visio

Is your drawing scanned?

Before converting, make sure that your PDF file is not a scanned image. If it is, it is not editable at the object level. Only computer-generated PDF files produce editable objects. To see if you have a scanned PDF, open it in Adobe Acrobat and magnify it to 1000%. If the lines look smooth, you’ll have success but if the lines look jagged or boxy, you won’t. Understanding PDF types is crucial as you learn how to convert PDF to Visio> How to determine what type of PDF file you have.

Text as curves

Some CAD drawings use “plotted” characters. This text becomes a series of pen strokes or “curves” in a PDF losing all character information. Because you can’t edit plotted text, you will be limited to a graphical representation once you convert PDF to Visio.

Font Mapping

If you can select text in the original PDF file, then it will be editable in the Visio file. If it doesn’t look quite right, the specific font may not be on the target system or it may go by a different name. The font mapping feature handles these issues when you convert PDF to Visio. This happens because of font incompatibilities across systems. As odd as it seems, the very same font can have a different name on two different PC’s. Because of this, we offer font-mapping. Using this feature, you can create a link between the two font names so the text appears as intended in Visio.

Font Substitutes

If a font in the PDF file does not exist in Visio, we’ll choose a close substitute. This will be one of the standard PostScript fonts installed on all PC’s. Usually, it will be close enough and you can adjust the point size in order to get close. If you want the correct font, you can license it from any font supplier like Adobe, FontShop, fonts.com, or Monotype, to name a few.

Objects or shapes?

When creating a PDF, application specific definitions about shapes and scale disappear. VisualIntegrity has developed many options to recover or compensate for these limitations. More information is available on these options in the product’s Help file.

Mind your Memory

Many Visio drawings coming from PDF contain a large number of objects. This is especially true if you are trying to open a complex CAD drawing in Visio. You’ll need a well-equipped PC.  Every file is different so it’s hard for us to make general recommendations. If you find that the file is slow to open or takes a while to refresh, you’ll need more memory. It’s not unusual for a converted PDF file to contain more than 50,000 individual objects. This may sound intimidating but pdf2picture makes quick work of it!

Ungroup and Ungroup Again

One of the top questions we get if from people who open the WMF or SVG file in Visio and don’t know to ungroup the page. When first opened, the diagram displays as one group to prevent unintended editing. To start working on the individual elements, ungroup per the steps above. This is the key step for using PDF successfully in Visio.

Regroup before Resizing

If you want to scale the drawing, always “regroup”. Do this by selecting Grouping, Group so that everything. Grouping makes one entity out of many and ensures that everything scales proportionally.

Performance

We have seen PDF files which contain hundreds of thousands of objects. These are not the norm and require a very capable system as well as a lot of patience when ungroupng. Regular success is high with less than 50,000 objects but when the count is much higher, it can hit a wall. If you have a file that won’t open or ungroup in Visio, please contact us to see if we can help.

Choosing an Import Format

If you use the Insert PDF add-in for Visio, your diagram will open in the native Visio format. But, if you use a stand-alone program like pdf2picture or PDF FLY, you’ll need to choose a format to hand-off to Visio. The best options are WMF, EMF, SVG and DWG. Depending on the type of diagram or drawing you have, WMF is almost always the best choice because it’s closest to the Visio format. The exceptions are CAD drawings with layers. Visio has special options for converting CAD objects and they may be useful for your files. Performance may take a hit because CAD files are usually larger than WMF files.

Ask for Free 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. Send the file you are having trouble with along with any comments to support@visual-integrity.com. The most complete requests receive priority.

Contact Us About Converting PDF to Visio

Please let us know if you have questions or if you have problems finding the right steps for using PDF in Visio. We’re happy to help!

Download Tip Sheet: Using pdf2picture output (WMF) in Visio)

Please click here if this helped you.
41 people found this helpful. Permalink


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.

 

 

 

 

 

Products for using PDF in Visio

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pdf2image (13)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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pdf2picture (25)

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Edit Vector PDF – Know Your PDF File Types

It’s easy to tell the difference between vector and raster PDF files by viewing them 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 raster PDF

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

scanned drawing when selected turns blue raster PDF

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.

Side-by-Side Comparison to See the Difference Between Vector and Raster PDF

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. It would be possible to edit the vector PDF on the left but not the raster PDF on the right.

difference between vector and raster PDF file

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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.

