Import a PDF to Trace


Instructions from Video:

This tooltip focuses on tips on how to import a pdf accurately.

  1. Select File>Import>Import PDF file.
  2. The Open dialog appears. Select a file from your hard drive to import and click Open.
  3. The Import dialog box appears. Starting in the lower-left corner, we can change the format of the pdf. Pdfs can be in two different formats.
    1. Raster pdfs are made up of tiny pixels of colour that are placed on a page to represent lines and text. Raster pdfs are generated when you scan an image. These pdfs are just images. As a default the import dialog box opens converting all pdfs to this format. If I zoom in on the image you can see it is all pixels, the more I zoom in the worse it appears.

If you uncheck Convert to image, the pdf is converted to a Vector PDF.

Vector pdfs originate in cad programs. Each line is a line, each piece of text is text. The images are not pixelated. Zooming in, you can see the image looks better. It is crisp. Unchecking the “Convert to Image” option will not convert a raster into a vector but if the pdf is a vector it will display it that way. If it is a raster pdf it will have to remain a raster pdf. The advantage of vectors is the better appearance and you can snap to points of a vector pdf.

  1. At the top of the dialog box it lists the name of the pdf and if you accidentally loaded the wrong pdf you can click the button to go back and select a different pdf.
  2. If the pdf is multi-page, you can scroll through the pages to select the correct page.
  3. If the angle is wrong, you can rotate the pdf by typing in a new angle or select the Pick Angle Pick two points to establish the reference angle and then type in a new angle that you want to that line to be on and click OK. The pdf is rotated.
  4. Scale is particularly important when you bring in a pdf. The default environment in Envisioneer is ¼”=1’ or also known as 1:48. To check the scale of the pdf that you are bringing in, first zoom in on a known distance. Like a dimension. Then click the Pick Scale
  5. Left-click to pick the start of a know distance and then left-click at the end of the known distance. This draws a line. In the Scale by Reference dialog box, type in the length of that line and click OK. The pdf will calibrate the size to match the scale reference line that you used.
  6. There is a separate scale option for both the X and Y axis. Use both if the pdf you are importing is skewed. You can reset the X and Y scale separately to reset the pdf.
  7. The pdf can also be cropped. If you only need a portion of the pdf, click the Set button. This command enables a crop box, what is inside the crop box will be imported and what is outside will be scrapped. Left-click to start drawing a box and left click again when the portion of the pdf that you need to be imported is inside the box.
  8. The imported pdf can also be dimmed. You may want to make it lighter so if you are tracing over it, it will be obvious that it has been traced.
  9. Once all those options are done, you can click Insert to import the pdf.
  10. A copy of the pdf attaches to your cursor, left-click to insert it.

The pdf is now in your model area and ready for you to trace! I hope that makes your work easier!