Please click here if this helped you.
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Converting PDF to Visio

In order to convert PDF to Visio, you need to use a tool which will transform the PDF file into a vector graphic. Most solutions out there will only provide you with a bitmap image file. This is not useful since none of the PDF objects or text can be accessed. There are several tools available which generate vector formats for Visio. Try one of the programs below to ensure success:

  • Insert PDF, a Visio add-in that adds “Open PDF” to the Visio Toolbar
  • pdf2picture, a desktop program which transforms PDF into editable Visio formats
  • PDF FLY, an advanced conversion program for technical professionals and writers

By default, pdf2picture and PDF FLY give more control over the conversion while Insert PDF simply opens the PDF file in Visio. Both pdf2picture and PDF FLY create files that Visio can import using the native Windows Metafile format (WMF). It’s also possible for Visio to open DXF  and SVG files although we find that WMF yields the best results in most instances.

Send us a test PDF file to convert to Visio (Free)

Edit PDF in Visio Step-by-Step

The following steps show how to convert PDF to Visio. Screenshots are based on pdf2picture. If you are using the Insert PDF add-in, skip to Step 3 (Insert PDF add-in instructions).

  1. Convert the PDF file to WMF, EMF or SVG using pdf2picture or the Insert PDF for Visio add-in. WMF and EMF usually provide the best results. If you are using the add-in, then skip to Step 3.

  2. Open the converted file in Visio using “Insert Pictures”. You can also drag the file onto a Visio page. Adjust your paper size and orientation if necessary. You should now see the converted drawing on your screen. Important! The drawing imports as one object. You need to ungroup it if you wish to edit, remove or add parts of the drawing.

    Ungroup PDF file in Visio

  3. Ungroup the drawing and right-click on the graphic and select “Group, Ungroup” to generate objects. Now, select and change the individual elements and text. When ungrouped, Visio will highlight every individual object in pink. To deselect everything, click anywhere on the page outside of the drawing boundaries. When you convert PDF to Visio using this method, you see every object and each word outlined. Now, you can select and change the area or object you want using all the familiar Visio features. Depending on the original drawing design, when you convert PDF to Visio, there may be many levels of groups. If you find that you can not edit an object, right-click and ungroup again (and again, if necessary) until you have the level access you want.

    Ungrouped PDF file is editable in Visio
    Select and change a Visio object

  4. Save as a Visio Drawing. That’s it. Once you save the drawing, it is now in the native .vsdx format and ready to save or share with your colleagues.

Keys to Successful Conversion of PDF to Visio

Is your drawing scanned?

Before converting, make sure that your PDF file is not a scanned image. If it is, it is not editable at the object level. Only computer-generated PDF files produce editable objects. To see if you have a scanned PDF, open it in Adobe Acrobat and magnify it to 1000%. If the lines look smooth, you’ll have success but if the lines look jagged or boxy, you won’t. Understanding PDF types is crucial as you learn how to convert PDF to Visio> How to determine what type of PDF file you have.

Text as curves

Some CAD drawings use “plotted” characters. This text becomes a series of pen strokes or “curves” in a PDF losing all character information. Because you can’t edit plotted text, you will be limited to a graphical representation once you convert PDF to Visio.

Font Mapping

If you can select text in the original PDF file, then it will be editable in the Visio file. If it doesn’t look quite right, the specific font may not be on the target system or it may go by a different name. The font mapping feature handles these issues when you convert PDF to Visio. This happens because of font incompatibilities across systems. As odd as it seems, the very same font can have a different name on two different PC’s. Because of this, we offer font-mapping. Using this feature, you can create a link between the two font names so the text appears as intended in Visio.

Font Substitutes

If a font in the PDF file does not exist in Visio, we’ll choose a close substitute. This will be one of the standard PostScript fonts installed on all PC’s. Usually, it will be close enough and you can adjust the point size in order to get close. If you want the correct font, you can license it from any font supplier like Adobe, FontShop, fonts.com, or Monotype, to name a few.

Objects or shapes?

When creating a PDF, application specific definitions about shapes and scale disappear. VisualIntegrity has developed many options to recover or compensate for these limitations. More information is available on these options in the product’s Help file.

Mind your Memory

Many Visio drawings coming from PDF contain a large number of objects. This is especially true if you are trying to open a complex CAD drawing in Visio. You’ll need a well-equipped PC.  Every file is different so it’s hard for us to make general recommendations. If you find that the file is slow to open or takes a while to refresh, you’ll need more memory. It’s not unusual for a converted PDF file to contain more than 50,000 individual objects. This may sound intimidating but pdf2picture makes quick work of it!

Ungroup and Ungroup Again

One of the top questions we get if from people who open the WMF or SVG file in Visio and don’t know to ungroup the page. When first opened, the diagram displays as one group to prevent unintended editing. To start working on the individual elements, ungroup per the steps above. This is the key step for using PDF successfully in Visio.

Regroup before Resizing

If you want to scale the drawing, always “regroup”. Do this by selecting Grouping, Group so that everything. Grouping makes one entity out of many and ensures that everything scales proportionally.

Performance

We have seen PDF files which contain hundreds of thousands of objects. These are not the norm and require a very capable system as well as a lot of patience when ungroupng. Regular success is high with less than 50,000 objects but when the count is much higher, it can hit a wall. If you have a file that won’t open or ungroup in Visio, please contact us to see if we can help.

Choosing an Import Format

If you use the Insert PDF add-in for Visio, your diagram will open in the native Visio format. But, if you use a stand-alone program like pdf2picture or PDF FLY, you’ll need to choose a format to hand-off to Visio. The best options are WMF, EMF, SVG and DWG. Depending on the type of diagram or drawing you have, WMF is almost always the best choice because it’s closest to the Visio format. The exceptions are CAD drawings with layers. Visio has special options for converting CAD objects and they may be useful for your files. Performance may take a hit because CAD files are usually larger than WMF files.

Ask for Free 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. Send the file you are having trouble with along with any comments to support@visual-integrity.com. The most complete requests receive priority.

Contact Us About Converting PDF to Visio

Please let us know if you have questions or if you have problems finding the right steps for using PDF in Visio. We’re happy to help!

Download Tip Sheet: Using pdf2picture output (WMF) in Visio)

Please click here if this helped you.
41 people found this helpful. Permalink


Visio (6)

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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.

Please click here if this helped you.
7 people found this helpful. Permalink


Converting PDF to Visio

In order to convert PDF to Visio, you need to use a tool which will transform the PDF file into a vector graphic. Most solutions out there will only provide you with a bitmap image file. This is not useful since none of the PDF objects or text can be accessed. There are several tools available which generate vector formats for Visio. Try one of the programs below to ensure success:

  • Insert PDF, a Visio add-in that adds “Open PDF” to the Visio Toolbar
  • pdf2picture, a desktop program which transforms PDF into editable Visio formats
  • PDF FLY, an advanced conversion program for technical professionals and writers

By default, pdf2picture and PDF FLY give more control over the conversion while Insert PDF simply opens the PDF file in Visio. Both pdf2picture and PDF FLY create files that Visio can import using the native Windows Metafile format (WMF). It’s also possible for Visio to open DXF  and SVG files although we find that WMF yields the best results in most instances.

Send us a test PDF file to convert to Visio (Free)

Edit PDF in Visio Step-by-Step

The following steps show how to convert PDF to Visio. Screenshots are based on pdf2picture. If you are using the Insert PDF add-in, skip to Step 3 (Insert PDF add-in instructions).

  1. Convert the PDF file to WMF, EMF or SVG using pdf2picture or the Insert PDF for Visio add-in. WMF and EMF usually provide the best results. If you are using the add-in, then skip to Step 3.

  2. Open the converted file in Visio using “Insert Pictures”. You can also drag the file onto a Visio page. Adjust your paper size and orientation if necessary. You should now see the converted drawing on your screen. Important! The drawing imports as one object. You need to ungroup it if you wish to edit, remove or add parts of the drawing.

    Ungroup PDF file in Visio

  3. Ungroup the drawing and right-click on the graphic and select “Group, Ungroup” to generate objects. Now, select and change the individual elements and text. When ungrouped, Visio will highlight every individual object in pink. To deselect everything, click anywhere on the page outside of the drawing boundaries. When you convert PDF to Visio using this method, you see every object and each word outlined. Now, you can select and change the area or object you want using all the familiar Visio features. Depending on the original drawing design, when you convert PDF to Visio, there may be many levels of groups. If you find that you can not edit an object, right-click and ungroup again (and again, if necessary) until you have the level access you want.

    Ungrouped PDF file is editable in Visio
    Select and change a Visio object

  4. Save as a Visio Drawing. That’s it. Once you save the drawing, it is now in the native .vsdx format and ready to save or share with your colleagues.

Keys to Successful Conversion of PDF to Visio

Is your drawing scanned?

Before converting, make sure that your PDF file is not a scanned image. If it is, it is not editable at the object level. Only computer-generated PDF files produce editable objects. To see if you have a scanned PDF, open it in Adobe Acrobat and magnify it to 1000%. If the lines look smooth, you’ll have success but if the lines look jagged or boxy, you won’t. Understanding PDF types is crucial as you learn how to convert PDF to Visio> How to determine what type of PDF file you have.

Text as curves

Some CAD drawings use “plotted” characters. This text becomes a series of pen strokes or “curves” in a PDF losing all character information. Because you can’t edit plotted text, you will be limited to a graphical representation once you convert PDF to Visio.

Font Mapping

If you can select text in the original PDF file, then it will be editable in the Visio file. If it doesn’t look quite right, the specific font may not be on the target system or it may go by a different name. The font mapping feature handles these issues when you convert PDF to Visio. This happens because of font incompatibilities across systems. As odd as it seems, the very same font can have a different name on two different PC’s. Because of this, we offer font-mapping. Using this feature, you can create a link between the two font names so the text appears as intended in Visio.

Font Substitutes

If a font in the PDF file does not exist in Visio, we’ll choose a close substitute. This will be one of the standard PostScript fonts installed on all PC’s. Usually, it will be close enough and you can adjust the point size in order to get close. If you want the correct font, you can license it from any font supplier like Adobe, FontShop, fonts.com, or Monotype, to name a few.

Objects or shapes?

When creating a PDF, application specific definitions about shapes and scale disappear. VisualIntegrity has developed many options to recover or compensate for these limitations. More information is available on these options in the product’s Help file.

Mind your Memory

Many Visio drawings coming from PDF contain a large number of objects. This is especially true if you are trying to open a complex CAD drawing in Visio. You’ll need a well-equipped PC.  Every file is different so it’s hard for us to make general recommendations. If you find that the file is slow to open or takes a while to refresh, you’ll need more memory. It’s not unusual for a converted PDF file to contain more than 50,000 individual objects. This may sound intimidating but pdf2picture makes quick work of it!

Ungroup and Ungroup Again

One of the top questions we get if from people who open the WMF or SVG file in Visio and don’t know to ungroup the page. When first opened, the diagram displays as one group to prevent unintended editing. To start working on the individual elements, ungroup per the steps above. This is the key step for using PDF successfully in Visio.

Regroup before Resizing

If you want to scale the drawing, always “regroup”. Do this by selecting Grouping, Group so that everything. Grouping makes one entity out of many and ensures that everything scales proportionally.

Performance

We have seen PDF files which contain hundreds of thousands of objects. These are not the norm and require a very capable system as well as a lot of patience when ungroupng. Regular success is high with less than 50,000 objects but when the count is much higher, it can hit a wall. If you have a file that won’t open or ungroup in Visio, please contact us to see if we can help.

Choosing an Import Format

If you use the Insert PDF add-in for Visio, your diagram will open in the native Visio format. But, if you use a stand-alone program like pdf2picture or PDF FLY, you’ll need to choose a format to hand-off to Visio. The best options are WMF, EMF, SVG and DWG. Depending on the type of diagram or drawing you have, WMF is almost always the best choice because it’s closest to the Visio format. The exceptions are CAD drawings with layers. Visio has special options for converting CAD objects and they may be useful for your files. Performance may take a hit because CAD files are usually larger than WMF files.

Ask for Free 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. Send the file you are having trouble with along with any comments to support@visual-integrity.com. The most complete requests receive priority.

Contact Us About Converting PDF to Visio

Please let us know if you have questions or if you have problems finding the right steps for using PDF in Visio. We’re happy to help!

Download Tip Sheet: Using pdf2picture output (WMF) in Visio)

Please click here if this helped you.
41 people found this helpful. Permalink


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.

 

 

 

 

 

Products for using PDF in Visio

Please click here if this helped you.
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Developers (13)

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

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Download & Installation (14)

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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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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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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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Conversion Server (8)

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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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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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PDF Conversion Options

Below is a summary of all PDF conversion options available in pdf2cad, pdf2picture and PDF FLY. These options and more are also available to developers via the PDF Conversion SDK/API or command line tools.

Conversion options - general settings

General Settings Tab

  • Characters as Strings Combines characters into words, and words into text strings, based on context.
  • Convert Characters to CurvesCreates a visual graphic match for text defined with unknown or unavailable fonts.
  • Rotate: Rotates drawing any degree in either direction.
  • Scale Text: Enlarges or reduces the size of the text in the converted file.
  • Emulate PDF cropping: Cropping removes unnecessary outer areas of a drawing. PDF supports cropping but some vector formats (WMF, CGM, DXF and HPGL) don’tWithout cropping, these formats would transfer unwanted elements during conversion. Activate ‘Emulate PDF cropping’ to ensue clean borders. Using this feature, the resulting file will match the original.PDF.
  • Show Font Warning: If the fonts in a PDF file are not installed on your computer, the text will not look right. Font mapping ensures the closest match possible. It also compensates for different font naming conventions across systems.
  • Ignore paths, text images: Turn certain elements on or off during conversion.
  • CAD Format: Choose your output format. DWG for AutoCAD, DXF for most engineering and technical programs and HPGL for plotter specific applications.
font mapping dialog

Font Mappings Tab

Text converts fine when PDF files use standard fonts. If text converts but doesn’t display right, you have a font mapping issue.
Fonts are a tricky subject. Installed fonts differ from system to system. Sometimes, the same font may even go by different names. For a perfect conversion, the same font needs to be on the source and target system. License agreements protect font vendors from illegal use of their typefaces. Embed only system fonts and permitted fonts. For more detail on font issues, read PDF Font Mapping When Converting Files and PDF Fonts: Embedding and Substitution from Adobe
Document fonts display based on comparing the font name in the PDF file with the font name on your system. If the fonts on your PC match the PDF, the file will look perfect. Often, the font names don’t match and the text looks ‘off’ . The first thing to check is whether you have a font name mismatch. Arial Bold, for example, may be “EHJPKB+Arial-Bold” in the original file. The same font is “Arial” on your PC. When you match the two, it’s known as “Font Mapping”. In this example, map “EHJPKB_Arial-Bold” to “Arial” with font style “Bold”. If you can’t make a successful match, we substitute the closest font. This is “Font Substitution” and is automatic.
PDF conversion page options

Page Settings Tab

The Page Settings control options that apply to all files. All of the other option vary depending on whether you choose a vector or bitmap output format.

Crop Picture: Remove Margin: By default, the margins of the PDF file are used. This setting can adjust or remove white space.

Page Size: pdf2cad will automatically figure out the page size. If you want to force a standard or custom page size, select it or enter dimensions.

Convert Range: pdf2cad, by default, will convert all pages of a file. You can set a page range if you only want selected pages.

Page Mapping: By default, a multi-page PDF file converts into a vector page for each PDF page. Other choices included include merging all pages into one file and applying horizotal or vertical alignment.

PDF to DWG DXF format specific options

DWG and DXF Format Specific Options

The PDF Conversion Options for DWG and DXF options apply to specific CAD drawing features.
Scaling Factor:  CAD programs define dimension in units. These units disappear when creating a PDF file but the scale remains. You can set a scaling factor for the x-y relationship during conversion. You can also set the units when you open the converted file in your CAD program. By default, pdf2cad uses 1mm (0,03937 inch) = 1 unit in the CAD output. To learn more about CAD units, read Units and Scales
 
Precision Factor: The default precision is set to 10. Sometimes, it will help increase coordinate accuracy to change this to 1 or to 100. If none of these settings provide desirable results, please send us the file to diagnose.
 
Paths as Polylines/Polygons: PDF doesn’t understand objects or their relationships. To compensate for this,, use our object recognition engine. It identifies lines and curves and renders them as shapes. Polylines are a connected sequence of lines and arcs that create a single object. Polygons are shapes with straight sides.
 
Layers: By default, all objects are on one layer. You can separate layers by color, line width, PDF layers, spot colors or a combination of color and line width.
 
Minimum line width: Defines the smallest line width for each vector object in mm. The default is 0.
 
Zero line width: Removes 3D effects
 
Dashed and Dotted lines as segments: PDF sees dashed and dotted lines as lots of individual lines. By selecting this feature, the lines will converted into whole lines with a pattern.
 
Fill option: Sometimes, white fills in a PDF file show up as black fills in a DXF file. If this is a problem, use this option to ignore white fills.
Advanced PDF Conversion Options

Advanced DXF and DWG Options

Recognize Circles/Ellipses: Our object recognition engine identifies closed polygons and circular paths. Convert them into circular and elliptical shapes.
 
Recognize Horizontal/Vertical Dashed Lines: Create one line object with a line-style attribute.
 
Error Tolerance: This is a tolerance level set for recognition of CAD objects. If one point on the closed polyline is outside of the specified range, it will remain a polyline.